Truth be told, living in an apartment complex isn’t easy.
Maintenance issues can be the order of the day, and noisy neighbors can make you lock yourself in. Sometimes, the range of problems can seem like it’s never going to end.
At times, the issues may be minor enough to be overlooked. But, what happens if the issues are serious, and the apartment complex management takes no action? In this case, the best course of action can be filing a complaint against the apartment complex.
The complaint can ensure the apartment complex management improves your living conditions. If your apartment complex has had issues for a while and the management isn’t responding to your pleas for help, it’s time to take action. If you’d like to get professional legal advice, consult a lawyer as this article doesn’t replace one.
Here’s how to file a complaint against an apartment complex:
Talk to the Property Management Company First
If the issue is minor, talk to the property manager first. If you don’t get a response, or you’d like to report the property manager, Contact the company headquarters directly via phone, email, or their website. We recommend sending an email because the company will send a formal response to the complaint.
Contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
This department’s work is to ensure all citizens have equal access to safe, habitable housing. The HUD website allows you to file a complaint against a property management company or a landlord.
You can report unsafe housing conditions, negligent landlords, and specific issues such as.
- Property safety issues
- Concerns about the landlord or property manager
- Health hazards
- Poor management
- Withheld security deposit
- Discrimination of any kind
You can call the Multifamily Housing Complaint Line to report dangers to health and safety, fraud, poor maintenance, and mismanagement.
Reach Out to the State or City Agency
Some local government departments allow renters to file a complaint against a landlord or apartment complex. If you have a complaint about poor management, discriminatory housing applications, and health and safety concerns, you can file a complaint at the housing department or authority.
In some states, you can report an apartment complex or landlord to a state or city agency or a rental board.
Get in Touch with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Other User Review Sites
Whether a company is BBB Accredited or not, you can file an official complaint against it. The bureau will act on your behalf and try to resolve your complaint. Many companies know how important a good BBB rating is and work hard to maintain it. And this rating is partially determined by a company’s record of responding to and resolving complaints. To put pressure on the property management company, file a complaint with the BBB.
According to Redditors, you can also post the same complaint on multiple platforms (Yelp, Google Business Profile, etc.) to get the landlord or property management company to act. The issue will quickly be fixed if regulators start breathing down their neck.
Contact the Relevant Local Government Department
Different local government departments handle different complaints. For instance, the human rights department handles complaints on discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and more.
If there are structural issues in your apartment complex and the landlord or property management company refuses to address them, contact the department that deals with construction services. Most local governments have housing departments where renters can complain about poor management, unfair housing, and similar issues.
Complain to an Industry Ethics Organization
Most property management companies are registered with an industry organization to attract potential renters. You can visit the organization’s website to know the quality of service property management companies should uphold.
One popular organization that oversees property management companies is the National Association of Residential Property Managers. Find out if your property management company is registered and lodge a complaint. The Board of directors will find out if the company adhered to the organization’s ethical standards and determine which disciplinary action to take.
When Should You File a Complaint Against an Apartment Complex?
- If your lease is terminated unfairly
- If the landlord violates federal Fair Housing laws or state landlord-tenant laws
- If the property management team, landlord, or maintenance staff harass you or invade your privacy
- If the property management team or landlord don’t adhere to the implied warranty of habitability
- If health and safety issues in public spaces are not addressed
- If significant health risks are not disclosed
- If rental unit features, such as HVAC and plumbing, are not repaired.
- If the landlord or property management team breaches rental policies or lease terms
- If you’re discriminated against because of familial status, ethnicity, race, disability, gender, or sexuality.
- If your security deposit or rental application fee is withheld unfairly
- If your rental application is unfairly denied
- Failure to refund the security deposit
Where to Report Bad Property Managers
As we’ve mentioned, you can report bad property managers to the property management company, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a state or city agency, the BBB and user review sites, or an industry ethics organization.
How to Report Your Landlord for Negligence
To report your landlord for negligence, call the toll-free Multifamily Housing Complaint Line at (800) MULTI-70 (800) 685-8470). The TTY phone number is (800) 432-2209. You can also visit the HUD website and email the department.
How to Report Your Landlord to Housing Authority
You can speak with an FHEO specialist by calling 1-800-669-9777. The TTY phone number is 1-800-877-8339. Reach out to your regional FHEO office to get the help you need fast.
If your apartment complex has issues and your landlord or property management company isn’t doing anything about it, use one of the above options to get them to act. Protect yourself and other tenants.