The Easiest Letter To Landlord To Make Repairs

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The Purpose of The Repair Request Letter

The Letter for Repairs to your landlord states the problem, or problems, that need to be fixed, and if necessary reminds him of his legal obligation to do so. Every State has some kind of basic Warranty of Habitability that provides what a landlord is responsible for. In most states your landlord must keep floors, roofs, and stairways in sound condition; provide reasonable amounts of hot and cold water; provide safe electrical, plumbing, and heating systems; and make sure infestations from pests and insects are exterminated.

One great advantage of living in a rental is actually having a landlord, someone who is responsible for making the repairs that would cost a homeowner the expense of a handyman, or the tools and time it would take to make these repairs yourself. However, not all landlords take these responsibilities seriously unless the request is made in a written and in a professional manner that gives them the sense you know what you’re talking about and are proceeding through the proper channels and with the proper means. With careful wording you can articulate in a rational manner the situation and possible outcomes if the rental unit is left in disrepair.

Seeing that repairs are made in a timely fashion is the landlord’s responsibility. Your responsibility is to make sure repair requests are made in a formal, law-abiding and specific manner. Don’t feel like you’re being a burden by pointing out that these things need to be fixed; in fact you’re helping protect your landlord’s investment, and they should appreciate that. Sending a well written formal letter is the best way to request repairs and to retain the proof of your request. Use our Sample Request for Repair Letter to streamline the process.

How to Write The Repair Request Letter to Your Landlord

The Basics Of The Repair Request Letter To Your Landlord

A Repair Request letter should be typed and well formatted, and as with any business correspondence a copy should be made for yourself. Complications can arise, things can get lost, or requests can simply be ignored; having a record of your requests prepares against the very real possibility of a larger problem occurring because the minor repair was not taken care of. In such a case, with your repair request in writing you are not left having to pay for damages due to your negligence. And in the unfortunate situation that your landlord refuses to act according to the law, you have a clear paper trail of the steps you have taken to notify your landlord of the fixes or repairs needed.

Our letter starts with your name and address centered at the top. Below that on left hand sidewe’ve indicated that this is Certified Mail Return Receipt and we follow that with the date and the landlord’s name and address. Then what the letter is in regard to (RE: Rental Repairs or RE: Repair Request Letter) followed by the correct salutation (Dear Landlord’s name,). It may seem obvious and simple, but it displays a certain level of credibility when you begin writing in the accepted formalized style.

What to Include In a Repair Letter to Your Landlord

Stating The Problem(s)

Indicate clearly and in detail what the problem is. Be courteous but don’t mince words about the severity of the problem and what needs to be be done. If possible explain why it’s in their interest to make these repairs; a leaky toilet will double or triple a water bill, faulty wires can potentially cause life-threatening fires. Simple verbal requests often receive a noncommittal or outright refusal, while detailed explanations, persuasively written, provide the time for the landlord to consider more intelligently what and why things need to get fixed. Show your landlord that you are on their side and that it benefits them as well to make the repair.

It’s very important, and we’ve found very effective in getting more positive and timely responses, to state how this problem could become a major issue if not taken care of, and a lot more expensive for the landlord to fix. A faulty light switch sounds fairly unimportant to a landlord to spend his time on, but the possibility of an electrical fire resulting from improper wiring will get his attention. A leaky pipe can cause major water damage to yours or your neighbor’s apartment. A staircase that has warped wood can cause a tenant to trip and suffer serious hospitalization. A broken doorknob risks allowing robbers to vandalize a home or apartment. Emphasize the potential for a much larger problem.

The Rental Repair Laws of Each State

California, New York, Florida, Illinois; each state has a different set of laws and regulations regarding landlord responsibilities. Depending on the laws in your state, which our letters do take into consideration, minor repairs may take 30 days and major repairs, which endanger tenants, usually require 3-5 days maximum. Your local library or town hall should have specific housing laws for your town, city and/or state. These laws will indicate the specific time frame a landlord has to address the various types of repairs. You can also go to the Governments Housing and Urban Development Website and get information regarding rental laws in your specific state at HUD (Government Housing & Urban Development). We at HomeTitan have done all this research for you and have written letters for each state and incorporate that into our sample repair request letter.

Requesting Follow Up By Your Landlord

Finally, ask your landlord to respond to your letter within a specified timeframe. This makes it clear you are providing ample time and not being at all demanding or pushy. And this way you have all communications accounted for and in writing. This also puts the ball in their court making it clear the next action is up to them and lack of will result in certain consequences.

Final Details

Thank your landlord; remember to keep things courteous and respectful at this point. Be sure to sign and date this letter and to make certain that the repair letter gets to your landlord by mailing to a physical address; the same address that your rent is sent to. Sending through certified mail with a return receipt requested is the best way to retain proof of receipt of your letter in the unfortunate event that it needs to be enforceable in court.

Formalizing all your communications with your landlord with a professionally written Request For Repairs Letter is the best way to make sure there is no confusion later on.

Your Rental Repair Request Letter Key Points To Remember