How to Detect and Deal with a Bad Landlord – A Brief Guide

Usually, when we plan to buy a house, we get to the point of renting an apartment first. Now, if you are at this stage where you are about to rent your first apartment or have already rented one – you should know that you will have to make things work with your landlord.

You must pay your rent on time, and you must also submit your maintenance requests timely. Now, things are supposed to go smoothly – but – what happens if you end up with a bad landlord?

Bad Landlord – An Overview

Before we get into the details of a bad landlord, we have a disclaimer for you: not all landlords are bad. Of course, you might have read countless horror stories on the internet – but – not all landlords are frustrating to deal with.

With that out of the way, here are some signs that you are dealing with a bad landlord:

  • They ignore your maintenance requests
  • They harass you
  • They have inaccurate tenant records

There are other signs, too. Let us dive into them one after the other.

Ignoring Your Maintenance Requests

Did you know that the primary tension between you and your landlord can arise from your unattended maintenance requests? To avoid such an issue, we recommend asking the potential landlord about their maintenance process. Ask them about who your contact person will be in case maintenance issues arise, how much time it will take, and who exactly would be responsible for maintenance.

Of course, wear and tear is expected to happen in rental property units – however – you might start to notice that you require more repair than you should. Mostly, this is due to the fact that the rental property is in an overall bad condition, which is a red flag and exposes the negligence of the landlord.

When to report your landlord for negligence?

By now, you already know that being a landlord is all about responsibility, including the responsibility of assuring that the property is in a stable condition. On that note, if you have thoroughly communicated your concerns to the landlord and they have put you on hold – it is time to report your landlord to the authorities.

You can report your landlord under the following conditions:

Mold Infestation

Mold infestation can cause serious health conditions, including injury to the lungs. On that note, if, after moving the apartment, you have detected molds and reported them to the landlord right away with the latter failing to respond or inspect the matter – you must report your landlord.

The thing about mold is that it can trigger asthma and other respiratory conditions, in which case, you can hold property owners liable for injuries, especially if they have been negligent and failed to respond to your maintenance requests.

Structural Concerns

Sometimes, the structure of your rental property can cause safety issues, such as a leaking roof or cracks in the foundation. If you report the relevant structural issues to your landlord and they fail to act, you can report them to the authorities as you might live in the constant threat of a deteriorating house.

Pest Invasion

Another reason to report your landlord for bad maintenance is when you detect pest invasion, and they don’t respond to your maintenance requests. If your rental apartment gets infested with pests, it is the job of your landlord to fix the issue and get rid of the pest infestation.

However, we recommend reading through the contract one more time to be absolutely sure that it is your landlord’s responsibility to take care of this issue before you report it to the authorities.

Legal Violations

Another sign that you are dealing with a landlord is when you see that they are violating the legal agreement between you and them. Now, we always recommend going through any contract with the help of a lawyer before signing it as a way to make an informed decision and to know what you are signing up for.

On that note, if you are dealing with a bad landlord, the chances are high that the legal agreement is vaguely stated. You might feel confused, which is why you might get the feeling from the very start that a legal dispute is prone to happen.

Some examples of legal violation can include the following:

  • Showing up at your apartment without notice
  • Violating your privacy rights
  • Including new rules without informing you

How do you deal with violated rights as a tenant?

At this point, you might be wondering about your next steps after you experience that your legal rights have been violated or the landlord breached the contract. Here is what to do:

Send them a Notice

First things first – before officially reporting your landlord, you must send them a written notice. While writing the notice, make sure to include the details of what happened and how it happened. After you are sure that you have given your landlord enough time to respond to the notice while they have done nothing – you can proceed to report your landlord to the local authorities.

Complain to the Local Authority

Now that you have given your landlord enough time to respond and you haven’t heard back from them – the next step is to get a lawyer on board and take legal action. Tell your lawyer everything, and they will guide you throughout the entire process.

Tips to Improve Your Relationship with Your Landlord

As a tenant, you know that it might take some time before you can actually buy your own house, which is why you should work towards maintaining a positive relationship with your landlord. Now, this isn’t always easy, but it might not hurt to put in some effort to make things work.

Communication is key and the most important aspect of any relationship. However, we recommend keeping all communication professional – written or oral. To maintain a good relationship with your landlord, make sure to pay your rent on time. If, for some reason, you are unable to make timely payments – tell your landlord in advance. Believe us when we tell you that proper and timely communication can go a long way in maintaining a good relationship with your landlord.

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