How to Respond to a Retaliatory Landlord

Since the introduction of the tenancy system, the relationship between a landlord and tenant has been a bittersweet one. There are all kinds of landlords. Some of them have obnoxious demands as to how to keep the property. Some are very nosy and love to eavesdrop on tenants. There are others who get revengeful after a tenant exercises his legal rights and retaliate against him. These legal rights could normally include complaints to the building inspector, fire department, health inspector, holding of the rent because the landlord did not fix a unit. Tenants are protected by state laws in most places for any retaliation after exercising such rights. If you are a tenant and you feel that you are being a victim of a retaliatory landlord, you can effectively respond to him.

Instructions

  • 1

    Study your state tenant laws and look for clauses which can help you. Most state laws help tenants in establishing retaliatory cases in the following cases:

    - Deduction of repair costs from rent.

    - Retaliation to tenant complaint to building/health/fire authorities.

    If you any documents that can prove that you are a victim, like copy of your complaint, it can help you prove that you are a victim of retaliatory action.

  • 2

    Write a formal letter or email to your landlord stating the facts. You need to be assertive about you think you are being targeted for past actions and that his action should be revoked as you do not agree.

  • 3

    If the landlord does not respond to your letter or does not agree, contact a person who can be a mediator. This could even be a property dealer who brought you people in contact in the first place. Mediation services can also be hired. Try for an out of court settlement. However, this certainly does not mean backing down on your rights.

  • 4

    If nothing above works, hire a good attorney. Brief him over the case in all honesty and supply him with the documents which can prove an aid. An attorney can help you in delaying an eviction notice while the case is being processed. He will also guide you about any legal action that could be taken to safeguard your rights. State laws can often prove complex to understand for a person not associated with the legal profession. So it is always better to get a professional advice.

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