Check Your Lease FirstVerify who is responsible for repairs and maintenance. If you are (tenant) responsible, then you must comply - - you agreed to those terms when you signed your lease.
If it is the responsibility of the landlord, follow the steps below:
Contact the Landlord and explain what is happening. Get answers to questions such as whether HE/SHE DIRECTLY will initiate the repairs, or do you have to call the OWNER, etc.
- If the answer is YES he/she will, then pinpoint exactly the WHEN, HOW, and WHO.
- WHAT is your role, if any.
- If the answer is NO, he/she will NOT then ask why not, and what can be done (petition the owner, property management, etc.). Ask Questions!
- Is management willing to split the cost $$, can you make the repairs and be reimbursed, or can you have them done by a hired contractor and deduct the cost from the rent, etc. GET THIS IN WRITING BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING, be specific with dollar amounts, time lines, repair personnel, etc. ALWAYS GET DETAILS of REPAIR AUTHORIZATION prior to work being started.
If the Landlord refuses to act promptly, the tenant may then:
- Present a written list of needed repairs to the landlord requesting that the repairs be made by a certain date. Request a written reply within a certain number of days.
- Tenant may offer to help get repairs done quickly by arranging to be home when the repair person arrives or by offering to do the work themselves.
- Follow up any VERBAL AGREEMENTS with the landlord. Write a letter confirming the agreement. Request written acknowledgment within a certain number of days.
- KEEP A COPY of any notes, or letters to the landlord. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING.
- Be reasonable in allowing the landlord time to make the repairs.
- Follow up with a written reminder to the landlord if the repairs have not been made.
Request a written response within a certain number of days.
Tenant SHOULD NOT WITHHOLD RENT or deduct the cost of any repairs made by tenant unless there was an express (and preferably written) agreement that the landlord would make the repairs and he/she has failed to do so. Failure to make timely payment of rent could result in eviction. If the tenant has any question about this, an attorney should be consulted.
If failure to repair causes a City Housing Code violation, see the section Housing Code & Other Requirements of the City of Longmont in the Rental Property for Landlords and Tenants Handbook.
For more information or questions please contact Community and Neighborhood Resources at 303-651-8444.