Writing a complaint letter to a landlord can be a stressful experience, but thankfully most tenants can safely raise complaints with their landlords without fear of reprisal. Some people worry about writing letters to landlords because they think that their rent will be raised or that other retribution will be taken. This should not factor into your complaint letter to a landlord, although you should maintain a polite and professional tone in order to make the interaction easier on both parties.
The first thing to do when writing a complaint letter to a landlord or property manager is to look over your rental agreement and any other documents you may have that relate to your apartment. These documents can help you determine on your own if your complaint is worthwhile. If, for example, you are complaining about rent increases but your landlord has reserved the right to institute a rent increase, you may not have much cause to write a letter. Most of the time, however, it is best to raise concerns early on even if you are not sure they are worthwhile.
When sending a complaint letter to a landlord, it is best to start out by identifying who you are and where you live. These factors can help a landlord identify you out of the many tenants he or she may have. It can also help the landlord find the relevant lease documents and other materials that may be needed to answer your complaint.
The body of your complaint letter should address your concerns in an objective and organized manner. Even if you feel very strongly about the issues you are talking about, you must pose your criticisms in a tone that does not invite confrontation. This is important because it gives the landlord a way to gracefully address your concerns without losing face.
If you have multiple concerns, it may be a good idea to break these issues up into separate paragraphs for readability. If you have specific suggestions relating to these issues, your thoughts on these matters should directly follow the criticism.
When you close the letter to your landlord, you need to explicitly state how you would like to be contacted and how long he or she has to respond. You do not necessarily need to identify what you will do if you receive no response, but you might mention your intended path of action if you think it will play a role in the landlord’s decision.
In exchanges like this, there is always a chance that your living situation may become uncomfortable. Most landlords do not choose to engage in fights with tenants, and if your complaints are reasonable, they will likely be addressed promptly. Even so, you should take this opportunity to look at your lease, refresh your understanding of laws applying to tenants, and think about how you will handle the situation if you cannot resolve your complaint amicably.