Voicing Complaints as Tenants
Tenants, by law, have the right to voice their complaints over several issues while staying at a rental property. It would be important for a tenant to understand how and when to voice their tenant complaints and this article will help in that aspect. Below, tenants will find a small list of the most commonly voiced tenant complaints.
Rights to quiet enjoyment – tenant complaints – These tenant complaints pertain to concerns that can be raised by tenants if they are not able to enjoy the right to a quiet enjoyment of a rental property. Quiet enjoyment means that a tenant is eligible to live in a rental community that is free of noise, odors, disturbances and harassment from other tenants. If any of these rights are violated, tenant complaints can be filed with the landlord who will then have the responsibility to rectify the situation.
Right to a habitable condition – tenant complaints – A lot of tenant complaints occur when the landlord is not able to provide a habitable condition to live in. Tenant complaints can be filed for issues such as lack of heat or electricity or running water. When tenant complaints pertaining to habitable conditions are filed, the landlord will usually have to react in a very timely manner which is usually within 24 or 48 hours depending on the state where the rental contract was executed.
Right to receive repairs – tenant complaints – It is the responsibility of the tenant to inform the landlord of any repairs that are needed in a rental property. Tenant complaints usually have to be given in writing. Depending on the nature of repairs needed or the severity of the tenant complaints, landlords will need t act in a reasonable manner. Some repair work will have to be carried out instantly while landlords can wait a few days to respond to tenant complaints about some repairs that are less pressing. For example, a landlord will have to respond to tenant complaints about heat, running water and electricity immediately although they can wait a reasonable while to fix less urgent problems such as a broken tile or broken door knob.
Right to receive security deposit refund – tenant complaints – A tenant is eligible to receive a full refund of their security deposit at the time of vacating their apartment. They will usually have to wait about 14-45 days before they get back their security deposit. If the landlord however fails to refund the security deposit during that period of time, tenant complaints can be filed with the court which will then take appropriate action. In some cases, courts will order the landlord to pay back the security deposit in addition to some additional damages for not returning the security deposit on time. Tenants also have a right to file tenant complaints if the landlord has unfairly deducted their security deposit for questionable expenses. Landlords are required to provide an itemized bill of charges to justify the deductions from the security deposit, failing which, tenant complaints can be filed to demand such itemized bills.
In general, it is advised that tenants go through their rental agreement or lease agreement in great detail before they file any type of tenant complaints as rental agreements will usually specify the procedures and grounds for filing complaints.