How to Manage Conflict with Your Landlord


Ending up in a fight with your landlord can be highly stressful, especially when large amounts of money or maintaining a roof over your head are at stake. There are some common causes of landlord-tenant disputes such as what constitutes wear and tear and what is damage, what maintenance the landlord is responsible for, which repairs are classed as emergencies, as well as subletting and guest policies. If not dealt with carefully, these disputes can escalate into a conflict that cannot be resolved without third-party intervention. Whether you are already in conflict or are concerned that it might be ahead, here are some tips to help you manage conflict with your landlord. 

Stay calm

It may be too late for this but managing a conflict with your landlord is much more straightforward if you have had a previously good relationship and you have followed the rules of your lease. This means paying your rent on time, keeping in touch, and being as accommodating as possible when issues arise. When a problem occurs, keep your communication professional and respectful, and remind them that you are a good tenant (which can be a rare find from a landlord’s point of view) and not easily replaced. 

Look at the small print of your contract 

Your next move should be to check the small print of your lease to ensure that you understand all its terms completely. The more comfortable you are with the terms of the lease, the easier it will be to stand up for your rights and negotiate. If you know what you’re talking about, you can express yourself and your concerns in full, and your landlord may be less inclined to pursue conflict. 

Keep a record of everything 

It is always a good idea to take photos and keep records during a tenancy so that you can evidence the property’s condition before and after you moved in and will have proof should you need it. You should certainly make sure that all communication between you is documented in writing. Ideally, this would be certified mail, but text messages and emails count too. If you end up having to go to court, you will be able to prove your case more easily. Click here for four things landlords are not allowed to do. 

Take legal action 

If you cannot reach a resolution, you may need to threaten them with legal action. In most cases, this will be enough to force them to back down as they will want to avoid the inconvenience and costs involved. However, in some cases, the landlord may be stubborn in their position, and you will need to present a case before a court. In addition to your own evidence, you may want to make use of real estate litigation expert witness services from Segal Commercial to strengthen your case. 

Choose better next time

When looking for your next property, be sure to learn from your experience. Not all landlord-tenant relationships end in conflict, but by taking the time to research prospective landlords and looking for warning signs, you could save yourself a lot of hassle and money.

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