When tenants need to address issues about the rental property in which they are residing, they should write a letter to the property manager. Also, tenant shareholders who reside in co-operative buildings and homeowners who live in condominiums may need to address issues with the appropriate party, such as a management company.
Identify the property manager. The landlord and the property manager may not be the same person. Frequently, landlords will hire property managers, who usually receive a percentage of the rent, to manage the leased units. According to Kiplinger.com, the property manager's duties may range from leasing new tenants to dealing with emergencies. (See Reference 1) Many managers also collect rent and send notices to tenants. (See Reference 2)
State the issue. Clearly state the significant matter that affects your tenancy, such as a lease renewal or outstanding repairs. Start the letter with "I am writing this letter in regards to..." and then state the problem. Local laws may vary, but many states require tenants give at least a month notice prior to vacating the units. Check your lease; the requirements to give notice may be different.
Reporting plumbing and electrical problems should be immediate, so you make a phone call for these types of issues. However, if the problem is ongoing and hasn't been addressed in a timely manner, you may need to write a letter to document the sequence of events. If possible, include photographs of the areas along with your correspondence, and retain copies. This includes written communication, such as e-mails, letters and a phone log, if necessary.
Additional problems may occur that you did not cause. For example, a leaking radiator or shower in the unit above yours can damage the ceiling in your apartment.
Coordinate access to your apartment if necessary. Although many states require tenants to turn over keys to the landlord, try to stay home when the property manager comes to inspect your unit so that you can point out the problem personally. Depending on the extent of the damage, the manager may need to bring licensed trades people to perform the work. (See Reference 3)
Familiarize yourself with the rules of the community. If you reside either in a co-operative or condominium building, you should know these before addressing grievances with the property manager so that you can back up your complaint with facts.
Respect your property manager. Explain extenuating circumstances. If you rent a house, tell the manager if you expect long-term visitors, who will consume more water, which will generate a higher water bill. Since most tenants do not pay for water, an increased water bill may be an issue that you should clarify with the manager. (See Reference 3)