How to Write a Letter to a Landlord to Repair an Apartment


Getting a landlord to make repairs to your apartment can be difficult at times. Your landlord may be too cheap or busy to make the repairs, or your verbal request may not be getting to the right person. In any case, your best bet is to put the request in writing and deliver it to the same person who collects the rent. Written requests are more likely to get action, and they can serve as evidence if you end up taking legal action against the landlord.

  • Start a business-style letter. Include the landlord's name and address at the top of the letter. Also make sure you put down your name and the address of the apartment. Date the letter according to when you plan to mail or deliver it to the landlord.

  • Describe the nature of the problem and the repairs you are requesting. If the problem in your apartment poses an immediate danger to yourself or your neighbors, make sure to explain the dangers in the letter.

  • List any previous attempts you made to notify the landlord of the problem. Make sure to include the dates and the names of the anyone you talked to. This will help document those previous attempts even though they were not in writing.

  • Include your phone numbers and the best time to reach you to schedule the repairs.

  • Sign the letter and make a copy for your records.

  • Deliver or mail the letter to the same place you pay your rent.

  • Wait a reasonable amount of time for the landlord to make the repairs. Thirty days might be a reasonable amount of time for minor repairs such as fixing a leaky faucet. A broken stove should be fixed in a week or two. But if the problem is making your apartment unlivable, such as a broken air conditioner in the summer, the landlord should fix the problem within a couple of days.

  • Write a follow-up letter if the landlord does not make the repairs in a timely manner. Remind the landlord of the date you first requested repairs, and detail any promises he made regarding the repairs. If the landlord still does not make the repairs, you can use your copies of the letters to make a legal claim against the landlord.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can find several sample repair request forms on the Internet that you simply fill out and submit to your landlord.
  • Many states allow tenants to withhold a portion of the rent to make certain repairs themselves after the landlord refuses to help. If you go this route, make sure you know your legal rights and are ready to defend your actions in court. Contact your local tenant's associations or legal aid society to find out more about your legal options.


  • Photo Credit FPG/Retrofile/Getty Images
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