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When (and How) to Report a Bad Landlord

Austin Property Manager Confronting a TenantSometimes it’s not easy to interact with an Austin property manager. Costly repairs, raising rent, and more might frustrate a tenant. Some hiccups are normal. Yet, when little concerns start to develop into outright injustices that violate your rights, you might be wondering what you can do. In the rare situation that a landlord breaks the law, you should be mindful of what steps to take to protect yourself. If you feel that you’re down to the last resort, one option is to report them to the health department or housing authority. This blog post will list examples of when reporting your landlord is needed and how to do so.

Landlord Responsibilities

All landlords are responsible for providing their tenants with safe and habitable housing. This indicates that the property must be clear of health or safety hazards and be up to code. If your landlord is not abiding by these standards, you may have grounds to file a complaint.

There are two types of complaints that you can file against your landlord:

  • A health and safety complaint is filed when the property is not up to code or if there are health hazards present. Examples of health and safety violations include lead paint, mold, asbestos, lack of heat, and lack of hot water.
  • A housing quality complaint is filed when the property is not properly maintained. This can include leaky ceilings, broken elevators, and rodent infestations.

If you are unsure whether your landlord is violating the law, you can always refer to your local Landlord/Tenant Laws, health department, or housing authority to find out. They will be able to tell you what the regulations are in your area and if your landlord is following them.

Reasons to Report Your Landlord

There are multiple reasons why you might want to consider reporting your landlord. Maybe you’ve been asking them to make repairs for months, but nothing has happened. Or maybe you’re worried about a health hazard on the property. Whatever the reason, keep in mind that there are government departments that are happy to assist you.

Here are some common reasons to report your landlord:

  • Risky or unhealthy conditions on the property
  • Lack of repairs or maintenance
  • Landlord harassment
  • Illegal eviction attempts
  • Failure to provide required services, including heat or hot water

These are just a couple of examples. You can call your local health department or housing authority to know if you have a valid reason to file a complaint.

How to Report Your Landlord

If you opt to file a complaint against your landlord, there are some things you’ll need to do. First, you’ll need to collect evidence of the violation. This can include photos, witness statements, and any other documentation that you have. Afterward, you should file a complaint with your local health department or housing authority. They will investigate your claim and take action if needed.

Furthermore, you can file a civil lawsuit against your landlord. This is uncommon, but it may be necessary if the health department or housing authority isn’t able to help you.

Reporting your landlord can be an intimidating task, but it’s imperative to bear in mind that you have rights as a tenant. If your landlord isn’t giving you a safe and habitable home, you have the right to speak up. With the help of your local health department or housing authority, you can confirm that your landlord is held accountable for their actions.

One of the effective techniques to avoid a bad landlord is to rent from a reputable property management company. At Real Property Management Advisors, we pride ourselves on our excellent customer service and commitment to maintaining safe and comfortable Austin homes for our tenants. Browse our listings to learn more about our available rentals. We would be eager to assist you in choosing a safe and affordable place to call home.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

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