How to deal with a terrible landlord

apartmentThere are few things more exciting than moving into a new home. Stressful but exciting. You spend time deciding where everything is going to go. You unpack while imagining how your life there will play out. And you mission out to explore your new neighbourhood. It’s an amazing experience in the beginning.

And if you’re lucky, the rest of your stay in your new home will also be an amazing experience. For the unlucky few, however, renting a property can turn into a nightmare if they have a bad landlord. Your landlord is in charge of making sure your space is liveable and if they don’t do their job, you could end up hating the place you live.

So, if you’re finding that your landlord isn’t doing their job, here are some ways to deal with the situation.

Make a list of all the problems

Write down every issue you have with the house or flat and what needs to be fixed. Don’t leave the small things out because they could turn into big problems eventually. Send that list to your landlord via email. If they don’t respond, phone them. You may find that they’re really busy and they need to be reminded. Of course, you shouldn’t have to contact them repeatedly. You pay good money in order to live on their property and they should make sure that everything is in working order.

Speak to other tenants to see if they have the same problem

If your landlord owns more than one property or owns the whole block of flats, make an effort to speak to their other tenants. Ask whether everything is in working order in their home and whether they’ve been able to contact your landlord when things have gone wrong in the past. You may find that your landlord is usually very good but is having other issues at present.

Consider all your options

You could get someone in to fix the problems yourself and send your landlord the bill. But with that action you may run the risk that they won’t reimburse you. If you find that you can’t live in the flat or house anymore, it may be time to start looking at other places in your price range. Take a look at the South African Consumer Protection Act and see if you can get out of your lease. Life’s too short to live uncomfortably.