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How to Write a Landlord Complaint Letter
If you have a problem with your housing situation, it is important to let your landlord
know about it. The best way to do this is by sending a letter through U.S. Mail or via email
explaining the problem with details. There are good ways and bad ways to do this. Here are
some suggestions for writing an effective complaint letter.
1. Explain the problem as clearly as you can. The landlord is not going to read a
letter that goes on and on. Make your points clearly, with specific detail, as briefly as possible.
2. Be polite and respectful in your letter. Presume that your landlord will do the
right thing, operate in good faith, and behave like a professional. Set a good example for your
landlord to follow.
3. Suggest ways to resolve the problem. Tell the landlord that you want to
cooperate to reach a solution that is favorable to both of you.
4. Do not threaten to report your landlord and your problem to the City Inspector,
Yelp!, or the Better Business Bureau, or to sue the landlord. It may become necessary later on,
and that would be the time to tell the landlord.
5. Send printouts of photos with the letter if pictures would help show the landlord
exactly what the problem is. Make sure you are able to make a copy or printout of what you
send.
6. Ask the landlord to respond to you in a reasonable amount of time – remember
to be polite! A “reasonable amount of time” can vary on the urgency of the problem. Be sure
to include the best way to reach you, for example, your cell phone number, your email.
7. Make a copy of the complaint letter and anything else you are sending with it,
and keep the copy with your lease.
STUDENT LEGAL SERVICE
www.odos.illinois.edu/sls
studen[email protected]linois.edu
Resources:
Tenant Union
217-333-0112
www.tenantunion.illinois.edu
Champaign Property Maintenance - Inspections 217-403-7070
City of Champaign: www.city.champaign.il.us
Urbana Safety Division - To arrange for an inspection 217-384-2443
City of Urbana: www.city .urbana.il.us
Student Legal Service - www.odos.illinois.edu/sls 217-333-9053
A Progra
m of the Office of the Dean of Students.
Student Affairs at Illinois.
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