Handling a Tenant Complaint Letter to the Landlord

Tenants that pay their rent on time and tenants that owe you rent do not make any difference in the eyes of the law. In other words if you receive a letter of complaint from a tenant that is always on time with their rent and a letter of complaint from a tenant that owes you rent you are bound by law to respond to them both and ACT on them both.

Just because a tenant owes rent it does not mean that you do not have to respond to the complaint letter as a matter of fact if you do not respond to the complaint letter than you are actually putting yourself at greater risk of not being able to collect any rent that is in arrears from the tenant.

The Process

Once a tenant informs you that there is an issue within the space they rent it is your due diligence to check on the complaint. There are certain complaints that cannot wait to be addressed and you have a very short suspense time frame to address the complaint. Other complaints you have more time to address.

Heat in the winter, broken pipes, gas issues, electrical issues all have to be addressed within a very short period of time. Please also note that EMAIL can be considered official correspondence if the tenant has the presence of mind to ask for a read receipt.


When you receive a letter of complaint to the landlord the first thing to do is acknowledge receipt. Once you have acknowledged receipt review the complaint decide if it is something that can wait like painting the bathroom or the need for carpet replacement or if it is something you need to do something about right away like faulty electrical issues or a leaking pipe (beyond a faucet).

You should respond in writing so that everyone is clear and on the same page. Always keep everything on the professional level and clear and to the point. If it is something that can wait that means something that does not threaten the health of the tenant or the property than you can state that in the response.

The Most Important Thing to Remember

The most important thing to remember is that you have to respond! Responding to a complaint is an absolute necessity if you don’t you is putting your rent at risk AND you can be hit with violations.
Posted on Jul 04, 2014


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