Giving Your Landlord Notice
Tenant rights violations may occur for a number of reasons and can vary in severity. The following steps serve as a general guideline for how to proceed if your rights have been violated:
Step 1: Record the Incident
Always keep detailed records. Write down the day and approximate times that the incident(s) occurred, who was responsible for the violation and a summary of what occurred. Make copies of any letters or forms you write or receive and keep those on hand as well.
You should also keep notes of any conversations and phone calls about the request for repairs. During, or immediately after each conversation, the tenant should write down the date and time of the conversation, what both parties said, and the date and time that the tenant made the notes.
Step 2: Contact Your Landlord Verbally
Even if your landlord is the same person who violated your rights, he or she is the first person you should speak to. Make sure your landlord knows how your rights were violated and what your landlord can do to fix the situation. Keep a log of any verbal conversations you have with your landlord and any other person who is involved in the dispute.
Step 3: Notify Your Landlord in Writing
If your issue is not resolved after your verbal conversation with your landlord, send a notice in the form of a typed or handwritten letter. The letter should describe in detail the problem and the repairs or remedies that are required. The tenant should sign and date the letter and keep a copy.
Do not send a letter by e-mail or fax.
The laws on repairs specify that the tenant may only give the landlord notice orally or via typed or handwritten letter.
To be certain that the notice complies with the law, the tenant should follow up any e-mailed or faxed notice with a typed or handwritten letter.
The typed or handwritten letter should be sent to the landlord, manager, or agent by certified mail (return receipt requested).
The tenant may also personally deliver the notice to the landlord, manager, or agent. The tenant should ask for a signed and dated receipt showing that the notice was received, or ask the landlord to date and sign (or initial) the tenant's copy of the letter to show that the landlord received the notice.
Whatever the method of delivery, it's important that the tenant have proof that the landlord, or the landlord's manager or agent, received the notice.
Always keep a copy of the letter and the receipt.
Important: Neither the tenant nor the landlord can tape record a telephone conversation without the other party's permission