Problems Faced By Tenants | Common Rental Problems And Solutions:

  • By: Peter Parker
  • Time to read: 6 min.

All of us love to live in our own homes with no monthly rental payments and no landlord issuing directions on how to live in the property.

But there are many circumstances that may force one to live in a rented house. 

Living in a rented house is not an easy job as you have to follow all the rules and regulations of the landlord, honor the lease terms, pay rent and utility charges and also take responsibility for maintenance tasks. 

Tenants can face several challenging scenarios ranging from tough landlords who refuse to maintain the habitability of the house to landlords interfering in their lives and sexual violence and abuse.

If you are a first-time tenant, here are some of the common renting problems and solutions. 

Problems Faced By Tenants with all rental properties:

1. The landlord refuses to maintain the property 

It is the responsibility of the landlord to maintain the rental home in a habitable condition.

The landlord has to ensure that the house is safe to live in and adheres to local safety, health, and structural standards.

The landlord has to ensure that you have access to basic facilities such as 

  • Safety equipment such as smoke detectors, fire alarms, etc.
  • Hot and cold water
  • Heat and air conditioning
  • Plumbing
  • Electricity
  • Garbage removal
  • Pest control 

Some landlords may refuse to fulfill their responsibility of maintenance, which may affect the safety of the house and your own safety. 

2. The landlord does not provide notice before entering the property

Tenants have the right to quiet enjoyment of the home. Your Landlord or any other party cannot enter the house without your permission.

The landlord can only enter the property without permission during emergencies or when the landlord has enough reasons to believe that you have abandoned the property without returning the keys. 

3. Disagreement over the security deposit 

Landlords collect security deposits from the tenants to protect their property and ensure that they follow the lease terms.

However, the security deposit is one of the leading causes of landlord-tenant disputes.

There can be disagreement over the amount of the deposit, interest on the security deposit, allowed deductions, and other issues. 

The landlords return the security deposit when the lease term expires and you vacate the property.

You can expect to receive the full amount paid as a deposit if you have not damaged the property, returned the property in the same condition as you received, and have not broken any lease terms. 

4. The landlord does not give permission to customize the house

We all want our living space to reflect our personality and taste, but doing this can be problematic in a rented house.

Landlords place several restrictions on renovation activities such as changing paints, hanging art and picture frames, putting up wallpaper, etc. as they do not want tenants to damage the property. 

5. Restrictions on guests 

One of the common complaints of tenants is the unfair guest policy.

Some landlords restrict the number of guests that can be in the house and the time period for which guests can stay, and may impose additional charges for guests.

You may also need to take the permission of the landlord before having guests. 

6. Unfair evictions 

The landlord cannot evict a tenant without valid reasons.

Even when there is a reason such as damage to the property, non-payment of rent, etc, the landlord has to issue an eviction notice before proceeding with the eviction process.

However, some landlords do not follow the procedure and evict the tenants forcibly for unfair reasons such as having a service animal, being of a certain gender, etc. 

7. The landlord does not provide furniture or appliances mentioned in the lease 

The lease document contains a detailed list of all the furniture and appliances provided by the landlord.

Sometimes, the list does not match the actual furniture and appliances on-site.

Some landlords also give cheaper appliances and furniture than that mentioned in the lease. This puts the tenants in a fix and leads to landlord-tenant disputes. 

8. Unresponsive landlords

Unreachable and unresponsive landlords are the most common problem faced by tenants.

Clear communication is the key to a good landlord-tenant relationship but when the landlord does not hear from the tenants or fails to communicate properly with the tenants, there can be disputes over petty issues. 

9. Noisy neighbors 

When you rent a property, you have the right to enjoy it in peace. However, noisy neighbors can disturb the peace and cause unnecessary problems.

The problem of noisy neighbors is even greater if you live in an apartment.

10. Maintenance of the common areas

Maintenance of common areas such as staircases, lawns, garden areas, parking spaces, etc. is the responsibility of the landlord.

Most tenants complain about the lack of maintenance of these common areas, which affects their quality of life in the rented house.

For example, an unkempt garden can attract pests and impact your safety. 

11. Pets 

Pets are a topic of heated debate between landlords and tenants.

While tenants with pets complain of a strict pet policy that does not allow pets or restricts the number of pets, others complain about the disturbance and noise caused due to allowing pets.

Disputes among tenants due to pets are most common in apartment complexes and cluster houses that share common areas. 

Rental Problems with the landlord. What to do?

While rental problems seem to be a big deal, they can be easily solved with an open mindset and clear communication.

Understand the terms of the lease, and brief yourself on the federal, state, and local housing laws to know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. 

Here are some ways to solve rental problems with the landlord

1. Study the lease document closely before signing

Go through the rental lease closely and understand all the terms and conditions.

Go through the different clauses such as the pet policy, guest policy, maintenance responsibilities, security deposit, rent and utility charges, and lease term.

If there are any points of conflict, discuss them with the landlord or the property agent and clear them before signing the lease. 

2. Physically inspect the property before moving in

Inspect the property physically and verify whether all the furniture and appliances mentioned in the lease are provided by the landlord.

Take notes about their condition and take photographs, wherever possible. 

3. Always file written complaints

Notify the landlord immediately if there are any repair and maintenance issues. The landlord is responsible to take care of the repairs that are brought to his notice.

Write a written complaint and keep a copy of all the correspondence for the record. 

4. Do not undertake any improvements without the landlord’s permission

The rental home is the property of the landlord. You have to take the permission of the landlord before making any improvements to the house.

This will not only avoid conflict but also help you to protect your security deposit. 

5. Solve problems with neighbors amicably

The landlord cannot do much about noisy and disturbing neighbors, especially if they are not his tenants.

You can directly talk to the neighbors and solve the issues instead of repeatedly complaining to the landlord. 

6. Know your rights

The federal, state and local housing laws bestow many rights to the tenants. 

Tenant’s have the right against discrimination from the landlord, the right to enjoy the property peacefully, the right to privacy, and the right to a habitable home.

If the actions of the landlord encroach on any of your rights, you can take them to a court of law. 

There are many problems tenants face while living in a rented home. Some of them are simple while others are critical and need immediate action.

Most of the problems with the landlord can be easily resolved if you have open communication. It is significant to read and understand the lease terms to know what you are getting into.

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