Is Your Landlord Overcharging For Repairs?

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

Is Your Landlord Overcharging For Repairs?

Renting your home is a great option for many individuals and families. One of the benefits of renting is that many repairs are not your responsibility. However, when it comes to repairs and money, some landlords engage in unethical practices. If you believe your , DoNotPay can help.

Who Is Responsible for Repairs?

Laws vary by state and jurisdiction, so it's important to understand local laws and tenant rights, as well as your lease terms.

Landlord ResponsibilitiesWhile laws vary by state, you'll generally find some variation of an implied warranty of habitability. This means that your landlord is responsible for repairs that will help maintain basic plumbing and running water, sewage disposal, heating and other necessities.

The implied warranty may come from state and local ordinances, or it may also come from court decisions. Repairs that should often fall under habitability include gas leaks, hot water heaters, furnaces, pest/vermin control etc., that provide fit and habitable conditions.

Tenant ResponsibilitiesDamages that are caused by the renter, guests, and pets will typically be the responsibility of the tenant. Even if your landlord fixes the problem, you will likely be on the hook for the charges.

However, some landlords will try to take advantage of tenants and overcharge for services or sneak other repairs into the charges.

How to Protect Yourself From Your Landlord Overcharging for Repairs

If you believe your , there are several things you can do.

  1. Understand the law. Review your state's landlord/tenancy laws and how an implied warranty of habitability affects the specific repairs you need.
  2. Read your lease. Make sure you are within your rights to request certain repairs be covered for free, or that you are not responsible for the specific repairs yourself.
  3. Do the repairs yourself. If your lease allows, and/or you have permission from the landlord or rental agency, you may be able to do repairs yourself for less than it would cost for your landlord to repair them or hire someone. Be careful to document the process because causing more damage will likely be on you.
  4. Document everything. Take photographs of the damage/issue before the landlord assesses. Also, take photographs before you move in, before inspections, and when you move out. Do walk-throughs with the landlord whenever possible. Document conversations you have had with your landlord regarding repairs, and try to communicate in writing whenever possible.
  5. Request an Itemized List - An itemized list will break down the cost of all supplies and fees. This will allow you to make sure they are replacing parts with like-kind and not upgrading at your expense, charging you for nonessential repairs or repairs that would have fallen under habitable warranty.
  6. Request advice or file complaints. If you need further assistance, start making calls. If your repairs are being handled by a property manager, call your landlord or the rental agency. Call your local tenant advocacy agency/organization for advice. If you are in Section 8 housing, contact the Multifamily Housing Complaint Line by calling (800) MULTI-70 (800) 685-8470) / TTY (800) 432-2209.
  7. Consider contacting an attorney. If you find out your landlord has been charging too much for repairs and/or that it has been happening to other tenants, a local attorney can advise you on specific rights and if you should try suing your landlord in small claims court. However, this course of action can become expensive.

Let DoNotPay Help You if Your Landlord is Overcharging for Repairs

If your landlord is overcharging for repairs, but you don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 4 easy steps:

  1. Search for and open the Landlord Protection product on DoNotPay.

  2. Select which issue applies to you.

  3. Answer a simple set of questions, so our chatbot can collect the necessary information to create your demand letter.

  4. Choose whether you want DoNotPay to send the demand letter to your landlord or roommate on your behalf. If you already tried sending a demand letter, and it didn't work, we can help you start the small claims court process.

And that's it! You should hear back from your landlord directly once your demands are sent.

Why Use DoNotPay?

DoNotPay offers fast, easy and successful services. We know it can be difficult and tedious dealing with certain landlords, but we have a history of resolving issues quickly and efficiently on your behalf.

DoNotPay has consistently shown:

  • They put their customers first
  • They think outside of the box
  • They want to create products that serve as many needs as possible

In fact, DoNotPay is here to guide you through all types of rental and landlord issues, and we can help you:

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