Use This Sample Letter to Dispute Unfair Landlord Charges

Use This Free Sample Letter to Dispute Unfair Landlord Charges

Do you feel like your landlord is ripping you off? If soyou can advocate for yourself with our It's the best way, short of hiring a tenant's rights lawyer, of letting your landlord or property management company know that you aren't going to cave and let them keep your deposit — or worse, charge you for expenses beyond what your deposit covers.

While we're certain this letter template will make your landlord think twice about pursuing unethical charges, there's always the chance you might have to take them to small claims court to get your security deposit back. In any case, such a letter is the first step in escalating landlord-tenant conflicts.

If, after reading this article, you still feel you're in over your head, don't worry! DoNotPay can draft a letter disputing unfair landlord charges on your behalf. 

Use This Template to Dispute Withholding of Your Security Deposit

You don't have to be a real estate lawyer to draft a solid . All you have to do is be firm, professional, detailed, and direct. Let the following sample letter inspire your own, and get your rental deposit back:


Dear (Landlord or property management contact):

On (date), you issued a deposit refund for (amount of check). My initial deposit was (amount). I am disputing those charges, as I left the apartment in the condition required by the lease as signed on (date).

If you do not provide adequate proof that justifies the damages or follow-up cleaning expenses by (give a deadline), I will be forced to take this matter to small claims court.

You may contact me by email or postal mail at the following addresses.


(Your signed name)

(Your printed name)

(Your postal mail and email addresses)

What if You're Being Unfairly Charged for Monthly Fees? 

Sometimes, seemingly out of the blue, landlords will add fees to your monthly rent. This is almost always a violation of your lease, but your landlord is counting on you not being confident in your negotiation skills or being afraid of getting evicted for putting your foot down. Some of the line items your landlord might tack onto your monthly rent include:

FeesCommonly added fees include:

  • Groundskeeping fees
  • Pet fees (including a special deposit or addition to your rent)
  • Fees for security upgrades
  • Fees for tenant or guest parking
FinesCommonly added fines for minor violations include:

  • Not picking up pet waste
  • Parking in unauthorized spaces
  • Noise after restricted hours
  • Unapproved outdoor decorations or patio furniture

If you did not sign a new lease or rental agreement that addresses extra fees imposed after you signed your original lease, and you were not violating the terms of your lease, you are not obligated to pay.

Here is a letter you can send to let your landlord know you are aware of your rights and that you intend to protect them:

Sample Letter Disputing Unfair Monthly Fees


Dear (landlord)

I am writing to object to the (title of fees) you have added to my monthly rent. Having reviewed my lease, I do not see any accommodation for these charges. As they effectively change the rental fees we agreed on upon signing on (date), and it appears you are charging for services already included in our rental agreement, it is not in my best interest to submit payment. I am also hereby objecting to any funds being withheld from my security deposit as a result of these fees.

I trust that, upon further consideration, you agree that these charges were made in error. If not, please contact me in writing at the address below with the excerpt from our lease that justifies these unexpected fees. If we continue to disagree with the terms of the lease, we can explore the next steps.


(Your signature)

(Your printed name)

(Your contact email or postal address)

Where to Go to Get Help With Landlord Disputes

If you want to know more about tenant rights, you'd like to find an attorney to help you, or you simply want a service to draft the letter or even file a small claims suit on your behalf, you have options. Here are three:

  1. Find a local tenant advocacy group through National Housing Law Project, Right to the City, or National Alliance of HUD Tenants.
  2. Find a local tenant rights lawyer through FindLaw.
  3. Get help right here from DoNotPay.

How to Dispute Unfair Landlord Charges With DoNotPay

DoNotPay is here to guide you through your tenant issues and file your disputes on your behalf. If you feel you're being unfairly charged by your landlord, 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. Also, our Landlord Protection product can help you:

Why Let DoNotPay Write Your Letter Disputing Unfair Landlord Charges

We're the perfect compromise between going up against your landlord on your own and hiring an expensive lawyer to represent you. In just a few steps, we can send a letter disputing unfair charges, file a lawsuit in small claims court, or even file a complaint against your landlord with local authorities and advocacy boards. 

DoNotPay Doesn't Just Provide Tenant Support

Among hundreds of other services DoNotPay provides, we can help you with the following, and much more: 

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