What to Do If Your Landlord Breaks the Law

What to Do If Your Landlord Breaks the Law

Landlords and tenants have rights and responsibilities, but when your landlord breaks the law, it may seem like he or she has the upper hand. This is because most experienced landlords know how to navigate the legal system when it comes to landlord-tenant disputes. They've likely had at least one issue with another tenant, and their business model likely includes lawyers and contingency plans for inevitable legal conflict.

Therefore, a tenant may feel helpless when filing a complaint or handling a dispute. That is why you, as a tenant, must know .

Landlord Laws

Landlords can break the law just like any other person, but when it comes to their position as a landlord, there are some basic laws by which they must abide. Things your landlord might do that breaks the law are: 

  • Not making repairs
  • Increasing rent during a lease
  • Selling the property without proper notice
  • Surprise visits
  • Asking about national origin, children, or romantic partners (see Fair Housing Act)
  • Retaliation due to complaint
  • Refusal to refund deposits without reason

Both the landlord and the tenant must understand their legal obligations and rights, so they can make sure those rights are not taken away when someone acts illegally. Landlords can easily break the law and get away with it if the tenant is not informed.

Reasons Landlords Might Break the Law

Why does anyone break the law? This rhetorical question is meant to point out the fact that there are countless reasons a landlord might break the law. Many of the reasons in a landlord-tenant dispute are fairly basic. The landlord:

  1. Does not like the tenant for personal reasons
  2. Wants to sell the property
  3. Doesn't have the money available to return the deposit
  4. Suspects illegal activities or property damage and decide to inspect without notice
  5. Upset with a tenant over property complaints

The reasons that landlords break the law are typically straightforward, with obvious intent. That doesn't make it right, and tenants deserve an easy pathway to safe and fair housing.

What You Can Do if Your Landlord Breaks the Law

If your landlord breaks the law, it can be difficult to handle the situation on your own. If they aren't aware that they are breaking the law, it might be simple to send the landlord a letter explaining the law and wait for a response. If it is an accident, the landlord might be able to resolve the issue, and you can both go on with your lives without a dispute. This isn't typically what happens.

Usually, the landlord is aware of the law and tries to circumvent it through avoidance or deception. This is when the courts have to get involved. If a tenant does this without a lawyer, it might be impossible. The cost of a lawyer may seem daunting, but it is the only way to ensure you get justice.

How to Report a Landlord on Your Own

Type of complaintWhere to callContact information
General landlord complaintsHousing and Urban Development (HUD)1-800-685-8470
Housing discriminationOffice of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity1-800-669-9777
Improper living conditionsYour local health departmentLook up your local health department’s contact number

Knowing where to report your landlord is a complicated task, and even if it’s done properly, the issue still may not be handled. A tenant who wants to efficiently handle the law-breaking landlord should enlist the help of informed resources.

Next Steps if You Cannot Do It Yourself

DoNotPay is here to guide you through  and file your disputes on your behalf. Our Landlord Protection product can help you:

  1. Get back your security deposits
  2. Learn about your state's eviction laws and what protections apply in your case
  3. Resolve disputes regarding repairs with your landlord
  4. Resolve disputes with roommates by filing demand letters or going through small claims court
  5. Break your lease early

How to Get Help With Your Landlord Issues Using DoNotPay

If you know you need to confront your landlord about breaking the law but 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.

Solve Landlord Breaking the Law Concerns With the Help of DoNotPay

Using DoNotPay to solve problems with your landlord breaking the law is quick, easy, and successful with the help of DoNotPay. The online application is powered by artificial intelligence that easily delivers local knowledge and facilitates communication to handle landlord-tenant disputes.

Tenants deserve legal recourse when their landlords break the law, and DoNotPay provides a path for communicating with and reporting landlords who don't abide by their responsibilities. This removes much of the stress and frustration from the process, and it brings the end of the dispute to a closer timeframe.

More Solutions to Your Landlord or Tenant Problems

DoNotPay can help you with many other rental issues, such as:

More Problems? DoNotPay Has More Solutions

DoNotPay uses the wealth of information gathered by its artificial intelligence to handle many problems that might plague a person's life, and it offers solutions that are much quicker than solving the problem on your own. Some of these issues include:

Sign up for DoNotPay today, and make sure you are treated fairly as a tenant.

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