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How to Write Appropriate Letters to Your Landlord

Written by Kate Kemp on Wednesday, 15 December 1999 6:00 pm

If you need to contact your landlord about problems during your tenancy, the best, most effective way to do this is by sending him or her a letter requesting the changes. Just make sure that the letter you submit to your landlord will be taken seriously.

The following are excerpts from actual letters sent to landlords from Mary Haert's Good, Clean Funnies List :

"The toilet is blocked and we cannot bathe the children until it is cleared."

"This is to let you know that there is a smell coming from the man next door."

"The toilet seat is cracked: where do I stand?"

"I am writing on behalf of my sink, which is running away from the wall."

"I request your permission to remove my drawers in the kitchen."

"Our lavatory seat is broken in half and is now in three pieces."

"Will you please send someone to mend our cracked sidewalk. Yesterday my wife tripped on it and is now pregnant."

"Our kitchen floor is very damp, we have two children and would like a third, so will you please send someone to do something about it."

"Will you please send a man to look at my water, it is a funny color and not fit to drink."

"Could you please send someone to fix our bath tap. My wife got her toe stuck in it and it is very uncomfortable for us."

After the landlords who received these letters finished laughing, they had to determine what in the world their tenants could have intended to mean. While every landlord deserves a good laugh, it is still a good idea for tenants to present them with decent, well-worded requests. If you approach your landlord in a professional manner, he or she is much more likely to help you in a professional manner. If you are confused about the correct format of a letter, here are several links to samples:

These are from Washington State Tenant's Union :

For even more letters, visit The Cleveland Tenant's Organization These letters are catered to Ohio residents, but you can get an overall picture of what a letter to your landlord should look like. For specific tenant laws which apply to your state, visit

In order to avoid the embarrassment of seeing your letter in the "Good, Clean Funnies List", you need to make sure it is presented to your landlord in a professional, legible format. A messy request for changes will be pushed aside or even thrown away. Take a few minutes to turn in a nice, typed letter on good, clean paper, and save a copy for your records. Your landlord will appreciate it.

Also See:

  • Getting Your Fix: Tenants' Rights to Minor Repairs
  • 10 Tips Every Tenant Needs to Know
  • Making Sense of Your Lease
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