How to Handle a Dispute With Your Landlord

Sometimes people can be hard to get along with, be they your boss, coworker, spouse, parent or friend. Sometimes we ourselves are the difficult one to get along with! However there are many ways for solving interpersonal problems and diffusing tough situations you might find yourself in. If you find yourself having a dispute with your landlord there are a few tips and things you can do to make sure your problems are solved in a constructive manner.

As with any stressful conversation make sure to set up a time with your landlord to meet face to face about the problem you are having. The bigger problem the more important it is to have a one-on-one conversation rather than hastily send an angry email or text that could be misunderstood and make things worse. Make sure to remain calm and collected while explaining the issue you are having with your landlord.

If you are concerned about a potential breach of the lease or other legal issue with your landlord, consider contacting a lawyer if only to ask questions concerning your issue. Always keep detailed documents regarding your lease and rental, and maintain records (at least notes) of conversations you have had with your landlord in the past or regarding the dispute. Do research on local laws relating to landlord / tenant relationships to insure your position in the dispute.

Be prepared to hear your landlord's side of the story. Whatever your dispute may be, it might be absolutely unintentional. Kindly pointing out your problem may open your landlord's eyes to a problem they did not know exhausted and, when handled in the right way, could allow for a peaceful resolution to the dispute. You must also be willing to admit that you might be at fault in the dispute- every story does often have two sides, after all.

If you are unsure of how you or your landord could talk face to face without losing either of your cools, consider a third party mediator who can keep the peace. This does not have to be a lawyer, but neither should it be anyone with any vested interest in the dispute (another tenant or a friend of the landlord, for instance). Make sure a mediator is unbiased and fair if brought into a dispute.

Be fair. Your landlord is hopefully willing to work with you to resolve the dispute. Some landlords will balk during a confrontation; if you feel as though you have tried to come to a resolution to your dispute and your landlord is not helping, then feel free to seek advice or action from a lawyer.

Another option is to have a dispute resolution hearing- this is a special session designed to solve problems between landlords and tenants. A dispute resolution officer can review any supporting documents you have provided (like a lease agreement, repair receipts, etc) and base their decision off of local Residential Tenancy Acts.

No one wants to argument with their landlord, however; if you are having significant problems and need to resolve a dispute, hopefully these tips will come in handy.