1. Document and Report
Get organized! You should always report repair problems to your landlord in writing. Whenever possible, include a photo of the repair problem or a video. If you speak to your landlord on the phone, follow up with an email, text or letter describing the repair problem and anything your landlord agreed to do. Here is a sample letter you can use, but you can also text or email your landlord instead.
2. Request an Inspection
Inspections can bring attention to repair issues and pressure your landlord to make repairs. All tenants can ask for an L+I inspection by calling 311. Some tenants can also ask PHA to inspect.
3. Withhold Rent or Repair & Deduct
For serious repairs, tenants may have the right to withhold hold their rent or repair & deduct. Public housing tenants should ask for a grievance hearing before exercising these rights.
4. File a Complaint
If your landlord retaliates for requesting repairs, you can file a complaint with the Fair Housing Commission. If you live in PHA or PAPMC public housing, you can request a Grievance Hearing.
Common Repair Issues
In addition to the steps above, there are specific laws and procedures to address lead, bedbugs and heat issues.