How to Write a Landlord Complaint Letter

If you have a problem with your housing situation, it is important to let your landlord know about it. The best way to do this is by sending a letter through U.S. Mail or via email explaining the problem with details. There are good ways and bad ways to do this. Here are some suggestions for writing an effective complaint letter.

  1. Explain the problem as clearly as you can. The landlord is not going to read a letter that goes on and on. Make your points clearly, with specific detail, as briefly as possible.
  2. Be polite and respectful in your letter. Presume that your landlord will do the right thing, operate in good faith, and behave like a professional. Set a good example for your landlord to follow.
  3. Suggest ways to resolve the problem. Tell the landlord that you want to cooperate to reach a solution that is favorable to both of you.
  4. Do not threaten to report your landlord and your problem to the City Inspector, Yelp!, or the Better Business Bureau, or to sue the landlord. It may become necessary later on, and that would be the time to tell the landlord.
  5. Send printouts of photos with the letter if pictures would help show the landlord exactly what the problem is. Make sure you are able to make a copy or printout of what you send.
  6. Ask the landlord to respond to you in a reasonable amount of time – remember to be polite! A “reasonable amount of time” can vary on the urgency of the problem. Be sure to include the best way to reach you, for example, your cell phone number, your email.
  7. Make a copy of the complaint letter and anything else you are sending with it, and keep the copy with your lease.


A Short Sample Letter

(Date you are sending the letter, Ex: September 1, 2014)

Name of Landlord or Landlord’s Business
Address of Landlord or Landlord’s Business
City, State Zip Code

Dear (Name of Landlord or Landlord’s Business):

I am a tenant of yours, living at 123 Landlord Ave., Apt. 1, Champaign, IL. I have been living here since August 15, 2014.

I am having a problem in my apartment, in that the faucet in the bathroom sink is leaking, and I can’t make it stop.

This is making it difficult for me because when it leaks, it makes noise and also uses more water than if it didn’t. I also think that it is probably causing some wear and tear on your plumbing equipment, and it would be in everyone’s best interest to make it stop.

Could you please send someone out to look at this so that it can be repaired or replaced as necessary? I look forward to hearing from you very soon.

I can be contacted by phone at this number: (your phone number) and by email at: (your email address).

Thank you very much.


(your signature here)

(Your typed or printed name here)