If you’re in the process of searching for a new apartment, one of the best ways to avoid worrying over your safety is to discuss your concerns with the landlord before signing on the dotted line. Make sure you go over every nook and cranny of the apartment with a fine toothcomb. Inspect each door and window and test every lock. Perform a detailed inspection of the outside by checking the lighting and anything else you deem as necessary. Ask the landlord questions about the neighborhood and its inhabitants and do a thorough investigation of the area.
But what if something happens after I’ve moved in?
If your safety is compromised after you’ve moved in the apartment, then you should talk to your landlord about it as soon as possible. Here are some tips to help you get your point across in the most effective way possible:
- Show your landlord where the trouble is located. Make note of fire escapes that pose a potential problem with burglaries. Point out faulty lighting in the parking lot and building corridors that you feel are a safety hazard. Don’t just tell your landlord your concerns. By showing them exactly where the problem lies, you stand a greater chance of them helping you.
- Are you handy with tools? Then ask your landlord if they will deduct a certain amount of money from your rent check if you repair the problem yourself. Yes, it should be the landlord’s job to get it done, but if you’re in a bind and want it done quicker, then this might be a feasible option, especially if it’s something simple, like replacing a broken chain or lock on your door.
- Allow a fair amount of time in between your request for your landlord to remedy the situation before doing a follow-up. Sometimes it might slip their mind, but if an extended amount of time has passed with no resolution, then by all means approach your landlord again and find out where you stand.
- Unfortunately, in some situations, you might have to resort to legal matters if your landlord isn’t willing to fix the problem. Research your renter rights and state’s laws to find out if you can withhold your rent until your landlord cooperates. No one should have to live in an unsafe environment, so if your landlord refuses to take action, then by all means take whatever legal steps you feel are necessary to get the job done.