When a rental property needs repairs, the tenant should first request that the landlord make those repairs. The tenant should ask the landlord about any specific procedures for making repair requests at the lease signing. If the landlord has a procedure for repair requests, the tenant should submit the request through that procedure. This procedure will vary from landlord to landlord – some landlords will prefer that the tenant calls maintenance directly, some will prefer that the tenant submits a written request, some will have a particular maintenance form for the tenant to use. The tenant should find out how the landlord wants to receive repair requests and use that procedure. The tenant should always keep a copy of any written request for repairs.
No matter how the landlord prefers to receive requests, the tenant should follow up that request with a letter. This letter should simply document the conversation or message where the tenant requested the repair. The tenant should keep a copy of this letter and send a copy to the landlord. If the landlord fails to make the repair in a reasonable time, the tenant may take additional steps to cause the landlord to make the repairs. These steps are described in 14-Day/30-Day Notice to the Landlord and Local Code Enforcement.
Click here for a sample repair request letter.