This letter should be sent as soon as you have performed an inspection and determined that the tenant needs to make repairs to their leased premises. Sending this letter immediately after the inspection adds credibility to the landlord’s demand that repairs need to be made immediately.
- The Notice to Tenant to Make Repairs Letter should be signed by a representative of the landlord. Make sure to keep a copy of the letter with all of your documents concerning that tenant, such as the lease and late notices or other documents. You should plan on a prompt follow-up letter, in one to two weeks, if you have not heard back from the tenant. Repairs, as most landlords know, can be contentious and difficult matters to negotiate. Some times the offer to arrange for a contractor to do the work can get it done. You have to use your best judgment in this matter—and it is not a legal one.
- This letter should be addressed to the tenant at the leased premises address. Smart landlords are obtaining email and cell numbers for their tenants. This makes for faster and easier correspondence. Many tenants will answer a text message, for example, when they hardly ever respond to email. This is especially true of younger people, more accustomed to texting, who are a large portion of the renting population. If you have other parties to the lease, such as guarantors, be sure to copy them on this letter. In particular, parents of younger tenants will tend to be much more responsive to your concerns as a landlord than the young tenant might be themselves. If the tenant is a corporation, it is more effective to address the letter to an individual known to you than to a department name.
- Remember that, to a large degree, this is a sales letter—you are trying to “sell” the tenant amicably on fixing up their place. It doesn’t hurt to start out nicely; you can get tough later, if required. However, remember, that most venues favor the tenant over the landlord so you are well advised to use encouragement more than legal tactics to get the results you want.