excerpted from findlaw.com
In our October newsletter we addressed tenants access to habitable rental property, what a landlord may and may not be responsible for and ways for addressing any issues that arise. This month we finish off the short series of what to do in a worst case scenario – when a landlord is not responsive to your requests for repair, assistance and relief.
There are often a number of free or low-cost mediation services that specialize in landlord-tenant relations. If your written request fails to get the repair done, you may want to seek out one of these mediation services. The service will get in touch with your landlord and invite him to come sit down with a neutral mediator to come to a resolution.
Report your landlord.
There are often situations where a minor problem is actually a violation of some building or housing code. In these situations, if you have not had luck with the prior two tips, you may want to contact your local authority. These agencies can come out and inspect the problem and contact or fine the landlord regarding the issue.
Bring a lawsuit against your landlord.
If nothing has worked, your last resort may likely be to bring a lawsuit against your landlord. In order to win your suit, you will need to prove that the problem resulted in a rental property that was not up to the value of the paid rent. If you can do so and win your suit, the judge will award you the difference between the rent you paid and the rent that should have been charged based on the condition of the rental property. However, a lawsuit will most likely end any good relationship you may have with your landlord, which is why it should always be a last resort.
Code Enforcement Division at City Hall, 419 Fulton Street, Room 300, (309) 494-8654 or peoriacares.org.