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Filing a complaint

Moving out but don't want this to happen to someone else

RichP writes 

"I recently visited my son to help him pack up and relocate from a home he had been renting for the last year.  It appears his landlord just simply covered up a lot of damages to get the place rented and took advantage of his age and inexperience.  They installed a drop ceiling in the kitchen to cover the water damage.  There is an open electrical outlet laying under the kitchen sink with leaking pipes.  He went months without heating/air conditioning due to not having duct work installed, he went weeks without a functioning toilet/shower.....the response provided to calls about the plumbing was get your rent caught up and I'll send a plumber.   I'm disgusted that my son lived in those conditions for so long.  It's unhealthy and unsafe.   Any recommendations you might have on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated."

Some suggestions:
1.  Make a report to the local code enforcement agency in the community where the property is located.  This may just be an exercise in "locking the barn after the horse is stolen" but it could be (in some communities) a trigger for the inspection department to take a look at the unit before the unit is re rented.  You never know until you try.
2.  You may want to make an on line "review" of the property.  The simple way is to google the name or address of the property and then see if there's a review page offered.
3.  You may want to file a complaint with Better Business Bureau in the city where the property is located.  Every once in a while a homeseeker will check BBB listings before renting. 
4.  If your son is/was a college student you may want to report your concerns to the Student Housing office.  Sometimes they will investigate and black list owners who are renting substandard units.
5.  Get your son some basic info on renters rights.  I'm attaching a copy of RHINO's brochure on Ohio.  If he's in another state use google to find renter rights info for that state.
 The basics
Once the tenant is out of the property, there's really no sure fire way to get landlord to make improvements

What's going on?
  • Contacting "reputable" agencies that might investigate is safe and legal
  • Writing an on line review may be effective if you are objective and not "sour grapes."
  • If you (or your family member) are renting in the same community, there could be a risk of being "blacklisted" as a complainer.  Again-being objective is the best defense.

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