If you are renting a home or apartment, you have likely had problems and issues with your landlord before. If you’ve ever had repair or safety issues in the property you are renting and needed to report those issues to your landlord, this sample landlord-tenant letter will get you started. If you need help with landlord-tenant issues or just have a question, do not hesitate to schedule an initial consultation (don’t worry - it’s free).

It’s common to need repairs and maintenance to your unit after you move in. Maybe the heater stops working or a pipe is leaking or a door lock is broken. Unfortunately, it’s also common for landlords to ignore or refuse to make those repairs without a little prodding. Click here to see a list of the repairs your landlord is required to make in your unit according to North Carolina law.

Getting your landlord to act.

Often, in order to get your landlord to make your repairs, you will need to create a paper trail, which will show that you understand your rights under the law and won’t be taken advantage of. First, contact your landlord either by telephone, text, email, or meet them in person to report your issue.

Once that is done (or after you’ve left messages), then send a signed and dated letter to your landlord. The letter can be typed or handwritten. MAKE SURE TO KEEP A COPY. You might need a copy of that letter to show the Court later if things don’t improve. If you are able, send your letter certified mail (just ask the clerk at the post office) because it will provide proof that you did send it. A sample letter (feel free to copy!) can be found below:


[Landlord Name]

[Landlord address]

Dear [Landlord name]:

I live at [insert address and unit #]. This letter is a reminder of my request and written notice that my unit is in need of necessary repairs. Specifically, [describe issues in your unit]. This has been a problem in my unit since [insert approximate date]. I am keeping a copy of this letter as evidence that it was sent to you. Please contact me to schedule those repairs as soon as possible.


[Sign here]

[Write your name]

What If My Landlord refuses to make repairs?

If you landlord refuses to make repairs after you’ve notified them of the problems and sent a signed and dated letter, you have two choices: 1) sue your landlord in small claims court or 2) notify your landlord in writing of your intent to move out. Neither process is easy, and we recommend talking to a lawyer before trying them.

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