- A tenant may file a written complaint for the purpose of attempting resolution of a dispute or for the purpose of informing other tenants about problems or experiences he/she has had with a landlord.
- A valid complaint must be related to the landlord’s contractual or legal obligations.
- Tenant Union staff will encourage tenants to attempt resolution of a dispute on their own prior to filing a complaint.
- When a written complaint is filed, a copy of the complaint and a Reply To Complaint Form, along with a cover letter will be sent to the landlord against whom the complaint is made. A response within seven days is requested. Landlords are encouraged to respond in writing if they wish to have their side of the story reflected in the complaint file.
- Any person requesting information about the complaint history of a landlord will be provided the following information which is recorded in writing on Complaint Record forms:
- The number of complaints filed against the landlord each year for the past five years;
- The nature of each complaint filed;
- The landlord’s response, if any, to the complaint;
- The ultimate resolution of the dispute, if known.
- After a complaint is sent to a landlord and a reply is requested, whether or not a reply is received, the complaint will not be placed in the public file of complaints against landlords until seven days after written notice is sent to the landlord informing him/her that the complaint will be summarized and placed in the file.
- A written complaint will NOT be placed in the file if the Tenant Union finds that the nature of the complaint is not related to the contractual or legal obligations of the landlord or the complaint has no factual basis.
- A complaint cannot be withdrawn or removed from the record unless:
- All issues of the complaint are resolved to the tenant’s satisfaction within 48 hours after the complaint was sent to the landlord and the tenant appears in person at the Tenant Union office to verify that: 1) all matters were resolved within that time period, 2) the tenant’s request is made of his or her own free will, without coercion or threats from the landlord and 3) the landlord did not require withdrawal of the complaint as a condition for resolution of the complaint.
- The tenant who filed the complaint contacts the Tenant Union after the lease has ended, the deposit has been refunded and all other matters between the landlord and the tenant have been resolved and verifies that the request to withdraw the complaint is made of his or her own free will without coercion or threats from the landlord and that the landlord did not require agreement to withdraw the complaint as a condition for resolution of the complaint.
- The purpose of providing this complaint information to the public is to provide tenants with a method for communicating with each other from year to year about their rental housing problems and experiences.
The names of tenants who file complaints are not released to the public. Only the landlord will be told the name of a tenant who files a complaint against him or her.
The Tenant Union maintains a policy of protecting the confidentiality of all contacts with tenants; however, this confidentiality is not protected by law. Unlike in an attorney-client or physician-patient relationship, a housing counselor can be called to testify in court about contacts with clients. For this reason, the Tenant Union does not maintain files for any client contacts other than those that involve the filing of a written complaint which the tenant agrees to have sent to the landlord.
Most people who come to the Tenant Union about problems ask for advice but do not file complaints. If you are having a problem, but do not wish to file a complaint against your landlord, you can be confident that your contact with us is confidential.
The Tenant Union does not provide legal services of any kind. All information provided in this publication is intended to help the average person prevent problems and deal with common concerns of renting. When legal help is needed, always consult with an attorney at law.