Tenant's Request for Repairs Letter

If it’s been difficult trying to get your landlord to make repairs, or you just want to make a formal request, this letter will serve that purpose. This letter is designed for serious issues in need of repair at the rental property, but may also be used for any repair request. One important item to note is that a tenant can give notice of a “necessary” repair and a landlord is required to make those repairs within “reasonable” time. “Reasonable time is usually 30 days, per California Civil Code Section 1942. However, if the condition is serious enough, “reasonable” time may be much shorter. For example, if there is no hot water, “reasonable” time may be just two to three days. What if the hot water heater broke down on Saturday night? There may not be a plumber available to repair the water heater. This letter is designed to notify a landlord who has past “reasonable” time, and clearly fails to get repairs done when they should.

Download letter as fillable PDF

Timmy Tenant
1234 Somewhere St.
Los Angeles, CA 90000


Lucy Landlord
789 Nowhere St.
Los Angeles, CA 90000

Via U.S.P.S. Certified Mail with Return Receipt


Dear Ms. Landlord:
Please allow this letter to serve as formal notice of request for repairs at the property located at _____________________________________________________________________ (property address). Since my previous request by telephone on __________________ (date of previous request), there has been no action taken to repair the following:
1. ______________________________________________________________________________
2. ______________________________________________________________________________
3. ______________________________________________________________________________
4. ______________________________________________________________________________

Under Civil Code § 1942, these requested repairs are “dilapidations rendering the premises untenantable,” and you as the landlord have so far neglected to repair. If a landlord neglects to repair dilapidations within a reasonable time (30 days), a tenant may: 1. Make the repairs and deduct the cost from rent (so long as the expense does not exceed one month’s rent); 2. Vacate the premises, without any further obligation to pay rent; 3. File a complaint with the local housing authority, and/or building enforcement, and/or health department; 4. File a lawsuit to recover money damages.

However, for certain immediately required repairs, “reasonable time” may be as soon as 48 hours. For example: no running water, no hot water, the furnace is broken when cold outdoors, inoperable toilets or drains.

This letter is one final attempt to get the repair(s) resolved by coordinating with you in goo faith. Please contact me, or have a repair person contact me at _______________________ (phone number) to schedule a time and to get these issues resolved.

Timmy Tenant

No Legal Advice Intended. This website includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal issues problems.

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