When a property owner does not meet these requirements, this may be called a loss of service. There are two issues that can described as a loss of service:
- Decreased housing services
- Change in lease terms
When the property owner does not fix problems in a timely manner, this represents decreased housing services. Problems such as a broken dishwasher and a broken window may be considered a loss of service.
When the tenant must pay for services previously paid by the property owner, this represents a change in lease terms. Examples include:
- Paying for utilities (water, gas, electricity)
- Paying for more maintenance work in the unit
- Signing a year-long lease instead of a month-to-month like before
A loss of service is a rent increase. If you are a tenant experiencing a loss of service, follow these steps to address the issue.
- Communicate all issues with your property owner.
- If any items need repair, make your request in writing to your property owner.
- Keep records of all communication, along with the dates. Email is one good way.
If the property owner does not respond, you have two options.
- You can report a code violation to Code Compliance Office.
- You can file a petition with the Rent Adjustment Program.
The City will send an inspector out. If inspections confirms violations, the inspector issue a Notice of Violation to the property owner. If you are a tenant reporting about your rental unit, be sure you get the inspector’s name and phone number and call back to get a copy of the Notice of Violation. If property owner does not complete the repair within 30 days, call the inspector and request a re-inspection.
A tenant can submit a Rent Adjustment Program petition based on a loss of service. This loss of service can be a service originally provided or a serious problem with the condition of the rental unit. The tenant’s petition must specify the service(s) that has decreased or been lost.