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How to File a Complaint Against a Kansas Landlord

Camila Lopez - Kansas Landlord Complaints - March 13, 2024

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Contents

    Need to file a complaint against your landlord? In this article, we go over 4 different ways you can file a complaint against your landlord, including: 

    1. sending a formal letter to your landlord, 

    2. filing a government complaint with either a federal or Kansas government agency that regulates landlords, 

    3. filing a BBB complaint, and

    4. suing in small claims court.

    Did you know we have a free tool powered by AI that helps you create a complaint letter to a landlord? Check out our complaint letter tool.

    Common Types of Complaints and Lawsuits Against Landlords: 

    Here are some common complaints people have against landlords:

    • Your landlord refuses to return your security deposit after you move out.

    • The terms under your lease have been breached. For example, your landlord increases the rent before the lease term was over, breaching the terms of the lease agreement.

    • Your landlord has breached Kansas’ implied warranty of habitability. Warranty of habitability means that regardless of any contradicting lease term, your landlord is required to keep your unit in a habitable condition at all times.

    • You are being harassed by the landlord.

    • You experienced discrimination based on your race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, familial status, etc. For example, you were denied renting an apartment due to your gender.

    • Your landlord refuses to make necessary repairs to the rental unit as per the lease terms.

    • Your landlord refuses to do anything about excessive noise or other issues you are having with your neighbors.

    Contact Your Landlord and Report the Complaint Directly

    Before you consider escalating the complaint, it is important to communicate your complaint with your landlord directly. 

    Start by communicating the problem to your landlord by email or phone. If they ignore your informal requests, consider writing a formal letter, like a demand letter or complaint letter

    Here are reasons why you should consider sending a formal letter to your landlord:

    1. Proof that you tried to resolve the problem out of court. If you end up filing a small claims action against your landlord, the judge in your case may ask you at your small claims hearing if you tried to resolve the dispute out of court before suing. By sending your landlord a letter, there is a record of your attempt to resolve the problem and you have evidence of your efforts.

    2. You may resolve the problem without going to court. A demand letter signals to your landlord that you are serious about the problem and willing to take action to resolve the problem. They know that it is cheaper to resolve the problem out of court so they may agree to resolve the problem. 

    3. Many city or government agencies would like to see that you tried to resolve the problem on your own before filing a complaint. You can provide your formal letter as proof of your efforts. 

    Did you know we have a free tool powered by AI that helps you create a formal letter to a landlord? Check out our complaint letter tool.

    Here is a video on how our demand letter tool works:

    File a Complaint With the Appropriate State or City Agency

    Depending on the type of complaint you have against your landlord, there may be a local government agency in the city where the property is located that may be able to help you resolve your complaint. 

    File a Discrimination Complaint with the Kansas Human Rights Commission

    The Kansas Human Rights Commission is dedicated to preventing and eliminating discrimination, including housing discrimination. If you believe your landlord has discriminated against you, you can file a complaint by completing their complaint form and emailing it to [email protected] or mailing it to the address listed. For assistance with filing your landlord complaint, you can call 785-296-0589. 

    File a Discrimination Complaint with the Lawrence Human Relations Commission 

    The Lawrence Human Relations Commission processes complaints regarding housing discrimination for tenants living in Lawrence. You can file your landlord complaint using their online complaint form or by calling 785-832-3310. 

    File a Code Violation Complaint with the City of Lawrence

    The City of Lawrence processes landlord complaints regarding potential code violations for tenants living in unsafe housing conditions. You can file your complaint online and further assistance can be reached by calling 785-832-3345. 

    File a Code Violation Complaint with the City of Topeka Property Maintenance Division

    The City of Topeka Property Maintenance Division processes landlord complaints regarding potential code violations for tenants living in unsafe housing conditions. You can file your complaint by calling 785-368-3161 or emailing [email protected]

    File a Complaint With the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) handles complaints against landlords who receive assistance from the federal government. If your landlord does not receive assistance from HUD, continue to the next section.

    HUD is a United States federal agency (HUD is also described as a cabinet department). HUD is responsible for addressing America's housing needs, enforcing fair housing laws, and more. For example, HUD runs the Multifamily Housing Complaint Line, which enables tenants of HUD-insured and -assisted properties to report complaints such as poor maintenance, dangers to health and safety, mismanagement, and fraud.

    Below are instructions for how to report a bad landlord to HUD:

    • To report a bad landlord to the Multifamily Housing Complaint Line, call toll-free at (800) MULTI-70 or (800) 685-8470) / TTY (800) 432-2209.

    • Complaints of housing discrimination are handled by the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (an office under HUD) at 1-800-669-9777.

    File a Complaint With the Better Business Bureau 

    The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a non-profit that serves as an intermediary between landlords and consumers. You will not find an individual landlord on the BBB. The larger the landlord you rented from, the more likely they are to be found on the BBB

    Reasons why a large landlord would respond to a BBB complaint: 

    1. If the landlord is accredited with the BBB and doesn't respond to a BBB complaint, its accreditation may be revoked, and the complaint becomes part of its BBB profile.

    2. Landlords know that a BBB rating can be an important determining factor when a prospective renter is deciding to rent with that landlord.

    Consider Suing in Small Claims Court

    Have you filed a complaint with one of the above organizations or state/city agencies and still have not been able to resolve your complaint against your landlord? It may be time to consider suing your landlord in Kansas Small Claims Court.  Kansas Small Claims Courts handle a variety of issues related to landlord/tenant disputes.

    Don't forget about our free tool powered by AI that helps you create a complaint letter to a landlord. Check out our complaint letter tool.

    Author

    Camila Lopez

    Legal Educator @ People Clerk. Camila holds a law degree and is a certified mediator. Her passion is breaking down complicated legal processes so that people without an attorney can get justice.

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