Top 10 Renter Complaints

SiSter PhtograPherYou’re not the only one who stresses about getting security deposits returned or apartment repairs completed. Many renters are in the same boat, according to the Rental Protection Agency’s complaint data. The Rental Protection Agency (RPA) helps renters file complaints against their landlord or property manager, and helps mediate a solution. Here are the results of their latest tenant complaints report, which looked at the data they’ve collected of nationwide tenant complaints, revealing the most common complaints tenants file.


1. Security Deposit Refund

Topping the list of renter complaints nationwide are security deposit disputes. This includes landlords who have kept the deposit, have unexplained deductions, or other deposit-related issues.


2. Bed Bug Infestation

Bed bugs have become such a big complaint in the last few years that the RPA separated it out into its own category (Pest Infestation is #6 on this list). Most bed bug-related complaints are due to improperly treating infested units.


3. Apartment Repair

Non safety-related repair issues characterize the apartment repair complaints category. This includes plumbing, windows, carpeting, and appliances that are in need of repair, but have been neglected or put off by the landlord.


4. Noise Complaints

Common types of noise complaints include loud music, neighbors, equipment, or noise after quiet hours.


5. Safety and Health Hazards

Renters have the right of habitability, and it’s the landlord’s responsibility to provide a safe place to live. Safety related complaints include unsafe appliances or flooring, faulty electrical wiring, leaking gas or plumbing, and faulty safety alarms.


6. Pest Infestations

Bed bugs excluded, common pest related complaints are related to rodents (mice and rats) and bugs (cockroaches, ants, spiders, etc.).


7. Toxic Mold

Mold related complaints include moisture-related complaints as well, since they can often lead to mold growth. Toxic black mold’s negative impact on health has led to an uptick in mold complaints, most often pertaining to incomplete clean-up efforts.


8. Lease Violations

Violation of both oral and written lease agreements are under this complaint category. Common complaints include landlords who have violated basic renter rights.


9. Eviction Complaints

Unlawful eviction, self-help evictions, and threats of eviction are common eviction related complaints. The RPA did not separate the eviction complaints based on whether it was landlord or tenant caused.


10. Lease Termination

The details associated with lease expiration and renewal gives way to plenty of room for error. Least termination related complaints address auto-renewals, forced renewal, improper notification, termination fees, and early lease termination.


According to the report, other top complaints that didn’t make the top 10 list include landlord harassment, unauthorized entry, discrimination, and foreclosure. Bed bug related complaints are the fastest growing complaints – rising to the second most popular complaint in five years, prior to which it was nonexistent in the complaint database. Complaints due to foreclosure have seen the biggest drop this year, compared to 2011 and 2012, when foreclosure complaints ranked among the top 10. 


Image by SiSter PhotograPhy via Flickr.