What do I do if I can’t get hold of my landlord?

DIGURAs article about ways your landlord may trick you

It is the sender of a message who is responsible for making sure that the message gets to the receiver. It is therefore, as a rule, the tenant’s responsibility if the tenant cannot get hold of the landlord.

Typical situations where the tenant wishes to contact the landlord

  • Something needs correcting in the tenancy
  • The tenants wishes to terminate the lease
  • The tenant has moved out and wishes to contact the landlord
  • The tenant want to complain about a noisy neighbour or another inconvenience
  • The tenant wants to make defects valid when moving in

Each situation will be gone through at the end of the article under the “if I have tried the above-mentioned, but still haven’t gotten hold of my landlord”-section. Here, we cover the legal regulations for what you can do if you cannot get in touch with your landlord.

What are the rules? Should jeg communicate digitally or by post?

Since January 1 2019, all communication between tenant and landlord can be done digitally. Before this date, all communication had to happen via post, but as the Rent Act changed in 2019, the preferred method of communication between tenant and landlord changed from post to digital communication. If the tenant does not possess the landlord’s e-mail, the communication should happen via post.

If you are not exempted from Digital Post by the council, the following applies.

If you do not wish to send or receive digital post, you should inform your landlord about this. You will then be exempted from digital communication from the first weekday of the following month.

If you are exempted from Digital Post from the council, the following applies.

Even if you have been exempted from Digital Post, you should still inform your landlord that you do not wish to make use of digital communication. You will be exempted immediately and will not have to wait until the following month.

There are, however, 3 enquiries that should always be sent by regular post, despite the above-mentioned:

  • The landlord’s termination of the tenant, unless the landlord and tenant lives together in the tenancy, and the tenant only rents a single room.

  • If the landlord wants to send a reminding letter for missing payment of rent
  • When the tenant wants to object to the landlord’s termination of the lease

Should the landlord or tenant communicate digitally regarding the above mentioned matters, where the communication MUST be done via post, the enquiry will still be valid as long as the receiving part chooses to reply to the message.

Pro tip

Your message is legally considered to be received when it reaches your landlord, e.g. in the postbox or in the email inbox. If your message ends up in your landlord’s spam, it is not yet considered to be received by your landlord.

How can I get hold of my landlord?

How you can get hold of your landlord depends on the specific situation you are in.

Is the enquiry about a matter, where it is necessary to get in touch with your landlord as soon as possible, you should start by contacting your landlord by phone. Is your landlord a housing association, you can try to pay the office a visit.

If your enquiry is not urgent and can wait a few days, you should try to contact your landlord by writing, as this is always the most secure way of communicating. With a written enquiry you have proof of your communication.

Try using these 4 methods below. Maybe your landlord sees his/her mail more often than the work phone? You do, however, need to be aware that certain enquiries MUST be made via certain communication channels, which you can see under “what are the rules” above.

E-mail

Send your landlord an e-mail. If your landlord does not answer with 2-3 working days, you can send him/her a new follow up e-mail.

Letter

Send your landlord a letter. If it is urgent, you can send the letter as a quick-letter. A quick-letter is delivered the day after you send it, as long as it is sent to a city in Denmark. If the letter is handed in after the postman has collected the letters from the post office, it can take up to 2 days before the letter arrives.

Why should you get help from DIGURA?

Every month, we help thousands of tenants both via our membership solution and our case processing. When we process the cases, we achieve a positive result for the tenants in 98% of the cases. We are here to help you who are potentially being deceived by your landlord, and you who actually want to keep the money you are entitled to.

  • Free assessment of case
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  • No Cure No Pay

Call your landlord

If your landlord does not answer the phone, you can try to contact others, who might work alongside your landlord. It your landlord is a housing association, there are typically several people listed as contact persons on the housing association’s homepage. They might be able to help you or give you the number to someone who can.

Pay your landlord’s office a visit

If you have the address on your landlord’s office, you can see if it is possible to reach him/her there.

It is a good idea to give it several attempts. If your landlord does not answer your first email, it is a good idea to send another mail a few days after. The same goes for the other 3 methods of communication.

If I have tried the above mentioned but still haven’t got in contact with my landlord?

If you have given the 4 methods above an attempt without any luck, the Rent Act has set up number of alternative options for the tenant when the landlord has not replied to the tenants enquiry. In the following secting, the most typical situations will be listed (see beneath the box).

Something needs correcting in the tenancy

If there is a defect in the tenancy that needs to be corrected and you have already tried contacting your landlord via the methods mentioned above, you can make use of the following.

The Rent Act’s § 11 allows the tenant to correct defects themselves on the landlord’s expense.

If the tenancy has defects, the tenant must contact the landlord and make them aware of the defects. Follow the methods above on how to get get hold of the landlord. Det is a good idea to send a recommended letter to your landlord, as this gives you proof that your landlord has received your enquiry about the defects.

The landlord must correct the defects immediately. If your landlord does not comply with this, or if you cannot get hold of them at all, you can make the corrections yourself and send the bill to your landlord.

This means that you will be making the corrections yourself, whereafter you send the bill to your landlord. It is, however, very important that you have proof of your landlord receiving your enquiry. You must have this proof before your right to make the corrections on their expense comes into force.

If the problem concerns lighting, gas, heat, chill, electricity or similar, the tenant can, with the bailiff’s assistance, get access to the necessary meters and correct the issue on the landlord’s expense, as we mentioned in the previous section. This is also the case, if there is no supply due to the landlord has shut down the supply of electricity, heat as so forth.

Become legally secure in your tenancy for 49 kroner.

Are you afraid of being cheated or have you already experienced it?

You can become a member of DIGURA’s Care Pack where you can get help with your questions and tenancy issues. You can feel secure in your tenancy for only 49 kroner per month.

Benefits of membership

  • legal advice via hotline
  • Help to termination
  • Rent check when needed
  • Continuous check of your lease
  • And much more..

You wish to terminate the lease

A termination of the lease must always be given in writing. The tenant must therefore always send their termination letter by post, unless the tenant and landlord lives together i the tenancy, and the tenant only rents a single room. See above under the section “What are the rules”.

It can be a good idea to send the letter recommended, as you will receive a receipt when the landlord receives the letter. You will the have proof that your landlord has received your termination and the date from which you wish you terminate the lease.

The landlord and the tenant can make an agreement that the letter of termination does not necessarily have to made via a letter. This will be valid if the tenant chooses to terminate the lease digitally and the landlord chooses to answer digitally. In such cases, the parties are seen as having made an agreement about digital communication being valid and accepted.

It is a good idea to send your termination as a recommended letter, as you will have proof of receipt. Your termination will in this case be valid whether your landlord responds to your request or not. Therefore, it has no significance that your landlord has not replied, as long as you have a receipt that proves that your landlord has received the termination letter.

You have moved out of your tenancy and wish to contact your landlord

If you have moved out of your tenancy and wish to contact your previous landlord, e.g. regarding refund of your deposit, you should start out by going through the 4 methods of communication that has been described in this article.

If you still cannot get hold of your landlord and have a financial claim against them, you can contact DIGURA. We can help you get in touch with your landlord and compose a claim.

You want to make defects valid when moving in

The Rent Act’s § 14 says the following:

”Is the leased inadequate at the beginning of the tenancy, the tenant must plead the defects to the landlord at the latest 2 weeks after the beginning of the tenancy that he or she wishes to make it applicable, in order not to lose this right.”

The tenant must, therefore, within 14 days after taking over the tenancy, make the landlord aware if there are any defects. Otherwise, you can end up being held reliable for the defects.

How should you send your enquiry about defects when moving in, and what is applicable if the landlord does not answer.

You should always send the enquiry by writing, as this gives you the proof you need. The enquiry should be sent as a letter or via email. It is a good idea to attach pictures or video of the defects, as this gives you the best proof of the defects, in case any problems occurs later on.

It is typically the sender, who has the responsibility for making sure that the enquiry has been received. Always make sure that your landlord has received your enquiry about the defects when moving in.

If you send your enquiry via email, you need a reply from your landlord for it to be considered as received. If your landlord does not reply to your email, you should try sending another one or try another way of communicating, e.g. by letter. If your email ends up the spam inbox, it is not considered received.

If you send your enquiry by letter, you should choose to send it as a recommended letter. With recommended letter, you get e receipt, when your landlord receives the letter. You will then have proof that the letter has been received.

My landlord isn’t responding - can I withhold the rent?

You should NEVER withhold the rent, as this in itself is a violation of the contract. It is a big risk to take and your landlord can make a claim against you. If your landlord then sends you an email regarding your missing payment, your landlord is in their good right to terminate the lease with immediate force. This means to have to move out of the tenancy straight away.

A legal reason for withholding rent requires a settlement from the Rent Assessment Committee. Such settlement could be that the tenant is allowed to withhold the rent if the landlord does not correct a certain defect within a set time frame.

Can I get financial compensation for the time frame?

It is not possible to receive financial compensation for the landlords lack of response to the tenant’s enquiries. This is because the tenant has not suffered a financial loss and therefore cannot be compensated.

Has there, however, been a defect in the given time frame, where the landlord has not replied to the tenant’s enquiries, there is a possibility of getting compensation. There are two possibilities 1) tenant can be compensated for lack of usability  of the tenancy, or 2) tenant can get a refund of the expenses that the tenant has had in order to correct the defects before sending the bill to the landlord.

  1. Compensation for lack of usability of the tenancy: It is sometimes possible to claim an appropriate reduction of the rent if parts of the tenancy hasn’t been fit for living in. The tenant must have made the landlord aware of this, and if the landlord does not take action, the compensation becomes possible.
  2. Has there been a defect that the tenant has corrected on the landlord’s expense, due to the landlord not taking action after being made aware of the problem, the tenant can demand a refund for the expenses.

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