10 Most Common Apartment Complaints

By Tenant

10 Most Common Apartment Complaint Filed by Tenants:

The below list is a list of the most common apartment complaints filed against landlords and property managers according to the Rental Protection Agency complaint data. These complaints are filed by tenants Nationwide and include all 50 States. The results do not take bias by location but are based solely on the number of complaints filed by tenants as a whole nation-wide.

#1 Deposit Refund Disputes
Ranking #1, Deposit Refunds, is no surprise. As long as landlords have been collecting deposits from tenants they have been finding clever ways to keep tenant deposits. This complaint type includes any complaint type that is associated with deposit refunds including charges against deposits, refund neglect, and other related disputes related to deposits.

#2 Bed Bug Infestation Apartment Complaints
Surprisingly over the last 5 years bed bug infestations related apartment complaints have been rising fast. No data about bed bug complaints was found prior to 2008 in the Rental Protection Agency database of tenant filed complaints. Today, the RPA Complaint Database is littered with Bed Bug Complaints. This rise in number of complaints is most likely related to improper treatment of infested apartments. Landlords / Property Managers are still using unsuccessful methods such as chemical treatments which are less effective and lead to re-infestation.

#3 Apartment Repair Problems
Repair problems are a staple in tenant filed complaints and will most likely always be in the top 5 list of most common tenant filed complaints. This result encompasses any repair problem unrelated to safety issues. Such as appliance repairs, carpeting, plumbing, roofing, windows, heating and cooling, etc. Safety related repairs are not included in this data.

#4 Apartment Noise Complaints
This problem includes both complaints about loud neighbors, music, equipment and complaints against tenants causing excessive noise. This type of complaint commonly refers to excessive noise being made after reasonable quiet hours. However, it also takes into account fair use and rights of normal noise such as complaints from management about a tenant walking around too loudly. Both types of complaints are common; yet combined into one complaint type for this report.

#5 Health Hazards and Safety Related Complaints
This complaint type includes repair items excluded from the #3 result. Complaints relating to safety concerns are part of the tenants right to a safe and habitable apartment. Items such as electrical concerns, faulty smoke alarms, unsafe appliances, damaged flooring, leaking plumbing, gas leaks, egress, are included in this data-set.

#6 Other Pests or Apartment Infestations
This year the RPA excluded bed bug data from this complaint type and created a separate ranking for bed bug complaints. This data is conglomerate of all related pest complaints including complaints about rodents such as Rats, Mice, Squirrels to bug infestations such as cockroaches, ants, bees, flies, spiders, etc. Bed bugs have been excluded due to their classification as a parasite.

#7 Black Mold Complaint
Mold complaints have been on the rise as more tenants become concerned about toxic black mold (Stachybotrys Chartarum) and its potential effect on health. Mold clean-up complaints most commonly refer to visible black mold seen in bathrooms, kitchens and other living spaces. Complaints for this type also include moisture related complaints that directly correspond with mold growth.

#8 Breach of Agreement / Violations
Any complaint that refers to a violation of lease agreements including verbal agreements are included in this data. Violations to basic renters rights and statutes has been included in this class.

#9 Eviction Complaints
Tenants filing eviction complaints include Unlawful / Illegal Eviction, Non-Payment of Rent, Illegal Lock-out, Utility Disconnect, Threats of, and other related eviction complaints. The RPA did not separate eviction types based on Landlord Caused VS Tenant Caused; but combined the data into one group.

#10 Lease Termination
Any complaint received that dealt with lease terminations such as automatic renewals, improper notification, forced renewals, early lease termination, and fees association with breaking a lease have been included in this complaint type.

Other complaint types that didn’t make the top 10 list but are still very common include:
Landlord Harassment
Unauthorized Entry / Access

The Rental Protection Agency has seen an down-turn in tenant filed complaints concerning foreclosures which previously have been ranked among the top 10 in the previous two years. Bed bug complaints have been responsible for the biggest fluctuation in complaint type. Five years prior no such bed bug complaints had been filed with the Rental Protection Agency which now ranks said complaint #2 just below deposit refund disputes.

How to file an Apartment Complaint?
Tenants in any of the 50 States can file a complaint against their landlord or property manager if they feel their rights have been violated. To file a complaint tenants must do so via the RPA Online Complaint Center: http://www.rentalprotectionagency.com/complaint_center.php

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Edited on: Friday, October 11th, 2013 5:56 am

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