For many landlord problems, you’re almost always better off first trying to resolve disputes directly with your landlord, rather than go marching off to a lawyer’s office or small claims court. But if relations are so strained that no meeting seems possible, or you're unsuccessful negotiating a settlement with your landlord, consider mediation by a neutral, third-party mediator. Both negotiation and mediation will be cheaper than a lawsuit, usually less stressful, and often result in solutions that last.
That said, there are situations when negotiation or mediation are not appropriate. For example, if your landlord has discriminated against you based on your race, your sex, or some other illegal reason, you should probably file a fair housing complaint or a lawsuit.
Here are some helpful pointers for negotiating with your landlord: â