5.3 Effective Communication
Dispute resolution can be stressful, expensive and time-consuming. Before submitting an application for a hearing, you should consider trying to resolve your problem through effective communication. An effective communicator is respectful of the other person’s perspective, while also clearly and calmly stating their own position. It is in your best interest to be professional when dealing with your landlord, regardless of how they have treated you in the past. Stay focused on getting the best possible outcome rather than engaging in personal character attacks and aggressive comments.
Ideally, you should be communicating with your landlord in writing during your tenancy. If you discussed an issue verbally, follow up by summarizing the conversation in writing. It is also important to have proof of how you communicated with your landlord. Bring someone with you if you’re delivering a letter in person, take a picture if you’re posting a notice on their door, use registered mail to get confirmation of delivery, or request a “read receipt” when emailing. Putting all communication in writing, and having proof of how that communication was delivered, creates evidence that can be valuable if you ever need to go to dispute resolution.
It’s not always easy talking to your landlord, especially when you’re in conflict. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Here are some tips to consider:
You may struggle trying to find the right words when communicating with your landlord. To help with this TRAC has developed a long list of template letters on bed bugs, deposits, illegal rent increases, and many more topics. Visit TRAC's website and use our letters as a starting point. From there you can add the details about your situation, the date, and your signature before sending them off to your landlord.