OLTA - The Complaint Process
Landlords and/or tenants may file complaints with the Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs. However, some complaints can be resolved without filing a written complaint. To file a complaint:
- Call (240) 777-0311 if you have Landlord-Tenant questions. Often, just speaking with an Investigator can answer your questions and resolve your concerns without filing a complaint. However, should you need to file a complaint, the complaint form can be mailed to you or printed by using the link below.
Provide the following information on your complaint form:
- Your name, address, and daytime/evening telephone number;
- The name, address and daytime telephone number of the party against whom you are complaining;
- The address of the rental property;
- The specifics of the complaint; and,
- The remedy or action you are seeking.
Send a copy of the complaint form to the other party immediately.
Wait one week to allow time for a response. If after one week, the complaint remains unresolved, send a copy of the complaint form to Landlord-Tenant Affairs. To expedite investigation of your complaint, provide a copy of the lease and any supporting documentation (e.g. photographs, letters, etc.) with the complaint form.
Upon receipt by this office, an acknowledgement letter will be sent to you, giving you the case number and the name of the assigned Landlord-Tenant Affairs Investigator.
The Investigator acts as a fact-finder. Documents are examined. Both parties are interviewed as the Investigator works to determine if there has been a violation of landlord-tenant law. The Investigator attempts to conciliate the dispute between the parties. If necessary, to resolve a complaint and gather all of the necessary information, the Investigator will schedule a conciliation conference with both the landlord and tenant in attendance.
If a resolution to the dispute is reached, and if necessary, the Investigator will draft an agreement to be signed by the landlord and the tenant. This agreement clearly states what each party has agreed to do to resolve the dispute. These agreements are also signed by a representative of Landlord-Tenant Affairs.
However, in many instances, the formality of a written agreement is not necessary. The agreement does not mean that either party admits guilt. Rather, the agreement is made in good faith to resolve the dispute. A violation of the agreement, however, can result in legal action.
If the Investigator is unable to resolve the dispute, it is referred to the Commission on Landlord-Tenant Affairs, who can either accept the case and hold a hearing or dismiss it (See Commission on Landlord-Tenant Affairs for more information).