Unresponsive landlord not fixing things he's supposed to


I’ve a question about my super unresponsive landlord. When I moved in back in December 2016, he used to be very responsive for about a year. Eventually the responsiveness became less and less over time, and now he simply chooses not to respond to my WhatsApp messages even though I see that he saw them.

For example, couple of days ago, I’ve been having water accumulation in my kitchen because of some leakage in my fridge, and upon asking around, I found that it was my landlord’s responsibility to check that refrigerator , since the apartment came furnished and the fridge was part of it. I messaged him, and like he always do, he saw them and chose not to reply.

This is frankly being super annoying because I’d expect a basic decency from him to reply, which he doesn’t seem to have anymore. What should I do in this case? I’m thinking of the following:
(1) Should I stop paying him until I hear back from him
(part of me really wants to do this to send him a message, but I feel it may be illegal, or is it?). If I stop paying him due to this, can he go to court without first calling me or sending me an email with a request to pay?
(2) Should I go to mairie and complain about this situation?
(3) Should I send him a official letter (shame I forgot the name of it…) describing him the situation?

What’d happen if I simply stop paying him, giving him a warning? Can he take me to court in this case?

Thanks for your inputs!

I don’t know about your landlord but you’ll probably find that the auto-defrost channels are gummed up with accumulated muck and rubbish - we had a discussion about it on the forum if you look back and it is an easy fix, or search on Google. I suspect much easier for you to tackle than wasting energy on your landlord - save that for when something more important needs fixing.


I agree with Paul’s advice to try and remedy the leaky fridge yourself. In my opinion it would be very unwise to stop paying your rent as this would break your rental contract thus giving your landlord a legitimate reason for eviction. However, if you feel the need, then I would send him a registered letter to lodge your complaint. Inform him that if he doesn’t respond within, say, two weeks, you will seek further recourse. You could then seek advice from your local mairie, who will be able to give you guidance as to your next step. Personally I would be careful to pick my battles but good luck


@Hello_World On Sunday we had water coming out of the bottom of our fridge. As Paul suggested the small plastic trough at the back of the inside of the fridge was blocked. I cleared it with a skewer, just poked at the drain hole in the bottom of the trough) - all the water then drained away from the trough. Then wiped out the bottom of fridge to dry it out.

It may be worth checking if it is the same with yours.


Sage advice.

Plus Susovan, just stopping payment has a lot of implications. I would suspect you need to advise the Landlord you are considering suspending payments and why, then after an reasonable(?) period you’d need to write again and say due to continuing noncompliance… etc. etc.

I think Paul’s right, have a go at fixing it yourself. If nothing else it will add substance to your first letter and shows good will. Take photos :slightly_smiling_face:


In France you never stop paying for things as that puts you in breach of contract. So you are then at fault and can be sued, not the landlord.

If you have a serious complaint then the normal approach is to write a registered letter. The Marie do not intervener in private matters (unless there is a breach of safety regulations that creates a danger to public health.

I am a landlord, and yes I am responsible for the annual checking of the electrical and/or gas safety of appliances in the property. However the tenant is responsible for proper cleaning and maintenance of my equipment. If my tenant told me about a fridge leaking I would tell him or her to sort out cleaning it as that’s the most likely reason for small puddles of water. Only then would I be prepared ro consider doing anything else.

Quite frankly if that’s the sort of thing you have been complaining about I wouldn’t be replying to you either.


Thank you everyone for your comments. I’m not good with this type of cleaning of fridge etc., so I was opposed to the idea of trying to clean it myself. I was rather thinking calling a plumber, get it cleaned by him and deduct the fee from the next month’s rent, but before doing all that, send an email to the landlord stating that I’ll do it if he doesn’t reply. Is that a viable option? I live alone and I don’t really know how to do this kind of stuff (but I agree that knowing it is good in many situations).

As a landlord if it turns out that this is due to cleaning I wouldn’t pay you back.

“I’m not good at this type of stuff” is not really a useful approach. Presumably you will have a fridge wherever you live, and may one day not have a landlord to harass. So do yourself a favour and learn to clean it. Here’s a 2 minute YouTube video to show you how,


Very simple.
Empty the shelf on the bottom or the one above, you should find a gully and a hole clean using a sponge in the hole you may find it is full of lime scale or rotting food or both. Get a tooth pick or something of that size and clean out the gunge, If the scaling is very hard soak it in vinagar or lemon juice


May I say Jane that I think that is a bit harsh, to treat somebody who is ignorant of simple tasks like that is at the very least discourteous.

I too am useless at such things, finding and poking a hole just would not occur to me, so I do thank you for that video and will remember the advice for future reference. :slightly_smiling_face:


Thank you - specific enough, let me learn this and try to fix the problem.

First time I would be courteous, second time perhaps a touch more pointed, but after that I would lose patience if all the requests were similar to this. The implication of the post is that he has contacted his landlord fairly frequently over the last few years, which makes me think they may well have been minor issues. My flat gets an annual check, and normally no need for tenant to raise anything in between times.

When I first read this post I actually thought it was a wind-up!


Fair enough, I did not personally read it like that, and, as someone to whom much of modern technology (or at least the workings of it) is a complete mystery I thought that not even replying was not helpful. But if you are right about repeated minor or flippant calls, I take your point. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

You need to watch some YouTube videos, there must be something about cleaning fridges. Getting a plumber out to clean your fridge has to be the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard. I suspect you may be bothering your landlord with lots of trivial things, maybe that’s why he no longer replies to you. Seriously you need to get a grip, I’m sorry if this sounds harsh but you really need a reality check.


Well said :clap:t2:. I’m sure that this is what the majority of us are thinking!


That may be so, but I do think it sounds harsh. The OP wasn’t asking for someone to clean her/his fridge, but was as clueless as I was until it was explained by Jane, and thought there was a fault with it.

What should have happened was that the landlord should have explained what it probably was and offered advice as to how to fix it.

But to completely ignore a simple request, however stupid it might sound, is very rude and uncalled for.