Just had an email exchange with my tenant, in which he made a couple of untrue assertions. I only sent a short email asking for a phone call so we can resolve the issue since I have no intention of fighting. I like to ask though, If I receive an email containing a number of claims which are false. Do I need to point that out? If I send a reply addressing one issue, am I agreeing to the other items in the email? That is, if the reply contains the original sent by the author. I think our relationship is governed by the contract in place, and the landlord tenant laws. Am I right?

1 Answer 1


No landlord-tenant laws that I have ever seen impose an obligation on a landlord to give a point by point response to everything in an email from a tenant. However, a tenant probably has the right or obligation to provide a landlord with written notification of a problem requiring remedy. You might then be required by law to provide a specific reply within some time frame, for example "We will fix that tomorrow afternoon", or "We are not required to fix that": it would depend on the jurisdiction and the accusation. Some caution in how you respond is warranted, because your answers can be used against you in a court of law, thus you want to be sure that your response is not misleading, and that you don't accidentally promise to do something that you won't actually do.

There is a concept of "adoptive admission", where silence can be used against you. A typical case is if Smith says to Jones "That was really cold-blooded, the way you murdered Thompson", and Jones does not respond to the accusation – that fact can be introduced as evidence, because there is an assumption that if Jones were really innocent, they would protest the accusation. I don't see any way for "failure to respond to everything" in this manner could constitute an adoptive admission – an "admission" means that you directly or indirectly indicate that you did a thing, which is not the same as ipso facto agreeing to something (for example, not replying to a statement "I'd like my rent reduced by $100 per month" is not an "adoptive agreement").

  • perhaps "my rent is X" or "person Y agreed to Z" could prompt a relevant adoptive admission, the question mentions tenant claims.
    – user4460
    Feb 17, 2017 at 20:50
  • Even if adoptive admission was applicable, I wouldn't have thought an email saying "let's talk" would have caused it to come into effect (asking to sort something out by phone is not "ignoring the issue". If the OP then doesn't touch on the claims in the phone call, then it might be applicable. Feb 20, 2017 at 13:26

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