The landlord has no reason to please or appease the tenant, but the tenant has every reason to please or appease the landlord. Moreover, the landlord may find it in her interest to do the opposite. [A] landlord may seek to displease a tenant who she finds objectionable, hoping a better one will come along or intending to rent at regular market rates.
How are tenants supposed to fight back?The first is simply knowing the operating logic of your landlord so that you can work within it. If this is their business, then you are their customer. As my dad once told me when I asked him how to fix something in my first apartment in L.A., "Call your landlord, that's why you’re paying them rent."Second is to know your legal rights as a tenant, which differ widely throughout the country. Some cities allow only "just cause" evictions, meaning that a landlord has to have a reason for evicting a tenant, whereas other cities allow eviction for any reason at all. Some places allow tenants to withhold rent if their landlord fails to provide essential services, while others do not. RentCafe has a good chart of the most renter-friendly and most landlord-friendly states, but your best bet is to consult your local tenants association to get the most up-to-date and detailed information.