If you have been a landlord for a while, then it’s likely you have had to resolve a tenant complaint. Tenant complaints come in all shapes and sizes – from the subtle to the serious. And as a landlord, you should be able to diagnose and solve each compliant peacefully quickly.
In such situations, being professional, calm, and understanding is critical. Possessing these traits can significantly impact your ability to resolve issues successfully.
Some of the most common complaints are usually about:
- Cleanliness of the property
- Pet problems
- Pest problems
- Maintenance issues
- Noisy neighbors
In this article, the Upkeep Media marketing company shares five tips on how you can quickly resolve tenant complaints as peacefully as possible.
Tip 1: Listen to the complaint carefully.
This is the most fundamental skill anyone can have. Listen carefully to what your tenant has to say and don’t make the assumption that they are overreacting. You also want to be respectful and understanding throughout the conversation you have with them.
Doing so will help calm your tenant and also help you be more receptive to the issue at hand.
You may, for instance, know of a small plumbing leak that occurs in the bathroom when there is heavy rainfall. If your tenant contacts you to notify you of the problem, you may be dismissive of it since you are already aware it exists.
But that would be the wrong way to approach the issue. Rather than be dismissive, find out some essential information regarding the issue, like the strength of the water flow and location of the leak.
Doing so will not only encourage your tenant to continue notifying you of issues but can also help you build a strong relationship with them.
Tip 2: Be accessible to your tenants.
If your tenant doesn’t feel like they can easily reach you, then that will only brew frustration. This, however, doesn’t mean that you should be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Make sure you’re at least available during regular business hours. From nine in the morning to six in the evening on weekdays, for example. During this time, aim to be as responsive to any tenant emails or phone calls as you can be.
You should also make tenants know that you won’t be available outside these hours, with the only exception being emergencies. To help minimize confusion, let your tenants know what qualifies as an emergency and what doesn’t.
Tip 3: Address all issues on time.
How quickly you respond to a tenant’s issue is also another critical factor to keep in mind. While you don’t have to drop everything to remedy a problem, it’ll undoubtedly be essential to fix the issue within a reasonable time frame.
Again, this should depend on the severity of the problem. For emergencies, you want to respond as promptly as possible. Ideally, you want to do so in under 24 hours. For non-emergency ones, replying within a couple of days usually suffices.
Some examples of non-emergency issues include failure of the A/C system, noise complaints, clogged up toilets, and unavailability of hot water. On the other hand, emergency issues include a breakdown of the plumbing drain system, the presence of carbon monoxide, flooding, and gas leaks.
Tip 4: Always make your tenant feel like you’re on their side.
The quickest way to create hostility between you and your tenant is by dismissing their concern.
No matter how you feel about them or how valid their complaint is, make it a goal to make them feel that their complaint is important and that you’ll do everything possible to bring the issue to a conclusion.
What you want to do is make your tenant feel that you are on their side and not being their evil nemesis.
Tip 5: Conduct yourself professionally.
Another way to resolve tenant complaints peacefully is to keep it professional. Your investment property is your business. So, treat it as such. The last thing you want to do is to let emotions cloud your judgment.
If your tenant is screaming, don’t yell back. Also, if they are cursing, don’t curse back. Don’t put yourself in a situation that may put you in legal jeopardy by using threats or resorting to tactics like ignoring the tenant’s maintenance requests.
Retaliating against your tenant is illegal.
3 Things to Keep in Mind when Resolving Tenant Complaints
- No two people or situations are ever the same. Therefore, it’s difficult to anticipate how a person will react when a conflict arises.
- Prioritize your safety and security. Remove yourself from any situation that you feel is jeopardizing your safety.
- Not all issues will be worked out. Despite your efforts to resolve issues, some may end up requiring the intervention of a judge.
Conflicts are part and parcel of the landlord business. When issues arise, be sure to follow these five proven tips to resolve the tenant complaints peacefully. Another proven way to have a good relationship with your tenants is to hire professional property managers to help you.
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