Industry-wide, property management demonstrates that no matter how well a property is kept, problems are bound to crop up. And so often, it’s the responsibility of the management company to resolve the issue.
Handling tenants’ complaints properly can go a long way in alleviating concerns and maintaining good tenant-retention rates. Here are some of the most common complaints nationwide property management companies have heard in 2018 — and how to handle them.
Maintenance issues are the most common problems plaguing most tenants. The first step in handling such a complaint is to quickly and efficiently set up an effective complaint resolution system.
Make sure to respond to all requests promptly, ideally providing a time frame when they can expect the issue to be fixed. If the resolution time has to be adjusted based on the nature or severity of the problem or you have to call in additional resources, inform the tenants accordingly so they are prepared.
Remember to keep all tenant-landlord communication in writing, along with other paperwork and receipts for the maintenance work done. This will become critical if your tenant decides to drag you to court or you enter into a legal dispute.
Lack of Proper Communication
Nothing irks a tenant more than delayed or nonexistent communication. No one likes to deal with a property manager or landlord who is always unavailable, does not answer his phone calls, or never replies to any email.
Maybe you did not respond to his first email because you felt his complaint was invalid or not your responsibility to address. But what the lack of response conveyed to the tenant was your unwillingness to listen to his problems.
If you don’t respond to their issues in a timely and effective manner, you’ll lose them to another landlord who values and respects them.
Another common, but tricky complaint that tenants often have is about noisy neighbors. Yes, from loud parties to pets that bark continuously at night – managers have heard it all. But many a time, the cause of the problem is out of the purview of a landlord or a property manager—yet the tenant still expects you to do something.
To start, you can always increase insulation, add shrubbery, or install new carpeting or soundproofing.
If the neighbor responsible for the “noise” is not renting from you, you can encourage your tenant to try to resolve the situation amicably on his own. If it does not work, you may want to consider addressing the issue with the owner of that property yourself.
No one wants their home invaded by bugs, cockroaches or rodents.
Take prompt action and call an exterminator immediately if your tenant reports pest issues.
Don’t forget to schedule a follow-up appointment after a week or so to ensure the problem is completely resolved. To prevent such problems from occurring in the first place, take preventive action and have your properties treated periodically.
Anyone in the rental housing industry will admit it is impossible to avoid problems altogether in a tenant-landlord or tenant-property manager relationship. It simply comes with the territory. However, you can reduce conflict and maintain a good working relationship by keeping your cool and behaving in a mature, responsible manner.
Always let your tenant know when or how they can contact you and what to do in case of an emergency or if they need to contact you outside normal working hours. Never lose your temper or let go of your professionalism. Do not resort to threats or screaming, even if the other person does so. If you feel that the situation is becoming dangerous or unsafe, withdraw and inform the concerned authorities.
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