Running a rental property business without encountering a single-tenant complaint is unfortunately unlikely. Even the best landlords have been on the receiving end of tenant complaints.
Since tenant complaints are a huge part of operating a rental home, landlords need to manage them well. The better you are at resolving complaints, the longer you can keep your renters loyalty.
Turnovers occur when tenants have property issues that remain unresolved or ignored by the property owner. It’s your duty as a landlord to rectify the situation to retain your tenants long term.
It can help landlords a lot to create contingency plans for top tenant complaints. Most complaints center around maintenance concerns, noise levels, pest infestation issues, and pet problems. This article will discuss each complaint and provide you with the best resolutions to rectify them.
How to De-escalate Complaints from Tenants
Tenant issues can create conflicts. Landlords must find the best ways to handle the complaints, so start by:
When a tenant has a major concern, this can snowball further when the landlord is nowhere in sight. It’s sensible to adopt regular hours to make yourself available.
Not answering the phone or ignoring messages is another way to annoy the renter. Return calls and answers messages promptly. You should also provide a variety of ways for the tenants to reach you.
Lending an Ear
You might think a tenant’s issue is minor. However, it’s not fair to ignore them. Set aside time to listen to the complaint and avoid cutting them off. Listen actively to gain more understanding of the renters’ issues at hand. This will also make it easier to address the issue as you’ll have a better understanding of it.
Documenting the Complaints
Avoid throwing away receipts, invoices, and other vital documents. When a tenant has a complaint, have a written copy. This will protect you especially if confronted with a lawsuit filed by a tenant.
How to Resolve Common Tenant Complaints
Facing Maintenance Concerns
A tenant may complain about a broken toilet or leak. Given the severity of these issues and your duty to provide a habitable living environment, as a landlord, it’s best to act right away.
Inspect the property issue or bring a professional contractor. By finding out first-hand what the issue is, the right solution can be applied. Provide notice and arrange for the repairs to be done in a timely manner.
Update your tenant on the status of the maintenance repair. Provide details including the cause and how it’s being resolved. After the repair is done, ask for feedback after a few days to check if there’s a recurring issue. This shows that you have the utmost concern for their comfort and you’re proactive in providing solutions.
Confronting Noisy Neighbors and Other Tenants
Noise issues between a tenant and neighbor can be a tough situation. First, suggest to your renter to handle the situation directly with the neighbor in a peaceful manner. If the problem continues, it’s time to step in. If the neighbor refuses to cooperate, you can contact law enforcement to directly deal with the matter.
Should the problem stems from another tenant contributing to the noise, you can send a warning and remind them of the signed leasing agreement and their duty to respect the quiet enjoyment of other tenants. If the tenant continues to ignore the warnings, you can move to evict them.
Dealing with Pest Infestation
Bug problems can result in high turnovers. This is not one uncomfortable, it also poses a risk to a person's health. Therefore, if this issue arises, handle it immediately.
Scout for an outstanding exterminator in your area and arrange a visit right away. Part of a landlord’s responsibility is presenting a habitable living space. If pest infestation exists, this can mean that a landlord is being negligent of the duty to provide a safe and hygienic environment to the tenants.
Once you’ve scheduled an exterminator, inform your tenants so they’d know you’re treating the concern as a priority.
Handling Pet Complaints
Being a pet-friendly rental can expose you to the risks of pet complaints. Renters may bring up issues on a pet’s barking, aggressive behavior, or an owners’ unhygienic practices when it comes to cleaning up after their pets.
When the issue has to do with noise, you can send a notice to the pet owner. If the problem continues, you can request the tenant to remove the pet from your rental or face eviction. Though the latter is a harsher resolution, you have to remember that your other tenants deserve to quietly enjoy their rental spaces.
When facing unhygienic practices of pet owners, remind them to keep a healthy and sanitary environment. Point out their duty as pet owners to keep up with cleanliness. If not, this can become grounds for eviction.
Aggression in dogs can be dangerous. This must be resolved quickly by landlords by meeting with the pet owner. If the issue continues then the dog should be removed from the premises to ensure the protection of others.
You’ll be faced with one or more of these tenant complaints during your time as a landlord. Just remember to truly listen to your tenants and focus on their complaints. Resolve the complaints in a reasonable time and continually provide updates to the tenant on what’s being done.
When complaints happen, landlords should avoid feeling defensive. Renters want to know that the landlords are addressing the issues. When you show that you’re dependable during such situations, you help build the tenants’ trust in you. Thus, they’re more likely to stick around longer in your rental home.