Education and news for smart DIY landlords!
In your role as a landlord, you will come across both good and bad tenants. Of course, lesser problems, the better. Even if you’ve been having peachy tenants since you started, it’s always best to be prepared. Tenant complaints will always be a part of your rental business, and it may come sooner or later, once or a couple of times throughout your business.
Keep in mind that you’ll be encountering different kinds of tenants, and by different, I mean, their personalities. Even if you have dealt with a certain complaint before, it doesn’t mean the resolution will be the same.
A word of caution, though, while we want to handle tenant conflict as calmly and as quietly as possible, if you feel like your safety will be compromised, please do not hesitate to alert authorities and ask for help. And although, we don’t want to go beyond amicable talks, if it has to go to court, then go to court.
It’s mostly noisy neighbors (especially if you’re renting out units in a building), maintenance issues, pest problems, pet issues, safety concerns, rent disputes, and cleanliness.
So let’s get to it!
I made a rundown of 5 effective ways to resolve tenant complaints.
When dealing with complaints, show your respect by letting the tenant tell you the whole story. Keep your ears open and don’t cut him off. Understand the issue whether it’s big or small and to gain that understanding, you must ask questions.
Some people are good at reading other people. If your tenant is like that, he’ll see right through you if you fake it. Be genuinely concerned and make them feel that their complaint is valid and important. It may sound like a small issue to you, but not for him. Your concern may alleviate his negative emotions because he will feel that he can count on you to solve it.
When emotions are high, it can add to the frustration when you’re out of reach. You don’t need to be accessible 24/7, but set business hours and inform them, so they know when they can reach you and expect an answer. Let them know, however, that they can contact you outside business hours in case of a real emergency.
Have you ever encountered a situation where you’re trying your best to help tenant and he’s raising his voice? If you haven’t, the best advice I can give you is to stay calm. I know some tenants can be difficult.
You’re going to be high on emotions, too and I know it can be hard, but try to keep it together. Refrain from scream fests. If the tenant is screaming, don’t scream back. Don’t threaten and never resort to getting back at the tenant by ignoring him or playing dirty tricks. This might turn against you. As I’ve mentioned, if you feel unsafe and the tenant is unreasonable, there are authorities you can call and legal proceedings you can follow.
When you receive a complaint, act on it as soon as possible. Better yet, as soon as you receive it, especially if it’s something urgent. You wouldn’t want to be kept waiting. It goes the same for your tenant. Make a standard turnaround time, and continue updating the tenant of any progress or news.
To conclude, you have your rights as the landlord and so does your tenant. You must keep your cool even when the tenant gets difficult, so any complaints can be settled in the best way possible. Our goal is to have a win-win situation for both.
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