Whether you’re a new landlord or seasoned at managing your rental property, tenant complaints are inevitable. Given this fact, you need to learn proactive ways to avoid common problems cropping up over and over again.
Being able to quickly resolve complaints can encourage tenants to keep renewing their leases. It also elevates your professionalism and reputation as a landlord. By managing your tenants’ problems, they will feel valued and secure.
Below are some of the most common complaints you can evade if you’re focused on providing solutions:
1. Pest Reports
When your tenant calls you to complain about bugs or a pest infestation, address it seriously. This affects the habitability of your rental unit. Who wants to stay in a house that’s crawling with cockroaches and rodents? Contact an exterminator right away.
If you ignore this issue, it will only worsen the infestation. It will force your tenant to complain more, hold off paying the rent or move to another cleaner rental space. This may mean breaking their lease early.
Avoid accusing the tenant of being filthy and unhygienic. It’s possible that the infestation was already present before the tenant’s move. If the rental unit has become unsanitary due to poor cleaning from the tenant, then there are options.
You can decide to evict due to the tenant not performing his duty to maintain the sanitation. You can also choose not to extend the lease upon its expiry.
A smart way to avoid this issue is to have regular inspections. It pays to have consistent treatment to reduce preventable annoyances like unsanitary rental units. Living in a pest-free rental will also be a relief for your tenant.
2. Maintenance Issues
Expect your tenant to call for a maintenance problem while managing a rental property. The best way to carry this out is to have a written record. Once you receive a written request, you should respond as quickly as you can. The tenant must be informed of you handling the problem.
Some tenants will choose to call, and you should take care to put your response in writing. This may be in the form of a text message or email. This is to ensure a trail exists to determine the start date of the reported request, the landlord’s response and the monitoring of the resolution.
In fact, it’s best to have a reporting system so both the landlord and tenant can check the status of the maintenance request. The lease must detail how a complaint will be managed and resolved in various situations. A landlord’s response will depend on the urgency or severity of the maintenance problem.
The most important thing is to provide the tenant with useful information. They need to know the action being taken and the time frame of the solution.
A landlord must respond to all maintenance requests promptly. It’s good practice to ask feedback after a maintenance issue has been raised and resolved. This way, your tenant knows that customer service is a priority.
It’s best to have a written record of the maintenance’s resolution. If a legal battle ensues, there is solid evidence available to support your side.
3. Noise Disturbance
Often, a landlord may find himself on a receiving end of a tenant’s complaint about noise. Fellow tenants or renters from neighboring properties can cause this disturbance. An easy remedy can be done when the noise came from your tenants.
You can meet with the sources of disturbance and discuss ways to keep a peaceful environment. If the disturbance is often repeated, you might consider eviction or a non-renewal of the lease.
If the cause of the noise is coming from non-tenants, then this problem can be remedied by directly informing the neighbors. Your tenant can resolve this issue on their own, though you may also speak with the neighbouring property owner. If there’s an HOA, you can ask your tenant to submit a written complaint. Otherwise, if multiple complaints occur, the renters can contact the police.
Make sure to inform your tenants of the actions you’ve taken to resolve the issue. This highlights your concern for their wellbeing. You also want to send the message that you are strictly enforcing the quiet hours in your rental property.
To keep the noise levels down, you can improve the insulation of your rental space. Use carpets, plants and seal any gaps so sounds from the outside are muted. This is helpful to reduce complaints from your renters.
4. Communication Hurdles
A tenant’s pet peeve is being unable to communicate with a landlord when there’s a pressing issue. To address this, a landlord needs to be reachable anytime. They must also strive to communicate effectively to cultivate a good relationship with their tenant.
Ignoring problems and tenant complaints is bad for business. If the issue is small to you, a response is still needed. There’s no excuse for not returning a tenant’s phone call or not replying to a text message or email.
The tenant’s decision to stay longer in the property will depend on the customer service he experiences. If the landlord is a good listener and attends right away to reported issues, then lease renewal is probable. Otherwise, a tenant may easily move to another rental property where an empathetic landlord can resolve their concerns promptly.
If you have a difficult time being available to respond to complaints in a timely manner, then hire a property manager. They can act as your professional representative, prioritizing good customer service on your behalf.
Being a landlord requires patience and developing great communication skills. The key is to keep your tenants informed and updated when it comes to their requests and complaints. It’s also good practice to be proactive to reduce future conflicts. Remember, your tenants are the lifeblood of your rental business.