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Top 5 Tenant Complaints and How to Deal with Them

Dissatisfied couple complains to Landlord in his officeA property manager who promptly addresses tenant complaints in good spirit will not only effectively take care of assets but will gain the reputation and respect that ensures a bright future for themselves and their renters.

Luckily, there are some easy things you can do to make your leaseholder feel taken care of and heard. We’ve found the top tenant complaints and solutions to help you become the landlord all your tenants appreciate and respect.

Maintenance/Work Orders Ignored or Remains Unreported

The best way to care for your property is to care for your tenants. Promptly reply to their maintenance issues or property-related concerns. There are a couple of ways you can do this.

  • Be sure they have an easy way to contact you. It doesn’t matter whether it’s through text, phone call, or email, it’s just important that you can respond quickly.
  • A great way to keep up with tenant issues is with a property management app, like AppFolio. They have a tenant portal that can help you resolve maintenance issues quickly and efficiently.

The key is to make it as easy and stress-free as possible for your tenant to help you fix problems.

Ineffective Communication

Communication is the key to establishing good relationships with your tenants.  Often, renters don’t feel property managers convey their rules and expectations from the beginning.

  • Go through the lease with new tenants addressing the terms and conditions when they sign. This will allow them to ask any questions and assure you that they thoroughly understand what they’re consenting to.
  • When you feel there may be a problem, send reminders of your expectations. It is better to be proactive and help your tenant remember what they agreed to. They are much more likely to forget the terms than you are.
  • Do inspections two to four times a year. Regular inspections give you a chance to speak with the occupants face-to-face and answer any of their questions or concerns.
  • Each season brings a new set of responsibilities. Be sure to send them seasonal reminders of those responsibilities, such as yard work or regular maintenance.

Encroachment of Personal Space

While it’s important to stay ahead of maintenance, you also must be aware that your tenant deserves their privacy. Often tenants can feel as though they don’t have enough privacy because their landlord regularly enters with little to no prior notification.

Most states require landlords to give notice before entering the occupant’s space. This notice varies from state to state, but generally, it’s between one to two days’ notice.

If your state doesn’t require notice, you should still strive to keep your tenant informed of your comings and goings.

  • Be sure your tenant received the notice by email with a read-receipt request. Each email service has a way to do this. Here are the instructions for Gmail.
  • It is also helpful to send them an inspection schedule at the beginning of each year or when a new lease is signed. This will let your renters know to expect you regularly right from the start.

Noisy Neighbors

Whether from neighbors under lease within your building or neighbors from a nearby property, the solutions to noise complaints aren’t always obvious and can be tricky to navigate.

If the noisy neighbor isn’t under your lease:

  • Encouraging your tenant to resolve the problem themselves kindly is ideal. However, if they can’t come to an understanding, your next best option may be to talk with the property owner yourself.

If they are your tenant:

  • A noisy tenant in your building is a bit easier to manage. You may want to talk to other tenants to see how big the problem is. It is likely others are annoyed by the noise as well.
  • Notify the boisterous tenant of the complaints leveled against them. Help them understand when it’s okay to be reasonably loud and when it’s not. Try working with all the tenants to find a solution.
  • Know your local noise ordinances and write them into your tenant agreement. Then you can present the offender with concrete standards they’ve already agreed upon that are backed up by law.

General Guidelines

You are never going to be able to avoid problems altogether. But it’s in how you handle these problems that separate the terrible landlords from the great ones.

It’s all about clear communication from the start. There’s never a good excuse for not acting kind and professional. Even if you are being yelled at, keeping your calm and addressing concerns will keep your buildings full and well-managed.

You may also want to look into a property management company, like Real Property Management Charlotte Metro, they can help you step up your land-lording game.

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