Effective tenant screening can save you from many tenant-related problems in the long run. However, finding suitable renters doesn’t mean you won’t have to deal with tenant complaints.
Learning how to deal with these complaints quickly and efficiently is the key to keeping tenants happy. Finding a prompt solution to their problems will allow you to build a better relationship with your renters. Additionally, this will minimize the risks of tenant turnover, as renters who feel like their concerns are addressed are less likely to move out.
Most complaints tend to fall into one of the following four categories: maintenance, noise, pest, and pet-related complaints. Fortunately, these issues can be easily solved. Keep reading to learn more about each type of complaint and the best way to solve them!
Preparing Yourself for Tenant Complaints
Tenant complaints are an unavoidable part of being a landlord. Once you’ve found trustworthy renters, it’s essential to have a plan for dealing with the most common complaints. Below are three tips to help you:
1. Remain Accessible
If a tenant has a difficult time reaching you, issues can easily escalate. Plus, an absentee landlord can make the situation more stressful for tenants. That’s why it’s essential to ensure that you can be easily contacted when an emergency arises.
The important thing is for you to be consistent with your availability and have more than one way for tenants to contact you in case of an emergency. And if you need to be away, make sure to have a representative for renters to contact if necessary.
2. Learn to Listen
When dealing with tenants, it’s important that you listen carefully. If you are dismissive or interrupt them, your tenant could get angry, and the issue could escalate. Therefore, no matter how minor an issue seems to you, trying to see things from your renter’s perspective will make finding a resolution easier.
3. Document All Issues
When handling a tenant complaint, it’s essential to store all relevant documents, like receipts and work orders, in a safe place. This will keep you and your investment safe in case the issue escalates to a legal dispute.
Top 4 Tenant Complaints
Here are some of the common tenant complaints landlords face and how to address them:
1. Maintenance-Related Complaints
These are the most common types of complaints issued by tenants. As renters, they have less control over the schedule of repairs. So, they have to rely on you, as the landlord, to handle issues.
The first thing you must do is regularly inspect the property. This will give you a better idea of what the issue is and how to handle it best. Then, you can go ahead and take care of the repair or hire a contractor to get it fixed.
It’s essential to keep your tenant in the loop during this process, from letting them know what caused the issue to how you’re going to fix it and when it’ll be resolved. Once the issue has been fixed, contact the renter and let them know to contact you if the issue arises again.
2. Noise Complaints
The most common causes of noise complaints include barking dogs, construction work, and loud parties. When you receive a noise complaint from a neighbor, first talk with your tenants. This will help you understand what’s causing the disturbance and how to find a solution.
When the disruptive party is not one of your tenants, the best way to deal with them is to file a report with your local authority. However, if the disruptive party is your tenant, you can refer them to their lease agreement and ask them to change their behavior. If the tenant doesn’t stop, you may have to consider evicting them.
3. Pest-Related Complaints
Pest infestations are a health hazard that can drive your renters away. Pests can also impact the habitability of the property. That’s why it’s important to deal with this type of complaint as fast as possible.
Search for the best exterminators near you. Then, schedule an inspection to ensure that the problem is resolved quickly. If you own more than one rental or a multi-family unit nearby, you should consider making this a regular maintenance service as a preventive measure.
4. Pet Complaints
When renting out your property to tenants with pets, performing a pet screening will save you from many problems. However, this won’t save you entirely from pet complaints such as noise, aggressive behaviors, or owners not cleaning up after their pets.
When it comes to a barking dog, it’s best to deal with the issue as a noise complaint. Attempt to find an amicable resolution first. If the issue pertaining to a pet persists, file a written warning. Ultimately, if things don’t change, you may have to ask the owner to remove the pet from the property or face eviction.
As for complaints related to owners not cleaning up after pets, the first step is to speak to the owner. If the issue persists, you can serve a written warning and refer to the pet addendum in their lease. If this doesn’t work, you can consider eviction to resolve the issue.
Finally, when it comes to aggressive behavior, you must address the issue quickly. Injuries caused by pets are a serious problem that you want to avoid in your rental space. First, ask the owner to handle the issue. If the situation persists, issue written warnings and contact the local authorities.
Tenant complaints are unavoidable. No matter what type of complaint you’re faced with, it’s important to remember to listen to your tenant, keep open lines of communication, and respond to the complaint promptly.
If you’re having issues with managing your rental property, it’s best to hire a third party to help you. Brentwood Square Management is a Nashville-based property management company. If you want to reap the benefits of your rental without the hassle, contact us today!