Common Tenant Issues And How To Avoid Them

Written by Posted On Saturday, 14 March 2020 05:00

No matter how well you maintain your properties, when working in property management, some common problems are still bound to crop up. More likely than not, it will involve a tenant not paying their rent on time. However, there are other issues that frequently occur, and as the property manager, it’s your responsibility to resolve them. Handling tenant complaints in a respectful, timely manner can go a long way in alleviating their concerns, as well as boosting your tenant-retention rates. The following are some of the most common tenant complaints and how best to handle them.

Maintenance Complaints

Maintenance problems are one of tenants' biggest complaints, and the best way to deal with them is to have an effective maintenance request and complaint resolution system in place. All leases should provide instructions for the tenant to follow in the event that they experience a maintenance issue. Whether it’s a leaky pipe or faulty thermostat, tenants need to know the proper procedure to request maintenance and a timeline for how long it will take to get issues resolved. Many property managers now utilize an online maintenance request system to track maintenance orders. Make sure all landlord-tenant communication regarding maintenance complaints is documented in writing, and keep receipts for any work performed. Follow up with the tenant to confirm their issue has been fixed.

Noisy Neighbors

From pets who bark all night to parties or arguments, another common complaint of tenants is dealing with noisy neighbors. Often the solution isn’t one the property manager can remediate, especially if it involves neighbors who don’t live on the property. Installing carpeting, soundproofing, adding insulation, and adding shrubbery can help minimize noise issues. If it’s a specific tenant creating the disturbance, contact them and let them know they are causing a problem. If the issue is music or partying, remind them of your policy on when they need to turn it off. If the issue is a tenant who is overly-sensitive to noise, offer to allow them to move to another area in the complex. If the problem continues, and your lease has a clause dictating rules about quiet hours or noise violations, it may be time to issue a Cure or Quit notice or create an eviction notice.

Pest Issues

Unfortunately, when many people live in close quarters, pests always seem to find their way in. Whether it’s fleas from pet-owning tenants, ants invading the pantry, cockroaches scurrying through cupboards, or worse – a bedbug infestation – pests are a massive problem for property management teams. The first line of defense is to have a schedule for routine preventative treatments for insects. Regular inspections and treatments from a professional exterminator will prevent pests from settling in. Make sure all exterior access rodents may have is blocked. Encourage your tenants to report any sight of pests immediately so the issue can be resolved before it gets out of hand.

Keep Communication Respectful

It is impossible to avoid problems and conflicts when you manage rental properties. What you can do is resolve issues calmly and respectfully. Let your tenants know when is the best time to contact you, what to do in case of an emergency, and who to contact after hours. Always be professional and pleasant, and enforce your leases fairly and consistently.

 

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