Being a landlord is more than just collecting the rent every month. You need to commit yourself to your rented properties and be prepared to address and handle anything that may arise, including tenant complaints. Tenants can complain about various issues, such as conflict with neighbours, problems with the water pressure in the bathroom or even finding it difficult to park their vehicles on the street. You should be willing to handle tenant complaints responsibly, regardless of how trivial they may seem. This will keep the landlord-tenant relationship amicable and prevent any difficult situations, and it will also ensure that your property is well-maintained.
Here are some tips for handling tenant complaints that you may find useful:
Make sure that the tenancy agreement spells out clearly the tenant’s and landlord’s responsibilities. This way, there is no cause for any misunderstandings. Once each person knows what they have to do and address, everything will fall into place, and as a landlord, you will not have to personally tackle minor issues.
If you manage your properties yourself, be available for your tenants, and encourage them to come to you with their complaints. While you should be ready for some tenants to misuse this benefit, you will find that most tenants will not. Provide your tenants with a telephone number where they can reach you. If you are unavailable, ensure that the calls go to a voicemail where tenants can leave their grievances. However, ensure that you address their complaints promptly. This will help you to streamline the complaint process and also make your tenants happy.
Tenant Complaint Form
Create a tenant complaint form that can help you keep track of individual complaints from the tenants. The forms will allow you to figure out what the complaint was and what measures you took to resolve it and when. This can prove to be very useful, and by having documented evidence of the complaint and subsequent resolution it can help you sort out any difficult situations if they arise at the end of the tenancy.
Address the Tenant’s Issue Promptly
Regardless of how small the issue may be, try to resolve it as quickly as possible. If you manage to do repairs quickly, it may prevent less damage in the long-run. So, have a list of contractors who will be willing to take up any repair job for you on a short notice. This will benefit your property and also keep your tenant happy.
Many times, tenants can have problems with their neighbours and will call upon the landlord to sort it out. Just as repairs and maintenance are important, landlords should also be able to handle tenants’ interpersonal problems. As a landlord, you can actually tackle these problems by clearly stating in the rental agreement the behavioural expectations from your tenants. So, if a problem occurs, you can remind the tenant of the agreement. If the problem continues, send the tenant a warning letter. Beyond that, if problems still exist, you may consider the need to evict the tenant.
Communicating with the Tenant
Whenever you resolve a tenant complaint, make sure that you check up on the tenant. In fact, if there is going to be a delay in resolving the problem, you should contact the tenant and let him know about the delay. This way, the tenant is assured that you are on the case and can expect the complaint to be addressed.
It is important that you take each complaint seriously and never be dismissive about it. Show genuine concern for your tenant, and listen to all that he or she has to say. Also, remember that it pays to be professional. Do not scream or yell at the tenant, no matter how tempting it may be. Handle yourself in a calm and collected manner. This will prevent you from letting emotions cloud your judgment. When you keep your tenants happy, you have a safe and well-maintained property and a steady flow of income.
Plan to inspect your property on a regular basis, every 3-4 months if possible, and use this as a way to communicate with the tenant to find out whether there are any property issues or repairs that you need to be aware of.
Keeping your word is also key in keeping a trusted flow of communication with your tenant. Make sure you prioritise complaints and deal with them promptly. Make your tenant feel comfortable so they can bring things to your attention.
With thanks to rentalcluster.com for this article.
If you would like further assistance to rent out your property, here at Martin & Co we offer four service packages to our landlords, so no matter how much or little involvement a landlord may want in the process of letting their property, one of our flexible solutions will provide you with the right level of support. Why not contact your local office for more details.