One of the matters you’ll have to attend to as a property owner is tenant complaints. Tenants are bound to be displeased at some point, whether it’s about other tenants or their rental unit, and it’s your responsibility to deal with it. And while tenant complaints can be a nuisance, they can also be beneficial.
Complaints help you or your property management company be aware of problems and allow you to deal with them immediately. In addition, by dealing with complaints, you’ll be able to boost your rental’s retention rates and avoid tenant turnover.
In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most common tenant complaints and provide tips on how you can take a proactive approach to deal with them.
#1 Poor Property Maintenance
When tenants feel like the property owner isn’t taking good care of the rental, they will be displeased about their situation. Tenants know that they’re supposed to take basic care of the property, but they’re also aware that it’s your responsibility to take care of most maintenance concerns. If you don’t conduct routine maintenance, or if you’re slow to act on maintenance complaints, your tenants will be tempted to move out. What’s more, the maintenance issue will have developed into a serious problem by the time you deal with it.
The solution is to have a simple maintenance complaint process in place. Let your tenants know what to do in case of a maintenance concern. Should they call you directly? Should they use the tenant portal to complete an online maintenance form? How long will it likely take your property management agents to respond to the complaint?
For example, at Luxury Property Care, we require tenants to complete an online maintenance request on our tenant portal. That way, we can streamline the process and help property owners document the tenant complaints in case they’re needed for future disputes.
#2 Poor Communication
By now, you should be aware that being a real estate investor is a long-term gig that demands your undivided attention. Unfortunately, not all property owners are aware of this, and they end up disappointing their tenants due to their poor communication.
When landlords don’t respond to their tenants promptly, this can be incredibly frustrating. Not responding to emails, messages, and more can cause your tenants to lose their trust in you and your property management company. For this reason, it’s important to reply to tenants promptly. When your tenants call, answer. When they text you, make sure to text back. If you can’t pick up the phone, acknowledge that you got the call, and let them know that you’ll ring them later.
If you’d like to avoid calls, the alternative solution would be to install an answering service. Of course, you’ll have to set aside time to respond to their concerns, but it’s one way to show that you care about your tenants. You could also set up a tenant portal that can receive and respond to complaints at any time, any day.
However, the best solution would be to delegate the task of answering tenant complaints to a property management firm – that way, you can make sure that your tenant’s complaints will always be addressed in due time.
Noise can be challenging to deal with as what your neighbors do is beyond your control. If the noise is coming from another tenant, you can talk to them and ask them to keep the noise down. But if it’s from a neighbor that’s not your tenant, remember that when it comes to noise, confrontation isn’t the best option. With that said, you should try not to accuse the neighbor immediately, and attempt to sort things out calmly.
If you’ve established rapport with your neighbors, there’s a good chance that they’ll be more understanding of your tenant’s situation. However, if you barely know your neighbors, you can ask your tenants to speak to them on their own. This is because they are the ones who are affected by the noise, not you.
If the noise persists, you can raise the issue to the police department. On the other hand, if the property is in a neighborhood with its own homeowners’ association (HOA), you can report the noisy neighbor to the board.
#4 Lack of Privacy
You may own the home, but that doesn’t mean you can barge in whenever you want to. Your tenants will be displeased when you or your property management agent enters the rental unit without notice. Remember that you are legally obligated to serve your notice advance notice of at least twenty-four hours prior to the visit. You can only enter the property without notice during an emergency and if your tenants are in danger.
You owe it to your tenants to provide them the privacy that they thought they’d have when they signed your lease agreement. Hence, you should always inform your tenants if you plan to enter the property, whether to conduct repairs, inspections, and so on.
#5 Pest Problems
No one wants pests on their property. It’s very unlikely that your tenants will take care of the pests problem on their own, so don’t be surprised if they contact you about the creepy crawlies. Besides, as the landlord, you’re obligated to deal with pest problems because they put your tenants’ well-being at risk, and make the home uninhabitable.
It would be wise to partner with a property management company that has a reliable network of vendors whom they can call at a moment’s notice. That way, when a tenant calls to complain about rats, roaches, termites, etc., you can deal with the matter immediately. Keep in mind that pests put people and property at risk, so it’s best to get rid of that danger as soon as possible.
If you need a service that can track tenant complaints and make sure they’re dealt with promptly, partner with Luxury Property Care today. As a team of expert property management agents, we’re here to ensure that your tenants receive excellence at all times. We use a state-of-the-art tenant portal to respond to complaints, communicate with tenants, document our responses, and more.