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Common Tenant Complaints (And Their Simple Fixes)

Managing rentals, and dealing with their tenants, can feel forever bogged down by obstacles and nasty tenants and bad things.

Knowing how to properly address complaining tenants is vital. After all, a good landlord-tenant relationship will ensure your success in the future. Tenants who feel listened to are less likely to leave as soon as their lease is up.

 

Complaint: Poor Communication

 

Tenants often feel blindsided by rules and expectations regarding the property, or feel that they have no forum for conversing with you regarding questions or concerns.

Simple Fix: Read through the lease with the tenant before allowing them to sign. This guarantees that the tenant will be aware of any stipulations they may have missed through merely skimming the agreement. Additionally, provide a cheat sheet of notable information your tenant is responsible for knowing. This ensures that the tenant truly has all the information at hand throughout their tenancy. Finally, during seasonal inspections, be sure to check in with the tenant and ask if they have any questions.

 

Complaint: Maintenance Issues

 

Tenants find they are met with a lack of response or timely fix of maintenance issues, or have negative experiences with your maintenance staff. 

Simple Fix: Since vendors serve as the lens by which your tenants will view your attentiveness, and by extension, the face of your business. Be sure to have great vendor screening policies in place, and give your tenants appropriate means of contacting you or for submitting work orders. Property management software can offer tenant portals where tenants are able to submit online work orders and managers can coordinate repairs with vendors. Whatever method you use, be sure to state in your lease how you would like tenants to handle maintenance requests, and who to contact should they have one.

 

Complaint: Lack of Privacy

 

Tenants can feel like they don’t have any privacy because their landlord has access to their home and enters the space too often.

Simple Fix: It is not only courteous,  it is a legal requirement that property managers and landlords give at least 24 hrs notice before entering a rental for any reason other than an emergency that can threaten the property or your tenants. Make sure that your tenants will actually receive a notice of your intent to enter the premises, use trackable methods (like a read receipt for email) or use a method of notification that they are sure to see.

 

Complaint: Unreturned Deposit Funds

 

Tenants often feel like their landlords and property managers keep funds from their security deposit unnecessarily.

Simple Fix: Ensure that your tenants are aware from the start about any requirements you have for space. Use a tenant newsletter to remind your renters about simple maintenance tasks that they are responsible for, as well as, ways that they can keep their space clean enough that no deductions will not be necessary. Upon move-out provide your tenants with a move-out checklist plainly conveys the condition you expect to find your property after the tenants have vacated. If you still must deduct charges, itemize any fees so your tenants understand exactly where the funds went. The more specific you can be with these charges, the less likely a renter will attempt to dispute them.

 

Complaint: Poor Customer Service

 

Tenants receive a rude (or lack of) response from landlords or property management staff regarding questions or issues related to their property.

Simple Fix: Remember that tenants are customers and your keys to success within the industry. Excellent customer service is the key to retaining excellent customers. Return phone calls or email messages in a timely manner. Always provide informative answers when a tenant has an inquiry and speak nicely to them; don’t talk down to them. Make certain that your renters feel great about doing business with you.

 

Becoming aware of the most common complaints that renters have with their property managers and landlords, is the first step to making sure that you are meeting their needs well. Great customer service, and being upfront with your tenants about your expectations (and even providing the tools to make it easier to meet them) is a surefire way to make your tenants feel great about working with you. Handling complaints appropriately will create a positive landlord-tenant relationship and is the best first step towards increase renewal rates and reduce turnover.

 

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