When you own a rental property, it is your responsibility to ensure that your tenants are comfortable in their dwelling space.
As a landlord, you need to maintain a good relationship with your tenants because they are the major source of your income for the long-term. Keeping your tenants happy and satisfied should be among your top priorities.
Landlords should ensure that the rental property is managed properly to keep tenants pleased and content. For example, landlords should ensure that the rental property is in top condition.
By doing regular inspections and routine maintenance, issues can be resolved quickly, and bigger repair problems can be avoided.
However, no matter how you keep your property in its best condition, and no matter how well-managed your rental home is, complaints from tenants are inevitable. In fact, it is normal for rental property owners to receive tenant complaints from time to time.
If you want to satisfy your tenants and retain them for a long time, it is crucial to address these complaints in a timely and effective manner. Tenant screening only finds good tenants. To keep them, you have to be a good landlord.
Usually, tenant complaints fall into these categories: maintenance issues, neighbor problems, pest infestations, and issues with pets. As a landlord, it is your duty to know how to handle tenant complaints efficiently to provide a habitable place for them and to keep them happy.
Keep in mind that you must make yourself easily accessible. Tenants should be able to contact you conveniently to raise certain issues that they think you need to know. If you are difficult to contact, tenants may be more aggravated, and this may cause more problems later on.
You do not need to keep yourself available 24/7, but it is important to provide tenants with ways to reach out to you in case of emergencies.
Also, make sure to provide tenants with a reasonable timeframe for addressing issues, and stick to this timeframe as much as possible. Update your tenants on the progress of what you are doing to resolve the issue.
It is also essential to keep everything in writing, including the receipts for expenses related to the complaints. You might need these in case the issue escalates and may need legal intervention.
Here are the top four common complaints rental property owners often receive from tenants:
1. Maintenance-related issues
The most common type of complaint from tenants is typically related to maintenance and the upkeep of the property. Often, tenants rely solely on the landlord to fix these issues because they are not the owner of the property.
That is why it is crucial to address maintenance issues right away, especially if this can affect the tenants’ way of life. In addition, attending to maintenance problems as soon as possible can help prevent these issues from becoming more serious and costly to fix.
Once you receive maintenance-related complaints, make sure to visit the property to check the problem. Find out what is the root cause of the problem, and whether or not this is due to normal wear and tear. Send a trained professional to fix the issue as soon as possible.
Make sure to update the tenant in writing on the progress of the resolution. If the problem is due to damage beyond wear and tear, make sure to talk with the tenant about this so that you can reach a mutual agreement for the expenses.
2. Neighbor-related complaints
When a tenant complains about a noisy neighbor, ask them to talk to the neighbor first to resolve the issue among themselves. But if the tenant has done everything to reach an amicable solution with the neighbor but to no avail, then it is also your responsibility to intervene.
If the neighbor is also one of your tenants, you can talk to the erring party and refer to the clause in the lease about noise. Consider eviction if that tenant does not stop disruptive behavior. If the neighbor is not one of your tenants, you can try to talk to them in a cordial manner.
But if this does not help, you can refer to the city’s bylaw enforcement section to get help resolving the problem.
3. Pest-related complaints
Pest infestations are one of the main reasons why tenants leave the property. Sometimes, they can even break their lease due to an uninhabitable unit. When you receive a pest-related complaint, make sure to act on it as soon as possible.
Contact a professional pest exterminator in your area to resolve the problem quickly. To prevent this issue, consider hiring this professional service for preventive measures without waiting for a complaint.
4. Pet-related issues
Some tenant complaints involve pets, such as barking dogs, aggressive pet behavior, and feces. If the complaint is about a neighbor’s barking dog, you can ask the tenant to resolve the issue amicably with the neighbor first. You can intervene in case the tenant does not resolve the issue themselves.
If the complaint is related to pet feces, talk to the neighbors or pet owners to clean after their pets. If this does not help, refer to the city’s bylaws related to the issue. The same goes for complaints related to aggressive pet behavior. Escalate the problem to the authorities if needed.
Important Things to Remember
Receiving tenant complaints is normal for rental property owners. As a landlord, you have the responsibility to ensure that your tenants feel safe and comfortable in their place of dwelling.
Make sure to listen to them carefully and try to understand the complaint before you react. Even if you think the issue is futile, take this with a sense of urgency because the tenants may find this extremely annoying for them.
Do not dismiss the complaint as unimportant just because you think it is. Make sure to attend to the problem as quickly as possible or send someone who can if you are not available. Moreover, communicate with your tenants consistently, and update them on the steps you are taking to provide a resolution to the problem.
To ensure that your tenant will stay for the long term, addressing tenant complaints in a timely manner is crucial. Get in touch with Service Star Realty today and find out how to make sure your investment property succeeds!
Service Star Realty
2929 East Camelback Road #119, Phoenix, AZ 85016