Tracking Tenant Complaints

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on May 11, 2011 under Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

tenant screening, tenant credit checkLandlords and property managers have to deal with tenant complaints. It’s just a fact of life when you’re in the rental property business. Whether you’re interacting with a tenant who complains frequently or rarely, it’s important to properly track the complaint and your response—you never know when you’ll need the facts of the matter to protect yourself and your assets.

Establish Good Communication With Every Tenant
Encourage tenants to come to you with complaints, rather than letting them go or complaining to other tenants. You can foster this by demonstrating good listening and communication skills. Get to know your tenants as people, listen for clues about what matters to them, and give them the respect they deserve. When tenants trust you, they will be more likely to approach you with a problem.

Establish a Tenant Complaint Procedure
Creating an official form demonstrates to the tenant that you are taking their complaint seriously. It also allows you to keep a record of the situation. You can record details of how you handled the complaint, what repairs or remedies were performed, and you can even make a note of when to follow up with the tenant to be sure the complaint is resolved to their satisfaction. This becomes especially important in cases where a tenant withholds rent for non-satisfaction of complaints.

Fixing broken windows or door locks, replacing noisy ceiling fans and other mechanical problems can usually be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. When tenants complain about their neighbor’s bad parking habits or noisy parties, you have a more delicate situation on you hands. If your lease agreement includes a list of “house rules” such as quiet time or established parking areas, then you’re covered. You simply speak to the tenant who is breaking the rule and point out that expectations were clearly established. If the problem continues, written warnings and even eviction are your next steps.

It may be difficult–if not impossible–to keep 100% of your tenants 100% happy. But the goal is to keep good tenants in your properties and to keep everyone as safe and as happy as you can. Resolving issues promptly goes a long way toward that goal.

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