When Renters Complain: Tips For Handling Complaints

Man yelling at cellphone.Facing complaints from renters is never fun, which is why many investors choose to use a property management service. You can let the property management professionals handle the complaints so you can focus on more profitable areas of your business. Hiring a professional property manager is useful whether you have one or ten properties to manage.  If the need should arise, here are some tips on how to handle renter complaints.

Find The Right Kind Of Tenant.
Before you rent a home or space out to someone, take the time to do a proper background check, including talking to personal references and prior landlords.   Many times you can get an idea of the tenant will be a difficult person do deal with.

Have A Rock Solid Contract
Make sure that responsibility is spelled out in the contract. It should list who is responsible for the various types of things that go wrong. Check with your local rental board to find out what you are definitely responsible for and what is optional. For example, noisy neighbors are not your responsibility, while a leaky faucet is.

Take Steps To Properly Maintain Your Properties
Have a checklist of common issues that can generate complaints
Look for:
– Leaking pipes, faucets, toilets, and showers
– Broken hinges on doors and cupboards
– Non-functioning appliances
– Mold or rot
Eliminating these problems before anyone moves in should reduce the number of complaints you get.

Have A Complaint / Customer Service Process
You should have a plan to handle any problems that come in. Assign each issue a priority level. For example, an overflowing toilet or broken hot water heater is a high priority, while fixing a hole in the wall is not as urgent. Some will not be your responsibility at all.

Stay Calm, and Don’t Lose Your Temper.
When an emotional renter calls with a complaint, things can go from bad to worse in a hurry if you lose your cool.  Stay calm throughout the conversation. Even if the renter is angry or unhappy and tries to take it out on you, it’s best to handle the situation without returning the anger. If you’re not able to do this, then a property manager can be a great buffer.

Dealing with an unhappy renter is rarely fun, but it is part of being a landlord. Hiring a property manager can remove most of the stress that comes from dealing with the daily issues facing landlords. It’s often worth paying a little extra to enjoy peace of mind.

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