If you have been in property management for any amount of time, you already know that no matter how hard you and your maintenance work, there are always going to those tenants who will complain. And of course, when they do, it falls on you to soothe their ruffled feathers and resolve their problem.
How you handle your tenant’s complaints will go a long way towards keeping them happy and improve retention rates. At the same time, it will almost certainly go a long way towards securing your reputation as a property manager who truly cares about his tenants. Here are three of the most common complaints and a few tips on how best to handle them.
Maintenance the #1 Complaint
Maintenance or should we say the lack of maintenance is the number one complaint amongst tenants across the nation. There are several steps you can take to minimize the complaints. First, be sure you outline how your tenants are required to submit a maintenance request in their lease. You should also note how long your tenants should expect to wait for a response based on the type of maintenance needed, and what they should do in case of an emergency. By putting it in their lease, and making sure you hold up your end, you can make a significant dent in the number of maintenance complaints. Of course, having a top-notch maintenance team on duty helps as well.
Poor Communication the #2 Complaint
Next to maintenance issues, poor communication on your part is the second biggest complaint. No tenant wants a property manager who always seems to be unavailable, never answers his phone calls, and seems to ignore his emails.
Picture this, the tenant in one of your units sends you an email, but because you didn’t think there was any validity to his complaint, you didn’t reply. While this might not seem like a big deal to you, to your tenant it says, “I am being ignored.” It’s pretty hard to find good tenants these days, and you should be doing everything in your power to keep them happy. All it takes is a few moments out of your day to respond to even the simplest of issues.
Neighbors Who Make Too Much Noise the #3 Complaint
Noisy neighbors come in at the number three position when it comes to complaints in multi-family units. This covers everything from dogs that never seem to stop barking to all night parties, and yes to those who believe interpersonal relations must include a lot of very loud moaning.
In many cases, these problems are actually beyond the scope of your duties, yet your tenants still seem to think you can actually do something about the problem. It depends on who the cause of the noise happens to be. If they are not your tenants, the only thing you can do, is to suggest your tenant attempt to address the person or their property owner.
However, if the person or persons in question are tenants, you have options such as talking to them about the complaint, or in the event they refuse to make the necessary changes to their behavior, you have the option of issuing them a Cure or Quit notice giving them a certain number of days to comply or vacate the property.