There are good renters and bad renters, good property managers and bad property managers. You likely think of yourself as a good manager, and hopefully you think of your renters as good renters. However, if they somehow have a negative perception of you, then it may be due to one of the following common renter complaints.
Addressing Some Common Renter Complaints
“From delivering news about rent increases, to explaining why your tenants won’t be getting their security deposit back, it can feel like delivery bad news is half of the job.” That doesn’t mean that you’re a bad manager, though, no matter what the renters might think. Still, it may be easier on everyone if you try to see things from their point of view so that you can better address their issues going forward.
If you have to deny a person who was applying to rent from you, then be very careful in how you deliver that unfortunate news. Even if you’re doing it for the right reasons and are following all of the proper guidelines, the person may still be outraged at the decision, particularly if you tell them in the wrong way. Be cautious with your words and tone, be polite, but firm, and that’s about the best you’ll be able to do in this scenario. Remember that even applicants that you turned away can leave reviews for you or your property!
Current renters may have already passed that mark, but they might face a different (but still unpleasant) situation… an increase in rent. “Taxes, inflation and maintenance costs all add up, and the savvy investor must pass those additional costs onto tenants.” However, one of the most common renter complaints is that the rent is too high, so how can you tiptoe around this issue without jeopardizing the business or angering your residents or tenants? To begin with, make sure that you have a valid explanation for the increase. Raising costs without telling anyone why is a surefire way to frustrate people. Second, if you can, make the increase one that will be small and over time rather than large and at once. This way, at least, it seems more manageable, and gives them time to prepare.
Do you ever have to close down any of your public spaces, or amenities, during the year? Even if it’s necessary, this is something that your renters will likely groan about. Some people may have chosen you over another location because of the amenities, so to have them closed even for valid reasons might earn some backlash. “To truly accommodate your tenants’ needs, work with a local business that will offer a discount for your residents and attempt to schedule maintenance in your seasonal downtime, if possible.” Put simply, you want it to appear as if you care about their needs… because you should.
Unfortunately, renters will argue with one another. There may be small complaints about the other or full-blown fights with yelling and banging on walls. Not only is this disruptive to your other renters, but it reflects poorly on your team if you don’t have anyone to mange these conflicts. Another of the common renter complaints is that the landlord isn’t adept at handling renter disagreements, or there doesn’t seem to be anyone to handle these disagreements. Your renters want to know that you’re looking out for them and that you will at least hear them out if they have a legitimate complaint about someone else. Don’t ignore these complaints, or you may find yourself on the receiving end of them next time!
If you’ve had to return a security deposit that wasn’t at its full, original price, then you’ve probably had people voice their confusion and frustration. Many times, your renters may not realize what they were supposed to do (or to not do) to take care of the apartment, and this can lead to damages or issues that you then have to fix. All of this should be clearly outlined in the renter’s agreement, but even so, they may not be aware of it. As such, make sure to explain why they may not be getting all of that money back so they don’t accuse you of withholding it for nonsensical reasons.
There is a lot that you have to do in order to manage your renters and to avoid common renter complaints. Don’t get too caught up in the little details of these aspects of property management, and instead leave them to Budgetrac Property Management Software. This simplified technology is easy to use, yet flexible and robust. It has a Expense Recovery functionality, which is one of the most comprehensive and simple-to-use Common Area Maintenance (CAM) and Operating Expense reconciliation available today. All this and more can help to please your renters and ease your professorial burden!