As a property manager, it’s possible that you’ve seen it all. Depending on how long you’ve been working in this position, you may have already encountered all of the most common renter complaints that exist and already know how to handle them. However, for those who are newer to the industry, or for those who have had a relatively smooth experience thus far, you should read on in case any of the following come up in your line of work.
How to Handle These Common Renter Complaints
Typically, someone will always have an issue with something. That’s the case with most facets of life. However, within property management, things can get even trickier. Your property is where these people live, or work, and so they will be a little more touchy about issues than they might in other scenarios. Though the problem may not be your fault directly, it’s usually your responsibility (you and your team’s) to address things and to deal with the perhaps-frustrated customers.
You don’t need to think of this as a negative experience, however. If you are able to solve renters’ issues in a timely, polite, and professional manner, then they will likely have a positive reaction and will think well of you going forward. Improving your relationships with tenants and residents should always be on your to-do list, so addressing renter complaints can kill two birds with one stone, in some situations. This can also help with retaining the renters that you currently have, so keep all this in mind as you address:
- Maintenance Complaints. Things are going to wear down, break down, and shut down. Your renters likely know this. They want to know, however, that they can get in touch with you ASAP to report the issue, and that you will then send someone to make repairs in a timely manner. That means you should have a system in place, one understand by all involved, for submitting maintenance requests. Have the problem addressed as quickly as possible, alert the renter if it will take a longer time, for whatever reason, and follow up after the fact to confirm resolution. Note: for your own protection, you should get all details in writing in case of any legal battles in the future.
- Communication Complaints. As mentioned above, renters being able to reach you is key. If they can’t, they’ll surely become annoyed and worse. Even if you don’t have the time to write out a long response to an e-mail that you get, you should always send a quick reply letting them know that you saw their message and that you will get back to them as soon as you can. “No one likes to deal with a property manager or landlord who is always unavailable, does not answer his phone calls, or never replies to any email.”
- Neighbor Complaints. If you allow pets, then you may get complaints about their noises. No matter the thickness of the walls, you may get complaints about renters’ neighbors who play their music too loud. Whatever the case, you’ll surely hear one person talking about another, one whose unit is producing some noise that bothers them. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot that you can do in these situations beyond trying to act as a mediator. If there is really a problem, then you might consider offering to move the noisy renter to another area (if possible). If you’re unable to solve this issue, then you may be able to evict them… if you have certain, related clauses in the lease.
- Pest Complaints. Unfortunately, this is something that most people have to deal with, whether they’re property owners or renters. Another of the most common renter complaints is the presence of some kind of pest in the unit. They can spread from place to place, too, so this could become a much larger problem if you don’t address it soon. Get an exterminator in there to take a look so that whatever unwanted guests are present will be removed before it becomes an epidemic.
These are just some of the more common renter complaints, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones. To help with your communication and similar issues, though, you can enlist the help of an automated system software, such as SKYLINE Property Management and Accounting Software. SKYLINE has everything you need in one, easy-to-use system, and it can help you in a big way in your management duties. Why not make things easier on yourself?