Tenant disputes will make your work as a landlord hard. Some tenants are uncaring and will damage your property, while others will regularly pay rent late. At some point, most landlords face the challenging task of dealing with bad tenants, and it’s tough. Luckily, this article explores some of the common tenant problems and tips on handling tenant disputes.
Screening potential tenants is vital in revealing tenants that may cause you problems in the future. Let us look at some of the common problems landlords face.
• Noisy tenants
• Pest issues
• Pet issues
• Maintenance problems
• Tenants refusing to pay rent and requesting for endless payment arrangements
• Endless complainers
• Purposeful damage
• Illegal use of property
• Past-due utility bills
Listen to the Dispute
The first step in solving tenant disputes is listening. You should first listen to the tenant dispute and not conclude they are overreacting. Being understanding and respectful to a tenant’s dispute will make them calm and open to your solution.
Stay Rational, Objective, and Calm
It’s easy to get angry when tenants complain. However, being a madcap will only make things worse. You shouldn’t let your judgment become clouded by emotions when handling tenant disputes. Being the landlord, you should have a voice of reason.
Therefore, carefully evaluate the situation and take your time to develop the most effective approach to solve the issue. Tenants will be more open to you when they find you tactful and collected.
Keep Record of Everything
One of the most effective ways of avoiding tenant disputes is keeping records of everything when inspecting your property. Although this increases your workload, it reduces the likeliness of a tenant to dispute a charge. Therefore, all the trouble is worth it.
You should not just have a written record of everything you find; take videos and pictures.
When your tenants feel you are not accessible, they will become frustrated. Of course, this does not mean that you should be available every time of the day or week a tenant feels like reaching out to you. Tenants should be able to contact you during the usual business hours. During your business hours, you should quickly reply to tenant emails and calls.
You should inform your tenants not to contact you past your business hours, except when it’s an emergency. Make sure you have an emergency strategy so that your tenants know what can’t wait until your business hours and what is seen as an emergency.
Show True Concern
When you quickly dismiss a tenant’s concern, you will create hostility. No matter how legitimate the complaint is, you have to let the tenant know that their complaint is significant and that you will do everything within your power to address it as quickly as possible. This will make a tenant see that you are on their side and thus achieve a positive result.
Fix Disputes in a Timely Way
Another essential step in fixing tenant disputes is how fast you address their concerns. Based on the severity of a tenant issue, you do not have to abandon everything you are doing to fix it, but you have to resolve the matter within a fair amount of time. For instance, a damaged front door lock or leaking roof must be fixed as soon as possible, while issues such as cracked tiles and damaged kitchen cabinet handles can wait a couple of days.
Work With a Property Manager
The truth is, no matter how much you try to please your tenants, dealing with some of them is just difficult. Therefore, it’s best if you let a property manager deal with them for you. Hiring a property manager will give you free time and save you the stress of dealing with tenants.
When you’re a landlord, tenant disputes are unavoidable. As a landlord, you have to stay professional in all your interactions with your tenants. Regardless of the tenant dispute, you have to be professional, calm, and understanding to resolve the problem effectively. Therefore, when issues arise and need you to intervene, how you handle the situation as the landlord will make a big difference.