Being in the rental business industry means dealing with several types of people. They could be contractors, vendors or even tenants. The focal point among them, however, is the tenants. They are your direct customers. If you don’t attend to their needs, it means your business has the potential to fail big time.
No matter how good you are at being a landlord, miscommunication and other external variables can happen. This leads to complaints and conflicts. To avoid this, study how to become a proactive landlord when faced with common tenant problems.
Below are some of the top complaints you’re bound to meet in the course of being a landlord:
1. The tenant encounters rodents or bedbugs.
When your property is old, there’s a probability that a pest infestation will occur. This is a major source of tenant complaints. After all, no one wants to live in a home that’s full of unwanted visitors like insects or rodents.
There’s a State law that requires the rental property to be kept habitable for the tenants. This is your responsibility as a landlord. To avoid a tenant complaint about pest infestation, it’s advisable to perform inspections. Fix the situation right away by hiring an exterminator.
Rather than facing a tenant turnover and property vacancy, it’s much quicker to spend time on home treatment. If you avoid addressing the pest issue, it will only continue to escalate. You wouldn’t want to sacrifice your income earning potential for this easily-resolved dilemma.
2. The tenant is seeking immediate house repair.
By far, this is the most common since one way or the other; the rental unit will suffer damages from normal wear and tear. A tenant could also hurry the life expectancy of an appliance simply by frequent usage.
To solve this, act immediately. Essential aspects of the home like the toilet; plumbing, heater and air conditioning unit can be categorized as an urgent case. This must not be delayed given the inconveniences and health hazards it can cause.
Before anything else, the process for reporting maintenance and repair concerns must be outlined in the lease agreement. This will prevent any errors in miscommunication. Moreover, the tenant would know what to do and how to categorize different levels of emergency maintenance and repair situations.
3. The tenant reports a noise disturbance.
Some people are sensitive to noise. You can land yourself a tenant who perpetually complains about it. As a landlord, you must be proactive when dealing with this type of issue. If you have a multi-family property, this can occur often. Some renters have children or pets that make a lot of noise, disturbing others. You can include a policy in your contract to minimize or discourage this type of situation.
Trace the source of noise disturbance and give a fair warning before sending a notice. You can also meet directly with the tenant to discuss the severity of the noise disturbance. If nothing changes, you can choose not to renew the lease or evict the tenant. If it’s the neighbor that’s causing the disturbance, the affected tenant should handle the issue themselves.
If it’s still unsettled, you can also meet with the source of the noise or the landlord of that property. Otherwise, a police report can be filed against the one stealing the peace around the neighborhood. To keep the external noise muted, you can install soundproof walls in your rental unit.
4. The tenant is frustrated with the lack of landlord feedback.
Being a self-managing landlord, you’ll be juggling several tasks. Sometimes you get so busy, you forget to revert back to the tenant. While being busy is understandable when you’re attending to your responsibilities as a landlord, it still isn’t an excuse.
Your priority is to focus your attention on serving your tenants well. When you receive a phone call or a text message, reply within a reasonable time. This can be within 2-3 hours. If you’re in the middle of something, take time to thank them and provide a time frame to get back. This way they won’t be anxiously waiting for your response.
You can also install a system that will record their concerns so you’re certain to trace the date and time of the complaint. You can update the status of the issue and your tenant can rest easy knowing the problem has been addressed. Make sure the tenant can always reach you in case any emergencies suddenly happen.
5. The tenant has a privacy issue.
It might seem that a landlord has all the right to inspect a rental unit at any time. However, tenants have a right to privacy and they’re protected under the law. They are given the right to quietly enjoy their premises. This means a landlord must provide a notice of at least 24 hours before conducting a property inspection.
Tenants are within their rights to complain should a landlord just knock on the door without giving fair warning. Only during emergencies can a landlord gain entry inside the rental unit.
Neglecting to inform your tenant of a property inspection can cause them to move out. Would you want a sudden uninvited guest to drop in your home? That’s worth thinking about. It’s best to walk in the other person’s shoes to check if you’re comfortable with your privacy not being taken into account.
6. The tenant raises an issue about a non-refunded security deposit.
During the lease signing, the procedure for security deposits must be carefully discussed. To avoid a rift between you and the tenant, a guideline must be provided.
Let a tenant know the conditions that will lead to a non-refund of the security deposit. List common items for deductions. This may be the repair of damages resulting from a tenant’s neglect. This can also be attributed to cleaning costs for a messy unit.
Tenants must know you intend to keep the security deposit intact and returned in full. However, they need to do their part to keep the property in great condition.