How Landlords Should Handle Tenant Complaints

handshakeHappy tenants, who feel as though their landlord addresses their complaints, tend to abide by the residential lease better than those that don’t feel this way. Whether the tenant files frequent or in-frequent complaints, the bottom line is to always follow up.

1. Promote Pro-Active Tenants.
For any and all maintenance or repairs, continually encourage your tenants to alert you as soon as they discover the problem. Granted some tenants may abuse the privilege, but most will not. Be sure your phone number/s are written on the residential lease (or given to the tenant separately).

2. Create an Actual Tenant Complaint Form… and Make Tenants Use It.
Specifically if you own a large number of residences, using complaint forms may be necessary for logistical purposes. They can be used as past records for upgrades and maintenance, as well as a way to track receipts. On the form you’ll want to reference the residential lease, date of the complaint, tenant’s name, and what the problem is. After the problem has been fixed go back and record how it was fixed and the date it was fixed.

3. Fix Problems as Soon as They Arise.
Have a rolodex of handymen and licensed contractors on hand and be sure they answer on short notice. While some problems may be too large to fix immediately, loyal contractors are a major piece of the real estate puzzle.

4. Follow Up on the Issues After They’ve Been Addressed.
After the complaint or repair has been addressed, follow up with the tenant so that there is closure, even if it seems obvious that the tenant already knows what you will say. If the problem cannot be addressed right away, clearly communicate that to the tenant, and let them know that you are actively pursuing a solution.

Overall you need to keep you tenants happy and your property safe. Whether a tenants complaint is petty or the real-deal, always follow up and show them that you’re attentive to their needs.


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