If you’re a first-time landlord, one of the most intimidating aspects of the job for many people is dealing with tenants. This uncertainty can act as a deterrent, preventing people from installing tenants and reaping the rewards of their real estate investments.
However, once you learn more about the realities of dealing with tenants, some of the uncertainty starts to fade away. Once you’re more confident, you’ll realize that with effort and good communication, you can prevent most of these complaints before they’ve even occurred.
Today, we’ll show you the most common complaints that landlords and property managers face when dealing with tenants, and how you can take action to ensure they don’t affect your properties.
The Most Common Complaints Made by Tenants
One of the most important aspects of dealing with tenants is good communication. If you’re honest and straightforwardly communicate your needs and desires, it will invite the same type of response from your tenants. This helps to minimize misunderstandings, getting everyone on the same page.
However, regardless of how conscientious you are and how well you communicate, issues may still arise. Here are some of the most common issues faced by landlords everywhere.
1. Broken appliances and maintenance requests
Most often, tenants will get in touch with landlords to let them know when something has broken, or if some aspect of the apartment requires maintenance. As the landlord, the good condition of the property is your responsibility, and tenants expect that their maintenance requests will be handled promptly and professionally.
Things break, and everyday wear and tear on appliances and other aspects of the home should be expected. Unless there’s any reason to think that improper use or foul play caused the damage, all maintenance requests should be taken care of promptly by the landlord.
Once the maintenance is done, follow up with the tenants to ensure everything is in good working order again. This consistent communication will help assure them that you care about their wellbeing, as well as the upkeep of the property.
2. Safety hazards
Before any tenants move into your property, all safety hazards should be taken care of. This includes everything from out-of-date smoke alarm batteries and clogged oven filters to rickety stairs, insecure railings, and faulty exterior locks.
If tenants arrive and notice safety hazards, they should get in touch with you right away. Otherwise, you risk a much bigger issue down the road if any of these safety hazards causes damage to the property or puts your tenants at risk.
You can prevent this issue by doing a thorough walk-through before putting the property on the market, and making sure that all safety hazards have been eliminated. Proper safety precautions like smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors will also help.
3. Noisy neighbours
Another common complaint you’ll face as a landlord, especially if you own several properties close together, is tenants complaining about noisy neighbours. As a landlord, it’s important to maintain a friendly, neutral outlook to ensure that no tenant feels singled out.
Once you determine the cause of the noise, you can suggest quick fixes like carpeting, rugs, or even permanent noise dampening in certain high-traffic areas.
4. Pest problems
No matter where you’re located, pests can make their way indoors, damaging the interior of the home and spreading filth and illness from their droppings and urine. While tenants are responsible for the day-to-day cleanliness of the property, the landlord must ensure that the home is in good repair. This includes sealing up cracks and other small holes that can be a gateway to pests.
Even the most diligent landlords and tenants may be affected by pests. Getting rid of them is often a collaborative effort, with the tenant doing everything possible to ensure that the house is free from temptations like food and debris, while the landlord should take responsibility for the extermination, as well as the measures taken to prevent further infestations.
5. Lack of privacy
While landlords do have a right to access their property with 24 hours’ notice, they should be careful to exercise this right carefully. Otherwise, tenants may begin to feel that the landlord or their agents are infringing on their privacy and their right to the free use of the property.
There are ways to stay on top of maintenance and regular inspections without infringing on your tenant’s privacy. A great start is to set a yearly calendar for routine inspections and give it to the tenants in advance. You should also be diligent about giving them at least 24 hours’ notice before you enter, so you can ensure that they’ve actually read the notice and are expecting your arrival.
6. Breach of agreements
To avoid any disputes about agreements that were made, it helps to get everything in writing. Landlords should also be diligent about sticking to the letter of the law.
When all agreements, rights, and responsibilities are clearly laid out on paper, there’s not as much leeway for tenants to complain about a breach in any agreement.
7. Lack of communication
From the very beginning, communication between the landlord and tenant should be both respectful and clear. To mitigate misunderstandings about the tenant’s responsibilities, landlords must communicate their expectations clearly, and reinforce them with periodic updates, if necessary.
Tenants should also feel empowered to bring issues forward to their landlord, whatever they may be. Keeping clear pathways of communication open and being responsive to any concerns will help tenants feel more comfortable.
Find More Resources at Goldmar Property Management
Looking for more resources on facilitating better landlord-tenant relationships? At Goldmar Property Management, we’re familiar with both sides of this relationship and have plenty of wisdom to share about how to create positive outcomes for both landlords and tenants. Come learn all there is to know from our talented roster of Windsor property management experts.
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