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Tips for Resolving Tenant Complaints Peacefully

business meeting between man and woman, man is listeningHow to get tenants to stay in your rental property for a long time?

That is one of the biggest challenges of being a property investor or professional property manager. Improved tenant retention is one of the most efficient ways to lower the operational cost of a rental while boosting its performance.

But to get tenants to remain in a rental s more than offering benefits to your tenants or improving the property itself. Property managers and landlords must understand the things that make tenants terminate their lease in the first place. Unless they specifically planned to lease for a short time, most tenants do not want to vacate their rented home soon after leasing.

Why? Because moving house is difficult. The stress of packing stuff and uprooting yourself every so often is enough pain to make most tenants remain in their rented homes. Humans are creatures of habit, and once tenants have gotten used to a rental, they don’t want to leave.

The fact is that most tenants are forced to terminate their lease and move out of a rented home. They mainly do this because of lingering issues with the landlord, property manager, or the building itself. If tenants complain and the problems are not fixed, those tenants will leave.

It is that simple.

As a landlord or property manager trying to lower vacancy rates in your rental by improving tenant retention rates, how can you avoid this? The key is to make quick and thorough resolution of tenants’ complaints a focal point of your property management strategy.

The following tips will help you do this.

7 tips for resolving tenants’ complaints speedily and peacefully

Lease Agreement

1. Make the lease terms clear

Most landlord-tenant conflicts can be avoided if you help tenants understand the lease terms. Refrain from assuming that just because your tenants are educated, they will understand the language and content of a legal document. Most tenants need to be more active and confident to read the fine print of a lease agreement. Going out of your way to explain each party’s rights and responsibilities will go a long way to help you avoid conflicts.

2. Educate your tenants

In addition to explaining the lease, you should also be able to let your tenants know how to use or maintain the different features of the rental. If specific appliances or areas of the home need special care, teach them how to do it. If problems commonly occur in the house, make them aware of them. Helping tenants become better rental managers reduces the probability of issues that will lead to disagreements.

3. Be accessible to tenants

business woman listening to clientMaking yourself accessible to your tenants does not mean being at their beck and call. It means having systems that make it easy for tenants to submit complaints. There are lots of property management software that do this. A good plan is one that tenants will find easy to use. It should offer them multiple ways to register their issues and make it easy for you to respond.

4. Have predictable response times

When the complaint is an emergency, tenants expect the problem to be resolved immediately. But even when the issue they are reporting is not an emergency, you want tenants to have a timeframe when they can expect action from you. Long wait times will not only frustrate your tenants and sour your relationship with them. It will also give the problems time to get worse and cost you more.

5. Show genuine concern

Sometimes your tenants will make annoying complaints, and other times the things they complain about are caused by them. But in all cases, you must be attentive to their needs and show actual concern. Most tenants will not go out of their way to annoy you; if they report an issue, it is usually because they are unhappy about it. Often, patience is needed to walk them through the difficulties.

6. Solve the problems first

Stay calm about the cost of fixing a problem. Your main priority should not be to assign blame for the issue. If an experienced attorney created your lease agreement, it should contain clauses that explain the procedures for dealing with damage caused by a tenant. The right step should be to fix the problem first and then assign blame later.

7. Only hire professionals

business woman smiling confidently with a group in the backgroundNothing annoys tenants more than having to deal with the same issues repeatedly. Always hire the best professionals to solve the problems in your rental. Do not cut corners in a bid to minimize costs; those shortcuts will come to bite you later. Hiring the best professionals will inspire tenant confidence and let you deal with issues effectively.

Finally, good communication will help you build trust and rapport with tenants. Small gestures like remembering a tenant’s first name, their kid’s birthday, or a wedding anniversary let you smooth out rough edges in the relationship.

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