Although dealing with complaints can be a difficult issue, it's important that you properly resolve any tenant complaints so that you don't lose good tenants or damage your reputation as a landlord. As part of your tenant retention strategy, you should develop a system that fully resolves complaints from tenants as promptly as possible.
The following are tips that you can incorporate into your routine for handling complaints that will ensure tenant satisfaction at your property:
Avoid complaints from occurring in the first place
It's better to prevent situations that will lead to tenant complaints rather than deal with them. You can avoid tenant complaints by carefully screening tenants to avoid troublemakers and by keeping well ahead of scheduled maintenance tasks on your property.
Create a paper trail
It's a good idea to create a complaint process that is thoroughly documented. This will help you to not only fully understand your tenant's complaint, but also to keep a careful record of your efforts to resolve the issue. Keep track of any communication between yourself and your tenant, and provide forms to your tenants that prompt them on any information you need to resolve their complaint.
Be aware of any local laws regarding your responsibilities
As a landlord, you need to be aware of any legal responsibilities you have towards your tenants. If you are unaware of some law and you violate it, you can be pretty certain that you'll be hearing about it from your tenants at some point.
Understand the whole problem
You'll need to listen carefully to tenant complaints to understand the whole problem. While sometimes a tenant complaint may be fairly self-explanatory, you should question your tenant extensively so that you are able to completely resolve the complaint. Listening carefully is especially important when there is a language barrier between you and your tenant(s).
Stay in communication constantly
Once a tenant has notified you of a complaint, you should make it clear that you are addressing the issue immediately. Communicate with your tenant as you take care of the problem via phone or e-mail to keep him or her posted on your progress. If repairs or changes that the tenant requests will take time, make sure you carefully explain any necessary delays to your client.
Draw a line between valid and frivolous complaints
While you may have a natural inclination toward keeping your clients 100 percent satisfied, it's important to recognize when a tenant is making a frivolous complaint. Tenants can take advantage of you if you're a little too accommodating, so carefully consider the validity of a complaint before exerting yourself to resolve the issue. (For questions about property management, contact a company such as NorthStar Cleaning & Property Services)