The nightmare of any Landlord is that phone call from the tenant at 2 am in the morning. When that phone rings, your heart starts beating faster. What could it be this time? – Loud neighbors? Heating or Cooling not working? Or did they clog the toilet again? How are you going to handle this issue?
Of Course, Handling these complaints effectively and firmly is the difference between a good landlord and a terrible one. If you handle them good, you will have long term tenants. At the same time, you do not want to lose your ROI by trying to please the tenants too much. Whatever the case maybe you do not want to end up in court with a lawsuit against you.
Here are some tips about handling common tenant complaints:
· Listen: This step seems very simple, but it is the most important one. Listen to the complaint, no matter how trivial it might be. Understand it completely before responding – Even if this is the 10th call this year about that clogged toilet. Unless you understand what serious or extensive the issue is, how will you respond? One time is to start asking pictures of the property.
· Determine the urgency: Second, determine how urgent the issue is and how quickly it needs to be fixed. To give you an example, if the heater is turned off during a cold winter month, it is serious, and you need to get the issue fixed as soon as possible. One the other side if there is a drip leak below the kitchen sink, you can take the luxury to find a good plumber to fix it.
· Cooperate: Be smart. Cooperate with the tenant. Even when you know the tenant is totally unrealistic, cooperate with this. This will help you and the tenant to reach a solution far sooner and finish the issue in good terms.
· Identify solutions: Sometime the issues might not be clear right away. Like a comment saying, ‘I smell gas’. Might be that the tenant left the burner on without noticing. Could also be a serious and dangerous leak in the plumbing. So, work slowly with the tenant and try to identify a solution that can work.
· Schedule the Job and Obtain Access: If the solution needs help from a third-party contractor like an electrician or plumber, schedule the job and obtain access information from the tenant. Most state laws allow the landlord to enter the property with a 24 hrs notice.
· Follow up: Even after the issue is resolved, follow up with the tenant that the fix is working fine. This will increase your reputation and your tenant feel an assurance that you will stay with them if there are any issue in the future.
· Bonus Tip – Catch Them Before They Happen: This is the best part. At SPJ Managements, our Property management Processes are very efficient that we catch the issues before they occur. We do quarterly and semi-annual walk through and document everything in videos and photos. This will help up catch the issue before it becomes a crisis.
At SPJ Managements, we offer full-service Property Management Services to long terms residential landlords. We are limited to serving single family, townhomes, condo and multi-unit properties up to 4 units. We have an in house team of resources ready to start Marketing your Property, Complete timely Service calls and Stay on top of all Paperwork or you.
Fill out the form to get more information about our management services by calling +1(667)802-0003 or filling out the Property management Request Form.