How To Deal With Upset Tenants
It’s pretty much inevitable that as a property manager, you will eventually encounter a situation where a tenant has become upset with you. No one wants upset tenants, but at the same time, you are obliged to carry out your function and protect the best interests of the property and the owner. Here are some recommendations for how you can go about dealing with upset tenants, while at the same time protecting the interests of the individuals you work for.
Maintaining good communications with your tenants is essential for minimizing disputes, and helping to understand their point of view. It will help a great deal if you take the time to listen to what they’re actually saying. Even when a tenant gets on a rant and goes overboard, the best thing you can do is patiently allow them to vent. This will show that you respect their concerns and that you want to understand their side of the story. The worst thing you can do in a situation like this is to get emotional yourself and allow the tenant’s irrational behavior to dictate your own response. You’re much better off to just stick to the facts, and avoid getting sucked into an argument that won’t do you or anyone else any good.
Try to consider workable solutions
It won’t accomplish anything if you accuse your tenant of being the problem, even if in fact they really are. Whenever a tenant feels attacked, they are much more likely to lash out irrationally and exacerbate the situation. By trying to work toward a solution with the tenant, you may find it’s possible to reach some kind of agreement. Any agreement that you settle on may end up costing you some money, but in the long run, it’s likely to be worth it because you will have diffused the situation and possibly improved tenant relations at the same time. Keep in mind that a bad review from even a single tenant can cause lost business at some point in the future. This doesn’t mean you have to bend over backwards to accommodate every tenant, but making a legitimate effort to find common ground is in everyone’s best interest.
Stay on the legal side
Whatever you do, make sure that you’re always on firm legal footing with all of your actions. There are quite a few tenants these days who make a point of learning all their legal rights, and they become amateur lawyers at trying to gain every possible advantage. You don’t have to become a lawyer yourself, but you should definitely be aware of all the laws and rules regarding landlord-tenant relations. If necessary, by all means consult a lawyer to be sure that you’re handling the situation legally and correctly. The penalties for violating any existing laws can be extremely serious, so you don’t want to run afoul of the legal system.
Use emails and texts
Communicating with your tenants by emails and texts can work out to your advantage in a major way. Firstly, it allows you to think about what you need to say precisely, and if you’re not a good speaker, this is especially important. Having the time to calmly phrase your thoughts can save a lot of misunderstanding and miscommunication. If a situation should get out of control and legal action becomes necessary, you’ll also have hard evidence to support your case.
A cheerful attitude can go a long way toward maintaining good tenant relations. If you can find something to respect about each of your tenants, you’ll find that it’s much easier to deal with them on a daily basis. Everyone wants to be respected in the place where they live and work, and tenants are no different. By treating each of your tenants in a sociable and respectful way, you will actually encourage them to respect you in return. This will ultimately provide the basis for solid relations between yourself and all of those individuals who rent units from you.