The role of even the most experienced property manager isn’t always a stress-free bed of roses. Property management companies oversee the rental accommodations of many clients, and are constantly multi-tasking. One of the more demanding parts of the job is being on the front line for any tenant complaints that may arise. “The next door neighbor is partying all night,” “the air conditioning doesn’t work properly,” “the faucet is leaking”; the list of eventualities goes on.
Thankfully for the property owner, the initial and most immediate response to tenant complaints is part of a property manager’s job description. Maintaining a professional rapport is extremely important and requires a special knack for dealing diplomatically with people, no matter what the situation.
What Makes a Complaint System Efficient?
By having a clearly defined complaint system in place, you and your property manager can avoid any potential conflicts and future legal issues with the tenants occupying your property. This system can address both negative feedback and general requests from the tenants, and provide a framework for solving even the most complex of issues. Here are two of the most helpful tips on how to create an effective tenant complaint system:
1. Construct a formal complaint form. This kind of document records in writing the specific details of any complaints and concerns expressed by the tenants. Each complaint can be logged chronologically by property address and categorized appropriately. Whether completed on paper or electronically, such a form serves to provide your property manager with all pertinent details and information pertaining to a particular complaint.
Be realistic in your plan of action. Promising tenants a realistic deadline and keeping it can mean the difference between order and chaos. A leaky faucet may only take minutes to fix, but not all complaints are as simple as this. You must have a general plan and a target deadline for every issue that arises. Make sure that you acknowledge the tenant’s expectations before proposing a workable solution. A general complaint should identify:
- the nature of the problem or complaint
- the people or parties involved and the property location
- the action requested by the tenant
- the final agreement or points of action
- a target deadline
2. Address problems fairly and with a consistent response. Remember, even if you have a good system outlined and prepared, ultimately what can save you major headaches is the way your property manager addresses complaints. A truly capable property manager will never make tenants feel unfavorably or unfairly treated.
A Good Property Manager is Willing to Listen
Don’t expect an endless stream of tenant complaints. But reality isn’t always rosy, and the importance of setting up an efficient system to deal effectively and in a timely manner with any problems that do arise cannot be underestimated. Hire a property manager who is open-minded and willing to oversee the kind of response you would expect if you were on the other end of the issue.
Jennifer Fehr is the co-owner of Suncoast4Rent with her husband Tom Fehr. Jennifer is a Florida State Real Estate Sales person and works through Stonebridge Real Estate Co Inc in Clearwater, Fl (Pinellas County) to bring the personal touch to all your Real Estate needs, be it professional residential property management, consultation or sales.
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