Do you often deal with tenant complaints?
Being a landlord can be quite demanding at times. In addition to all the daily tasks and responsibilities, you need to address complaints from tenants.
Responsiveness is essential in these situations. Delaying your response or ignoring the matters altogether will hurt your rental business. Slow responses frustrate tenants. A growing frustration leads to a higher tenant turnover rate, decreased revenue and longer periods of vacancy.
In this blog post, we are going to list the top complaints that you may encounter from your Allen, Plano or other Texas property tenants. Then, you’ll learn practical ways to address these common issues in rental properties.
#1: Complaints about Neighbors
Receiving complaints regarding neighbors’ behavior is very common. In many cases, tenants find their neighbors too noisy or feel agitated by their negligent behavior. If you come across this complaint, there are a few approaches you can take.
If the neighbors are your tenants too, you can let them know that they are causing disturbances. You can also serve them an eviction notice if they continue to cause problems. Systematic violation of lease terms is enough to warrant an eviction. A viable alternative is forbidding these renters to renew their lease.
If the neighbors aren’t your tenants, you can ask your tenant to talk with them. Should that fail to work, you can contact the HOA. Without an HOA, the best approach is recommending your tenants to call the police.
#2: Complaints about Pests
Pest intrusion is a serious! Not only is it an aesthetic issue, but some pests can spread diseases and destroy important components of your rental property.
This is a topic that often creates confusion. For many landlords and tenants, the boundaries of responsibility are unclear.
While there are exceptions and gray areas, you should follow these principles:
- Keep the rental clean
- Steer clear of behavior that could create an onslaught of pests
- Ensure the property is habitable
- Take care of the pests and incur the associated costs
If there are pests and it’s clearly due to the tenant’s negligence, you don’t have to pay for the pest control. However, if the tenant had no control over the situation and it’s a “natural” circumstance, you would need to incur the costs.
#3: Complaints about Security Deposit
Keep yourself up to date on the security deposit laws in your jurisdiction. In Texas, you need to itemize and return your tenant’s security deposit within a 30-day period. This can only be extended if you don’t have your tenant’s forwarding address.
Complaints regarding security deposits should always be taken seriously. Failure to comply with the state’s statutes on deposits could lead to getting sued. Always make sure that you deduct damage caused by your tenant, instead of deducting due to normal wear and tear.
#4: Complaints about Communication
Are you readily available for your tenants? The best practice involves being available for your tenants around the clock. Emergencies need a quick response. Limiting your availability narrows your ability to provide necessary solutions in emergency situations.
You may have a tenant who contacts you for no apparent reason, or who makes a late-night phone call for a non-emergency reason. If this happens, explain to your renter what gives solid ground to contact you and what constitutes an emergency. Stay polite and friendly.
Analyze your communication whenever tenants point out inconsistencies or negative experiences. It’s useful to put yourself in the shoes of your tenant. Maybe parts of your communication efforts could be ramped up in the future.
#5: Complaints about Upkeep & Repairs
As a landlord, you must provide a habitable living space. Conducting necessary repairs and maintenance is part of the deal. Address emergency repair needs immediately. For example, plumbing and electrical issues demand a prompt response.
Other problems may have a lower priority on your list. Tiny leaks and broken kitchen appliances aren’t emergencies. Similarly, you won’t have to worry about issues that are outside the domain of your responsibilities in the first place.
Whether something is your responsibility, federal, state and local laws aside, depends on your lease agreement. In the face of complaints, refer to your lease. If your lease holds you accountable for a particular fix, make it happen at the earliest opportunity.
#6: Complaints about Privacy
Your tenants can complain if you enter the property too frequently. Under Texas landlord-tenant law, there is no statute for the notice period in non-emergency cases. As a rental owner, it’s important to notify your tenant at least 24 hours before visiting the rental unit.
Ensure that your tenant has received your notice of entry. A good practice is giving your tenants an inspection schedule when they first move in. That way, they will have the peace of mind knowing when you will go to the property to inspect.
In a nutshell: Top Tenant Complaints
Complaints form a normal part of every landlord-tenant relationship. Note that complaints may amount to no more than some frustration. Your response can shape whether the situations turn into a conflict.
Here are the most common tenant complaints:
- Safety Deposits: Follow all the legal guidelines for safety deposits in your jurisdiction.
- Neighbors: If the neighbors are your tenants, talk with them. Consider eviction in case of repeated offenses.
- Privacy: Let your tenants know at least 24 hours before entering the rental for non-emergency reasons.
- Repairs/maintenance: Conduct necessary upkeep and repairs to keep the property safe and habitable.
- Pests: Understand the reason for the pest intrusion. Let your tenants pay for the pest control if their actions paved the way for pest issues.
For further inquiries, contact Omnikey Realty today.