As a landlord, it’s important to have a plan in place for handling tenant complaints and disputes. While proper management of your property goes a long way to avoid these, they are inevitable from time to time. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Listen to your tenant’s concerns and take them seriously. This will help build trust and show that you value their input, avoiding unnecessary conflict.
- Respond promptly to complaints and keep your tenant informed throughout the process. This will help prevent the situation from escalating and show that you are taking action. As a landlord, you do have the responsibility to ensure your tenant’s home is in good shape.
- Be fair and consistent in your approach to resolving disputes, and try to communicate in person rather than only with written communication. This will help avoid accusations of favoritism or discrimination, as well as unnecessary misinterpretation of tone through written communication.
- Document all complaints and resolutions in writing. This will help protect you in case of legal action and provide a record of how the situation was handled, as well as serve for reminding you as landlord and tenants of past communication.
- Consider mediation or arbitration as an alternative to going to court. This can be a faster and less expensive way to resolve disputes. Usually, good practices will help to avoid this, and it should serve only as a last resort if all other methods of dispute resolution have been considered.
By following these best practices, you can help maintain positive relationships with your tenants. As a landlord, you are in the customer service business as much as the housing business. Apart from avoiding costly legal battles, good practices with tenants will help ensure your rental portfolio business thrives.