So, you have a property available for rent. You posted it online, and a few prospects expressed their interest. You then do a thorough screening and choose the best one among them. However, a week after the turnover, you receive a complaint about your new tenant’s behavior.
Tips for Property Managers Dealing with Tenant Conflicts
Conflicts between tenants are just inevitable due to lifestyle, culture, and personality differences. Your task being the landlord, is to help your tenants resolve any misunderstanding between them. Here are a few guides on how to deal with such scenarios.
Set rules that will prevent conflicts from arising.
Make sure that the lease terms include clear rules about undesirable behaviors that often lead to complaints. Have rules regarding noise, especially in the evening and the use of shared spaces like the laundry room and hallways.
There should also be rules about having pets and when to have visitors. Include some terms, too, regarding controversial issues like smoking. Simply put, your lease agreement should tackle the common causes of conflicts.
When a new tenant moves in, conduct an orientation and make sure you touch on the rules. Consider printing a handout and include it as part of the welcome package.
In addition, set a mandate that all grievances should go through you. Tenants should never try to bring up their issues directly with each other.
Establish a policy on how to handle every complaint.
You should provide documentation that outlines how to handle specific issues. Have a clear response plan listing the next steps when a tenant complains about another tenant.
For certain violations, perhaps a simple verbal warning would work. For repeat offenders and other serious violations, list a more severe punishment. This will help you handle the situation consistently rather than handling them differently every time.
Your policy should also have instructions on how to file a complaint. Do you have an online form they can fill out? Or do they need to fill out a physical form? Make sure to inform your tenants regarding the process.
Create a complaint form and use it.
Though you may think of it as unnecessary, recording a complaint is very important. You need to create a form and ask every tenant to fill it out every time they have a dispute.
When creating the form, include a field for the following:
- date of the complaint
- the tenant’s name and unit number
- the nature of the dispute
- date the complaint was resolved
You can download sample complaint forms here.
Resolve conflicts between tenants quickly.
Before things get out of hand, acknowledge and attend to your tenant’s complaint as soon as you can. The sooner the issue is resolved, the better.
It’s also vital that you take every complaint seriously. Failure to do so can make your tenants feel they are not valued. So, empathize with your tenants and explain that you will take action immediately.
Update both the complainee and the complainant.
Speak to the complainee and let him know a complaint was lodged against him. Be careful not to disclose who made the complaint as this can create tension among your tenants.
Apprise him of what actions will be taken based on your resolution policy. After your conversation, send a letter or email and summarize what was discussed.
Talk to the complainant as well. If a complaint is still pending resolution, inform him that you’re on the case. Provide some details where you’re at in the process and when he can expect the case to be closed.
Schedule a meeting and be the mediator.
When handling conflicts between tenants, try your best to avoid meetings between the complainants and complainees. However, in some cases, a meeting might be the best course of action.
Ask the two tenants to attend the meeting where you will be the mediator. You need to be prepared with a resolution before you meet them. Also, make sure that you can keep their temper under control and yours during the discussion.
Aim to resolve the disagreement amicably. If a resolution cannot be reached, and the tenant in question continues to show problematic behavior, you have the power to terminate the tenancy.
Keep a record of everything.
Document every detail of the complaint. Record the dates and the whole process you went through. Keep emails, letters, complaint forms and the recording of phone calls or meetings if you have any.
These records will come in handy if legal action needs to be taken and the dispute makes it to court. Having a record could be helpful should a party accuses you of mismanagement.
Let Qualified Professionals Resolve Conflicts Between Tenants on Your Behalf.
If you want to avoid the stress of settling disputes between your tenants, why not hire Mila Realty. We handle all aspects of your Orlando real estate management needs.
We’ll help you resolve conflicts between tenants without you getting involved. For inquiries, drop us an email at [email protected] or call 1-407-569-8899.