For landlords, owning and renting out property is a business, with tenants functioning as customers or clients. If customers aren’t satisfied with a product or service, they tend to go elsewhere. Customer complaints are one of the biggest hazards to business success in any sector and tenant complaints are no different.
The following are five of the top tenant complaints that renters have about landlords as well as tips on how to avoid them:
1. Maintenance/Repair Issues
Aspects of a unit in need of repair is a major cause for complaint by all too many tenants. From plumbing issues to loose fixtures to outdated appliances, letting a unit fall into disarray can lead to low tenant satisfaction and high turnover. To attract high quality tenants and keep them, landlords should make sure all units are kept properly maintained.
2. Disagreeable Neighbors
Whether they play their music or television too loudly, argue amongst themselves, throw wild parties or conduct illegal activity on the premises, disagreeable fellow tenants are among the other common tenant complaints of renters. Landlords can potentially avoid this by performing proper tenant screening, state eviction records search, and other background checks to verify the character of each renter. Landlords should also be clear about prohibiting loud, disrespectful, destructive, disruptive or illicit activity on the premises. They should also address conflicts efficiently and professionally so that peace can be restored on the property.
Another bothersome issue – understandably – is the presence of pests such as insects or rodents. From bed bugs to roaches to vermin, this is cause for alarm for any tenant. Pests should be dealt with immediately by landlords and there should also be a preventative plan in place. There are few things more off-putting than pests where one lives, and landlords should make sure that this tenant complaint is never leveled against them.
4. Professional, Positive Communication
Other top tenant complaints about landlords is a failure to communicate clearly, positively and professionally. Good communication is key to any successful relationship, and a little kindness can go a long way in promoting positive landlord-tenant relations even when dealing with difficult situations. A clearly delineated lease mapping out what is expected of tenants from the outset is important as well.
5. Tenant Complaints about Unfair Handling of Security Deposits
Not receiving part or all of a security deposit is another major tenant complaint of renters regarding landlords. While in many cases deductions are justified, some issues can be somewhat subjective. It all goes back to communication; a clear delineation of how tenants might be penalized financially should be clearly delineated in the lease.
Tenants are the lifeblood of a landlord’s business, and satisfied tenants contribute to ongoing business success. Landlords should take steps to avoid the five tenant complaints discussed here so that their rental businesses can prosper.