The business of property management invariably means the necessity of dealing with tenant complaints. Even with the nicest tenants, and with very well maintained properties, there will be complaints. The scope of tenant complaints can range from the property itself to the neighbors. Whatever the case may be, property managers must know how to handle tenant complaints in an efficient and effective manner. Failure to address tenant complaints not only can lead to unhappy tenants who may move out but also can result in legal problems.
The first and most important step that should be taken in order to make certain that complaints are handled in the most effective manner possible is to establish and maintain good communication with the tenants from the very beginning. This is not to set the stage for tenants to complain about everything but to let them know that their property manager will be available in the event of a problem.
It is also essential to have some type of tracking system for keeping up with complaints. This can be particularly important when dealing with a large number of properties. Tenants should be asked to provide requests in a written form. The property manager must then make sure to always follow up. Written records can prove to be invaluable when needing to document how the issue was resolved.
In addition to actually recording the receipt of the complaint, it is also important to record details regarding how the complaint was handled. Records should include the dates and times as well as notes regarding the repairs that were made. It is also a good idea to include information regarding follow-up with the tenant. In the event that the tenant decides to withhold rent due to non-resolution of the problem, these details can be vital.
Handling complaints is part of the job of being a property manager. How complaints are handled can make a big difference in the relationship with tenants as well as the success of the property management business itself.
Source: Matt Angerer at http://www.letstalkpm.com