According to data compiled by the National Multifamily Housing Council, 37 percent of U.S. households are occupied by renters. This includes everything from single-family dwellings to mobile homes, all being rented by approximately 111 million Americans, according to the Rental Protection Agency.
While this translates to significant profit potential for property owners who rent out real estate, it also equals considerable chances for tenant complaints.
Complaints come with the territory of property management, yet they can also severely damage cash flow.
"Property owners lose time, energy and money on tenant turnover."
If tenants are unhappy, they are less likely to renew their leases. This means owners, or the property managers overseeing investments on their behalf, must spend time, energy and money attracting new tenants.
Properties may be left vacant for an extended period of time, reducing rent revenue. Additionally, owners may find themselves forced to pay the costs of utilities that would otherwise be handled by tenants.
Any way you slice it, tenant turnover is typically something to avoid. This makes understanding common tenant complaints in property management all the more important.
The most common complaints include:
No matter the problem, if a tenant is unable to reach their landlord or property manager, it will leave a bitter taste in their mouth. The longer communications go unanswered, the worse it gets.
This is especially true if it concerns an emergency, such as a tenant locking herself out of her home or discovering a maintenance issue that must be rectified immediately.
2. Maintenance Issues
Speaking of maintenance issues, these likely comprise the bulk of customer complaints. Everything from peeling paint to malfunctioning appliances falls under this umbrella.
While tenants are sure to be frustrated over maintenance issues, the true annoyance and anger stems from problems that are allowed to linger too long. A maintenance issue that is resolved quickly is less likely to lead to turnover.
3. Pests and Vermin
While tenants are willing to put up with some lingering issues, pests and vermin are generally not among them. Whether the problem is insects, rats or something else entirely, anything that makes a tenant's skin crawl must be dealt with urgently.
This can become an even bigger problem if the solution forces tenants from their homes. With this in mind, it's wise for property owners to invest in pest and vermin prevention services.
4. Neighborhood Problems
Numerous issues can fall under the purview of neighborhood problems, but the two primary issues are loud neighbors and crime.
If a landlord rents out to the offending neighbors, it's imperative to make it clear that all individuals who live in their home must show mutual respect for those around them, including keeping noise levels down.
Dealing with a neighborhood suffering from high crime is a more difficult matter. However, property owners can invest in safety precautions for their properties, such as high-quality locks and alarms, to help put tenants at ease.
Tackling Tenant Complaints
Regardless of precautionary measures, tenant complaints are bound to arise in property management. The trick is ensuring all complaints are addressed and resolved in a timely manner.
By utilizing issue tracking software, property owners or their staff can easily keep track of maintenance requests and work orders, as well as rely on complaint management workflows that guarantee the right people are aware of any problems.
Such software becomes invaluable when numerous tenants must be accommodated. For instance, retirement communities and homeowners associations may cater to hundreds of individuals. Keeping track of customer complaints, let alone seeing to them efficiently and effectively, can quickly become an insurmountable task without the right tools.