Resolving the 5 Most Common Tenant Complaints
5 Min Read
Written by: Parcel Pending
Addressing common tenant complaints is part of the job for property managers, but dealing with unhappy residents can be challenging. It may not always be possible to solve problems right away but as a rental property manager, it’s important to remember that meaningful and effective communication can make life easier for everyone.1
Along with providing renters with the amenities they need, being accessible and understanding is critically important in community development and rental property management. It can make residents feel that you are on their side. Relationships built on listening respectfully to your tenant’s concerns can also help you maintain a good reputation as a landlord, foster community development, retain quality residents, and ultimately limit tenant turnover.2
Best Practices for Tenant Communication
Improving communication between the property manager or landlord and residents is key. But how do you deal with difficult situations? Here are two important tips that property managers/property owners and landlords should always keep in mind when handling a common tenant complaint:
- Stay calm. Always try to remain calm, cool, and collected. As a landlord or property manager, it is not in your better interest to let things get out of hand. Be professional and diplomatic when dealing with tenant concerns, and whenever possible, offer an interim fix or intermediate solution and provide a timeline for a resolution.
- Be prepared. Establish a set policy for dealing with tenant complaints. Make sure that these are written into the lease agreement and available on the property as a set of ‘community guidelines.’ This ensures that residents know how to make a complaint and understand how complaints will be handled when a problem or maintenance issue does arise.
5 Common Tenant Complaints
For most property managers, tenant complaints can cover a wide range of concerns. Here are some of the most common problems:
Complaint: A resident has complained about noise from a neighbor, visitor, or the activity linked to a communal area like a pool, garage, or clubhouse on the property.
Solution: Ensure that the resident making this common tenant complaint feels heard. If possible, arrange to have a one-to-one conversation with the offending resident in which you explain the noise or quiet hour policies. You should also consider sending a reminder about these policies to all residents.
#2 Pest Infestations
Complaint: A resident has discovered evidence of insects, bed bugs, or rodents in their unit.
Solution: Be proactive and make sure that the common areas and individual units are protected against pests. Inspect the property regularly and repair any wear and tear.3 If a pest slips through the cracks, act quickly. Acknowledge the resident’s concern and communicate what management is doing to alleviate the problem and how residents can help. Offer a timeline for resolution.
#3 Maintenance Requests
Complaint: Something in a resident’s unit, such as an appliance, thermostat, light or plumbing fixture, isn’t working properly.
Solution: Acknowledge the request quickly and communicate a timeline for resolution of the maintenance issue. Deal with the maintenance request as soon as possible and document what was done and when it was completed.4 Consider using maintenance request tracking software that lets residents track the response to their request.5
#4 Lack of Communication
Complaint: A resident has an issue about the lack of availability of property staff or difficulty communicating with property staff.
Solution: Ensure a system is in place that makes it easy for residents to reach out. Make sure you or your staff are available, and consider the possibility of setting up fixed ‘drop in’ periods weekly or monthly at the property management office. Provide ample written notice and clearly communicate to residents about upcoming inspections, contractor visits or changes in the leasing policy.
#5 Privacy and Security Concerns
Complaint: A resident has had an experience that violated their privacy or made them feel unsafe, such as when a parcel is lost or stolen after delivery.
Solution: Be proactive and make sure that you and your team conduct security walkthroughs where you highlight problems and look for solutions to make the property safer. New security features to consider might include smart access fobs, gated parking access for cars, or smart lockers (also known as electronic lockers) for secure package delivery. If parts of the building or complex need maintenance to ensure residents and their property are safe and secure, prioritize repairs and consider new solutions to deal with ongoing or persistent problems.
And…Don’t Forget About Package Delivery Issues
With the shift to online shopping and the ongoing popularity of remote work it is no surprise that 90% of residents report receiving at least one package delivery per week, with many others reporting seven or more in the same time period.6 It’s no longer enough for landlords to ensure the availability of reliable and high-quality Wi-Fi in their rental units. To attract the best residents, consider offering amenities like package delivery management solutions that suit residents’ lifestyle choices.7
Smart package lockers (also known as parcel lockers) are a great alternative to direct-to-door delivery, leasing office package pick-up or off-site delivery services. The savings in time, resources, and convenience for residents as well as property managers are enormous, especially if residents are concerned about package theft or having to pick up their deliveries only when the leasing office is open and not when it suits them.
According to a 2023 National Business Research Institute study, over 70% of apartment residents have fallen victim to package theft. While 82% strongly agree that secure package storage is an important consideration when signing a lease, 75% prefer receiving packages via smart lockers over the other typical pick-up options.8
Along with good communication, property managers and landlords have to carefully evaluate amenity budgets to maximize satisfaction, minimize vacancy rates, and do what they can to limit turnover and retain good residents.
Tenant expectations have changed. Effective package management solutions are no longer an optional consideration but a critical element in maintaining a great landlord/tenant relationship.
Ready to lock in a solution for your property’s package problems? Contact one of our package management experts today.
- Vasquez, A. Handling Tenant Issues And Complaints In Rentals. www.forbes.com. February 17, 2023. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2023/02/17/handling-tenant-issues-and-complaints-in-rentals/?sh=1086837cafb7
- McCaw Property Management. Most Common Tenant Complaints (and How to Resolve Them). www.mccawpropertymanagement.com. https://mccawpropertymanagement.com/common-tenant-complaints/
- Jackson, K. 9 Common Tenant Complaints (and How Landlords Can Resolve Them). www.avail.co. August 4, 2023. https://www.avail.co/education/articles/common-tenant-complaints
- Parcel Pending. 2023 Resident Survey. https://www.parcelpending.com/en-us/resources/2023-resident-survey-report/