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January 29, 2018


Updated July 1, 2020

As a landlord or property manager, you will have to deal with complaints from tenants. It's the nature of the business. Although it can be quite uncomfortable to have to hear that tenants are unhappy, it is an opportunity to give them excellent customer service.

The following are some of the most common complaints tenants have and the solutions for them.

The People Upstairs Are Too Nosy

This is a common problem for multi-floor units. In some buildings, even walking can be heard by the people downstairs. Some tenants will be okay with the footsteps, chatter, and other noises that come from the residents upstairs, while others aren't so forgiving.

The best way to approach the problem is to be empathetic. Explain that you understand the frustrations of being able to hear people above. Let your tenant know you hear what they're saying and will look into the situation. Your tenant will feel validated.

The next step is to let the tenant know that you will talk to the people upstairs about the noise. This is basically what the tenant wants, along with a reduction in the sounds that come from overhead.

When you speak to the people upstairs from the complaining tenant, acknowledge that you understand how difficult it is to pay attention to loud noises as you go about your day. Identify some ways to reduce the noise, such as turning the television and radio down to an audible level. Depending on what the tenant complained about the most, come up with some ways to reduce that noise. If it's footsteps or just normal talking, explain that the tenant can hear them, and anything they can do to reduce the noise would be appreciated.

Be sure not to reprimand the tenants being complained about and try to keep the peace. This is the best way to keep everyone happy.

My ______ Is Broken AGAIN

Tenants find it aggravating to call the landlord when something breaks, especially if something breaks more than once.

To solve this dilemma, again approach your tenant from a place of understanding. Explain that you know how much of an inconvenience it is and that you will do everything possible to fix it for good this time. If you have any information as to why it broke, let the tenant know. Many times, tenants want information.

The Rent Is Too High

Some tenants will complain every month that the rent is too high around the time they must pay for it. No one enjoys paying bills, but it's a necessity in life.

Saying this to your tenants won't make them happy, so try this instead:

"I understand that you believe the rent is too high. The reason the rent is set at this price is because of XYZ. If I find a way to reduce the rent without it being a financial burden, I will let you know. Until then, this is how much I must charge.”

As you can see, you've explained why the rent is what it is and that if it weren't that high, you would end up having to pay for them to live where they do. That's not fair, and hopefully, the tenant will understand that when you tell him.

(Don't forget to use a great tool like Rentometer to make sure your tenants are not paying too much or too little for rent!)

The Best Way to Approach Tenants with Complaints

Always remember, start with understanding why the tenants are complaining. It helps to reiterate their reasons for being upset.

Next, give them information about their complaint. Don't be defensive, but rather stick with the facts on what is causing them to be upset.

Finally, let the tenant know what you are going to do about it. Most people are satisfied with action. So, when you tell them you are going to do something, they will be much more pleased.

Tenants will complain, but now you have the knowledge to deal with it quickly and effectively. See how this works for you, and adjust your approach accordingly.

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