Top Tenant Complaints and How to Solve Them

Many first-time landlords underestimate how much work goes into managing rental properties. There is a myriad of issues that can occur making the job more taxing. Among these issues are tenant complaints! Tenant complaints can arise in a variety of ways, ranging from maintenance issues to pest infestations and anything in between. How quickly and efficiently you’ll be able to address these complaints will make all the difference. 

If your tenant doesn’t feel that you’ve addressed their concerns, they will be less likely to renew their leases. High tenant turnover means fewer profits for you. That’s because you’ll need to spend more on advertising, marketing, and repairs and maintenance. 

Luckily for you, tenant complaints don’t have to derail your investment goals. The following are top tenant complaints and how you can solve them. 

Maintenance Complaints 

This is inarguably one of the most common types of tenant complaints. As a landlord, you have a responsibility to ensure your rental property is well-maintained; the law requires it. 

The state of California requires that landlords maintain their units to certain health and safety codes. If you aren’t able to meet them, your unit may become uninhabitable and your tenant may be able to exercise a number of legal options including:

  • Breaking their lease without penalty
  • Reporting you to a relevant government agency for action
  • Withholding rent until you have fixed the maintenance issues
  • Repair the issues themselves and then deduct the cost from future rent payments

maintaining your rental unit

What to Do? 

Once you receive a maintenance complaint, visit the property in person. This will allow you to get a better, first-hand, understanding of the issue so that you can plan accordinglyAs you plan to enter the unit, make sure to notify your tenant beforehand. California requires that landlords provide their tenants with “reasonable” notice prior to entry. 24 hours is considered reasonable. 

After examining the problem, find a solution right away. You’ll also want to let your tenant know that you’re sorting out the problem and provide them with updates if it’s an issue that will likely take more time. 

Noisy Neighbors 

Noise is also one of the top tenant complaints you’ll encounter when renting out your property. All tenants have a right to the “quiet enjoyment” of their rented premises. This means that your tenant has a right to the undisturbed use and enjoyment of their rented premises. This right is also implied. This means that it doesn’t have to be written down on the lease in order to be enforceable. 

What to Do? 

After receiving the noise complaint from your tenant, it’s your responsibility to have the matter sorted out. There can be financial repercussions should you choose to do nothing. That being said, as a landlord, you can only deal with a noise issue you can control. The following are steps you can take:

noise complaints

  • Identify the source of the noise – Is it coming from a neighbor who also happens to be your tenant? If so, let the tenant know that a noise complaint has been filed against them and should stop. 
  • Take action – If the tenant doesn’t stop the violation, consider evicting them. However, this can only work if you have a clear policy on noise guidelines. For example, if you have outlined the specific quiet hours or put a limit on the number of overnight guests. 
  • Choose the right type of flooring – The right flooring option can go a long way in minimizing sound transmission. Carpet and cork flooring make great options. 
  • Insulate the walls – Have you gotten multiple complaints about noise traveling between the walls of your rental property? If you have, it can be prudent for you to invest in wall insulation. 

Pest Infestations 

Pest infestations can make you lose good tenants faster than you can imagine. Just like unaddressed maintenance issues, pests can make your rental property uninhabitable. Therefore, you must take swift action to resolve the issue. 

What to Do? 

Did the pest infestation exist before the tenancy began or did it arise by no fault of the tenant? If so, it’s your responsibility to fix the issue if the infestation arises from the disrepair of the rented property. For instance, if rodents are accessing the unit through holes on floors or walls. 

pest control issues

Your tenant may also have a responsibility of fixing a pest infestation if they engage in certain actions such as failing to dispose of food properly or failing to clear the excessive mess. 

Pet Complaints 

The most common complaints about pets have to do with owners not cleaning up after them, barking, or aggressive behavior. 

What to Do? 

To address a barking dog, deal with the issue the same way you would a noise complaint. Start by identifying the problem, and try to find an amicable solution. But if the problem doesn’t go away, issue a warning to the tenant. You may also want to request the owner to remove the dog or else face eviction. 

To address complaints regarding messes, the first step to take is to bring the matter to the tenant. Let them know that a complaint has been lodged against them and need to rectify it. Again, if the issue doesn’t go away, start an eviction action against the tenant. 

When it comes to an aggressive dog, you’ll need to take immediate corrective measures. Remember, you have a responsibility to ensure your tenant’s safety. If it’s threatened, they can use that as a legal justification to move out if you fail to respond quickly.

If the aggressive behavior continues after written warnings, contact the city for action. Then, begin the eviction proceedings against the tenant. 

Summary

Tenant complaints are inevitable. As a landlord, however, it’s your responsibility to ensure they are addressed as quickly and efficiently as possible. But should you find this daunting, Home Choice Property Management can help. 

We are a full-service property management company ready to assist you in managing your rentals and maximizing your ROI. Contact us today to learn more!