Top Tenant Complaints and How to Solve Them

It can be lucrative to rent out your home and become a landlord. Successful property owners not only see the financial gains and tax deductions, but they can also see an appreciation of their rental investment.

But rental property management isn’t without its challenges. It comes with a lot of tenant issues, chief among these being from tenants - an unavoidable part of being a landlord. Yet, if not approached well, tenant complaints can derail your investment significantly.

On the other hand, managing complaining tenants well is proven to help with tenant retention and mitigate tenant damage to your rental property.

McKenna & Vane Property Management have put together this guide to help any landlord successfully manage the most tenant .

Resolve Any Maintenance Issues

property maintenance

Maintenance problems are undoubtedly the #1 cause of from tenants.

Maintenance issues are common tenant complaints that can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from beeping smoke alarms to ineffectice air conditioning or appliances. But how a good landlord resolves the issue makes all the difference.

If your tenant has a maintenace problem, it’s in your best interest to act as quickly as you can to keep your tenants happy. In fact, in the state of Maryland, you're required to resolve rental disputes regarding maintenance within a time frame of 30 days.

Failure to act promptly to a maintenance request can have a myriad of potential legal repercussions. For one, your Maryland tenant may choose to withhold rent payments until you resolve the conditions impacting their life, health, or safety.

If the situation is grave enough your tenant may also shorten their lease period and move out early as per Maryland Code, Real Property, §8-211.

Even though performing maintenance when notified is critical, make sure to notify your tenants when you will be entering the property and if you plan on bringing any contractors with you.

Although no statewide legislation exists on landlord entry, it’s typical for landlords to provide their tenants a notice of at least 24 hours prior to the intended entry. The only exception to doing this is in case of an emergency.

Cover Pet Complaints

America is a nation of pet lovers. According to a recent survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), over 70% of U.S. households, or about 90.5 million families own a pet. So, complaints because of pet behavior are common.

Generally, most common tenant complaints about pets are the result of a dog’s barking, an animal’s aggression, or feces.

If the tenant's complaint is due to constant barking from a dog, then handle it as a noise complaint. Let the tenant first try to handle the issue on their own, and only intervene when they have failed.

In such a case, talk to the owner of the dog and let them know that their dog is infringing on their neighbor’s rights.

If the complaint is due to an aggressive animal, then try to deal with the issue as promptly as you can. After all, this presents safety concerns, and as a landlord, your top priority should be making sure your tenants feel safe.

As for feces, let the tenant know about the issue. If it comes up again, make sure to keep the tenants informed that they are violating the pet policy in the lease and can be evicted.

If any of these issues persist, then send the pet owner an eviction notice. Sometimes, it may be better to lose one difficult tenant than to risk losing several good ones.

But if the person causing the violation isn’t your tenant, then you can consider getting local authorities involved.

a picture of some dogs

Clear Up Noise Complaints

All tenants have a right to the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of their rented premises, especially during stated quiet hours. This is a fundamental right anchored in local law as the “Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment.” So, any obstructive noise, like loud parties, animals or otherwise, is a violation of this law.

So, what steps should you take when tenants come to you with a noise complaint?

The first thing you’d want to do is request your tenant to talk with the noisy neighbors, asking to lower the noise levels. Usually, this should be enough to solve the issue and keep your tenant happy.

But if it doesn’t, then you’ll need to intervene on their behalf. How you resolve it will be dependent on whether the person causing the lease violation is also a tenant or not. If they are, then inform them of the lease violation and proceed to eviction if they don’t change.

If the party causing the violation is not your tenant, then consider taking legal action with local authorities.

noise complaints

Remove Pests

As a landlord, you have a responsibility to ensure your tenant has a habitable property to rent. Among the requirements for a habitable rental property is ensuring your tenants live in a pest-free space.

Similar to the other common complaints from tenants detailed in this article, if this complaint isn't handled effectively the tenant could break their lease or withhold rent payments until it's solved adequately.

So, who is responsible for resolving a pest infestation?

The responsibility for removal depends on the cause of the problem. If your tenant has caused it, then they become responsible for pest control. Otherwise, the responsibility for pest control becomes yours.

In such a case, a landlord must hire a professional pest control service to remove the pests in a swift and effective manner.

Bottom Line

Tenant complaints are an unavoidable part of being a landlord. But how you solve them can make all the difference.

Remember, you have a duty to ensure your tenant lives in peace and quiet enjoyment. As such, make sure to handle all complaints passed your way as efficiently and as promptly as possible. Even better, inspecting your property before a tenant moves in, as well as regularly after that, can help to reduce complaints, find any other issues, and prevent future issues down the road.

Many landlords however find being a rental property manager and tenant’s complaints to be a challenge. In such a case, they will often look to a quality property management company to handle their tenant complaints. Property managers can help you with all of these issues, sorting them out quickly and effectively.

McKenna & Vane Property Management are here to help you with just that. Our services as professional property managers include handling tenant complaints and managing maintenance requests, so if you have any questions, or are ready to hire a property manager, please contact us today!