Rental Property Marketing Mistakes

Rental Property Marketing Mistakes

The reason you have spent the time, energy, and money in acquiring the rental property is to enjoy a passive rental income for many months to come. To meet that goal, you must avoid certain common pitfalls. 

One such pitfall is failing to have a proper marketing strategy in place for your rental property. And by not having one, you won’t be able to target the right tenant. As a result, you may end up renting to a difficult tenant which causes added stress. 

But here is the good news, there are proven solutions to rental marketing mistakes. In today’s blog, we at T-Square Properties will walk you through the common rental marketing mistakes to avoid and what you can do to solve them. 

Failing to Target the Right Tenants  

Know what kind of tenant you’re targeting right from the beginning. This is the only way that you’ll be able to create a targeted marketing campaign that gives you optimal results. 

Therefore, if you’re just starting, spend some time doing your research. Know your target audience and understand their housing needs. Then, start devising specific strategies on how to reach them.  

Relying on One Marketing Tactic 

Are you still using yard signs to market your vacant rental property? While that may work for small-scale local marketing efforts, nowadays, you need to use a combination of marketing tactics to reach as many prospective tenants as possible. 

hand on a laptop with a marketing info-graphic in it

From yard signs, local classifieds, and flyers on community bulletin boards, to social media, rental listing sites, and word-of-mouth, there are many market avenues to explore. Doing so will ensure that your property is exposed to many prospective tenants, which will maximize your chances of landing the right one. 

Handling Everything on Your Own 

Managing a rental property is a team effort. Trying to manage everything on your own opens you up to several risks. The following are some professionals that you need in your corner to be a successful real estate investor: 

  • An Attorney – No matter how experienced you are as a landlord, you’re likely to encounter a legal issue at some point in your career. Understanding laws while marketing properties, screening tenants, and conducting management tasks is vital.
  • A Certified Accountant – You must file your taxes every season. They can also help you maximize your tax deductions, thereby reducing your expenses. 
  • A Real Estate Agent – They can help you find the right property to invest in because of their intimate knowledge of the local market. They also have networks to help spread the word about your available rentals.
  • General Contractor – Before you can start marketing and renting out your property, it’ll be your responsibility to ensure it’s up to code. It’ll also be your responsibility to respond to your tenants’ maintenance requests. This is where a general contractor comes in.  
  • A Property Manager – If you get a good property manager, they’ll be able to address all the tasks listed above.

a team of four people looking over a document on one person's ipad

Drafting Uninspiring Rental Ads 

This is one of the worst mistakes you can make when it comes to rental property advertising. A rental ad is supposed to help you get the word out about your available units and encourage people to check them out.

First, you need to take high-quality photos. Ideally, work with a professional photographer. Next, write a proper headline. Make it eye-catching as it is the first thing a prospective tenant will come across in your rental ad. Ensure it contains important details such as the rental price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, rental location, and a desirable feature about the property. 

Last but not the least, compose an engaging description to accompany the photos to help prospective tenants visualize themselves living there. Keep it detailed yet succinct. 

Not Charging Tenants the Right Price 

How you price your rental property can make or break your marketing efforts. The rental price is one of the first things that prospective tenants look for when they come across a rental ad. 

Charging too much makes your property undesirable while charging too little results in missed earnings. Conduct a comparative market analysis to know just how much you should be charging.

Not Complying with the Fair Housing Act 

This is another grave mistake you can make when marketing your rental property. As a landlord, compliance with the Fair Housing Act, alongside all other legal obligations, is a must. 

lawyer sitting at their desk writing, with a status of lady justice in foreground 

The Fair Housing Act requires landlords to treat tenants equally and fairly based on several protected classes. The classes include race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and familial status. 

When marketing your rental property, you want to avoid including any discriminatory language such as, “Ideal for a Couple,” or “Perfect for Single Professionals,”. Instead, focus on describing the property rather than your ideal tenants when marketing vacant units.

Not Hiring a Property Manager 

Hiring an experienced property manager is your best bet to avoid the aforementioned property marketing mistakes. A good property manager will have managed dozens, if not hundreds, of rental properties throughout their careers. They will have ample knowledge of what needs to be done at every step of the way. 

What’s more, a good property manager can help you not only market your property, but also screen prospective tenants, collect rent, maintain units, address tenant concerns, and take care of all paperwork. 

Bottom Line

These are 7 common property marketing mistakes an investor should avoid. For expert help in managing your property, look no further than T-Square Properties. 

We’re a proven property management company dedicated to maximizing investors’ ROI. Get in touch to learn more!

Disclaimer: This blog article is for informational purposes. The information contained in this blog article may not be the official policies of T-Square Properties.

Rental Documents Landlords Need

Rental Documents Landlords Need

Getting the paperwork correct when renting out a house for the first time can be a challenge. But the more experience you have with managing your real estate portfolio, the easier it is to understand the documents you need and the ones you don’t.

A huge factor in your success as a property owner is how you can maintain records of all your important documents. These documents guarantee that you and your tenant are in agreement over every aspect of your property.

To help you gain a better understanding of the important documents you need, we at T-Square Properties have put together the following guide:

Lease or Rental Contracts

You should always have your lease agreements available. All tenants living in the property should be listed on the leases, and everyone should sign the document and keep a copy of it. Including any co-signer or guarantor.

You must also disclose the monthly rent amount, due date, allowed payment methods, and whether late fees can apply. The tenant’s lease should state the size of the security deposit, and whether the renter’s insurance is necessary.

This agreement should also specify how often the property will be inspected and who will have access to the tenant’s unit.

Move-In and Move-Out Checklists

Make checklists to record the state of the property before and after each renter leaves the property. Every room in the property should be listed, along with spaces to describe the cleanliness of every element and appliance.

pen-checking-item-on-checklist

Go over the property and note the condition of each item on the list before the tenants arrive. Do this again after they leave and repeat the process.

Lease Renewal Letters

You can provide lease renewal opportunities to your tenants a month or two before the lease term expires. This helps you prevent extended vacancy periods and expensive property turnover fees. Even if the tenant decides not to renew, it can serve as evidence that the options were offered to them.

Inspection Reports

A comprehensive walk-through is a good idea to prevent the frustrating situation of disputes with a renter regarding damage caused during the tenancy.

The purpose of this rental inspection report is to assist you in accurately documenting the condition of the property from the start of the tenancy. It can also serve as a checklist and report and a method to ensure you comply with housing standards.

It is highly recommended that you read this report with the tenant so you can be in agreement with each other on the outcome.

It is also important to include photographic documentation in this landlord document, which will serve as legal proof in case of a dispute and prevent disagreements over the property’s condition after the tenant vacates.

Rental Application Form

application-form-on-tablet

Landlords can use a rental application form to collect a range of personal data from prospective tenants and use that data to screen them to see if they are a suitable fit for a rental. Before signing a lease agreement, a landlord must evaluate all rental applications, to decide which prospect is the best for your property.

If all potential tenants receive the same rental application, it will guarantee fairness in your screening procedure. In order to comply with the Federal Fair Housing Act, this is essential. Discrimination against people on the basis of their race, skin color, nationality, religion, gender, age, family situation, or handicap is illegal as they are protected classes under the Federal Fair Housing Act.

Background Check Records

Landlords should examine their applicant’s credit and background when they submit an application.

As their landlord, you should then keep a copy of this information in the tenant’s file just in case something goes wrong later. Make a list of initial questions to pose to prospective tenants and make sure you’re posing the same question to everyone.

Call any references mentioned on the rental application as well. Then prepare a list of inquiries for each reference to ensure consistency and openness.

Move-Out Letter

If a renter decides to leave, you must write them a move-out letter outlining the conditions of their departure. Send the letter out two or three weeks prior to the departure date and then make sure you keep a copy of it, for your records.

person-writing-letter-on-paper

In this case, you might wish to remind your tenants of the penalties for breaking the lease, such as fines or fees that would be removed from their deposit if they leave soiled or abandoned furniture on the property.

Request that they lock the door after they are done and give you a forwarding address where you may mail any remaining security deposit funds.

Bottom Line

Owning a rental property involves a lot of paperwork. But by keeping track of important documentation, you can be sure you’ll be ready for anything. So, by keeping the rental documents mentioned in article safe but on hand, it will make operating your rental property more convenient.

You can make sure that you and your tenants have a positive, professional connection during their tenancy by collecting all paperwork required to secure your property. But if you find keeping track of all the necessary papers becomes difficult, you can choose to hire a property manager to assist you.

At T-square Real Estate Services, Inc. we are a licensed real estate and property management company providing a variety of property management services to turn your property into a thriving investment.

We take pride in our ability to provide value to our clients by forging steadfast and enduring bonds with our property owners. Contact us today!

Disclaimer: This blog article is for informational purposes. The information contained in this blog article may not be the official policies of T-Square Properties.

Holdover Tenant

Holdover Tenant

Both parties under the lease agreement – renters and landlords – have certain rights and obligations. A solid lease agreement helps outline important things such as:

  • When, where, and how rent is due 
  • Limits of occupancy 
  • Maintenance obligations
  • Length of the rental period 

A lease is a legally binding contract between you and your tenant. If either party breaks it, a myriad of potential legal and/or financial repercussions can follow. One such scenario is when a tenant fails to move out after the expiry of their lease term. In such a situation, what are you to do as a landlord? The following is everything you need to know in this regard!

What is a Holdover Tenant? 

A holdover tenant is a tenant who refuses to leave their rented premises after their lease has expired. They may continue to occupy their rented premises until you decide to take legal action against them. Some holdover tenants may continue to abide by the terms of the lease agreement, such as paying rent. Whereas, others may choose not to and continue to stay there nonetheless. 

Regardless, a holdover tenant would violate the lease agreement by staying there illegally past their initial lease period. They would need to negotiate new lease terms with you if they are paying rent. But if they are not paying rent, then they would technically be trespassing on the property. 

person holding a house figurine pointing at a contract symbolizing house laws

What Potential Issues Does a Holdover Tenant Create for a Landlord?  

Having a holdover tenant can create several problems for you and your investment. They are as follows: 

  • Laws regarding the eviction of holdover tenants are usually different from those involving other landlord-tenant disputes. In Washington, you must serve your tenant a 20-day notice to quit to end the tenancy. This will give your tenant 20 calendar days to move out before you can file a lawsuit with the appropriate Superior Court. 
  • You won’t have control over when there is a vacancy. The eviction process alone can take anywhere between one and three months. When they do finally move out, it may come at a time when it’d be difficult to find a replacement tenant. 
  • You may have to postpone scheduled maintenance that you’d normally do after a tenant moves out. And the longer the holdover tenant stays there, the more damage and were and tear they may cause to the unit. 
  • You may not be able to raise the rent as long as the holdover tenant stays.

What is the Best way to Handle a Holdover Tenant in Washington? 

You can handle a holdover tenant in a couple of ways. They are as follows:

Allow Them to Stay

Has the tenant been paying rent on time? Have they also been abiding by other terms of the lease agreement? If so, you can choose to let them stay in the unit. 

landlord speaking with a tenant in the doorway of their rental

Please note, however, if you choose to do so, then you’ll lose any right to evict them based on them being a holdover. 

Remove them From the Unit 

As a landlord, you must have had a good reason not to renew the lease. The tenant, for instance, may have been difficult, failed to pay rent on time, or failed to abide by the terms of the agreement. If you choose to evict them, you must follow the proper eviction process as outlined under Washington laws.

The following is a basic overview of the process: 

  • Serve the tenant a 20-Day Notice to Quit to end the tenancy. 
  • If the tenant doesn’t move out within 20 days, move to the appropriate Superior Court and file a lawsuit. The court will issue you with a summons and complaint upon successful filing. 
  • Wait for the tenant to file an answer. If they file an answer, the date for the hearing will be assigned by the court. But if the tenant chooses not to answer, the court will issue a default judgment in your favor. 
  • Attend the hearing and wait for the judgment. If the judgment is in your favor, the court will issue you with a writ of restitution. 
  • After the writ of restitution is served, the tenant will have only 3 calendar days to move out. If they don’t, law enforcement officers will remove them from the unit. 

lawyer in a dark suit sitting at their desk thats covered in contracts with a status of lady justice

Please note that you cannot try to evict the tenant any other than through a court order. If you are a self-managing or long-distance landlord, the best option for you would be to hire either an attorney or a reputable property management company. 

How Can a Landlord Avoid Renting to Potential Holdover Tenants? 

To protect yourself, it’s best to avoid renting to a potential holdover tenant altogether. The following are tips to help you in this regard:

  • Have a solid lease agreement in place. Specify when the tenant’s lease term comes to an end. In addition to this, take it upon yourself to remind them at least 60 days before the expiry of their lease. 
  • Don’t accept rent payments after their lease has expired. Because, if you continue collecting rent, the tenancy could be seen as month-to-month moving forward. And at that point, you won’t be able to evict them based on them being trespassers. 
  • Renew the lease when it comes to an end. If the tenant hasn’t been difficult, you may want to consider renewing their lease. This can help you save time and money in advertising the unit, showing the unit, and screening tenants. 

Bottom Line

You could find yourself having a holdover tenant situation at some point in your career. It’ll be in your best interest to know how best to handle the situation. If you have further questions or need help handling a holdover tenant situation, look to T-Square Properties. 

We at T-Square Properties have over 25 years of property management experience. We can help you maximize your rental income thanks to our proven property management services!

Disclaimer: This blog article is for informational purposes. The information contained in this blog article may not be the official policies of T-Square Properties.

End of Tenancy Cleaning

End of Tenancy Cleaning

When a rental term ends, landlords must return the security deposit of a tenant. However, conflicts can materialize especially concerning the cleanliness of the rental property. What may be defined as reasonably clean for the tenant may not match the expectations of the property owner. This can be resolved by proper end-of-tenancy cleaning. 

How is End of Tenancy Cleaning Defined?

Thorough cleaning at the end of the tenancy is required before a renter leaves the unit. This entails cleaning all parts of the rental from the furnishing and appliances to the floors and walls. The unit must in other words be placed back in its original state.

What is the Objective of End of Tenancy Cleaning?

The purpose of end-of-tenancy cleaning is to make sure that the condition of the rental place appears similar to the way it was before the occupancy of the renter. This can mean reverting back to the original state prior to changes due to unauthorized paint jobs and furniture damage. 

If not, then the renter’s security deposit may be affected and won’t be returned in its full amount. If the unit isn’t properly cleaned, then landlords can also make a claim on the security deposit. 

person spraying a cleaning solution onto a cloth

If a dispute arises between the property owner and tenant, then legal arbitrators may make the decision.

Cleanliness Level

When it comes to judging cleanliness, we all have different standards. Thus, conflicts can arise. However, renters are required to clean a property to match the state it was in prior to their residence. This is the required cleanliness level for end-of-tenancy cleaning.

If you’ve documented the state of the property by performing a property walkthrough for the move-in inspection, then it will be easy to do a comparison. The photos taken can be evidence of how a unit appears before a tenant’s stay. It can also be used by a renter to show professional cleaners the level of cleanliness they want to achieve. This ensures tenants can claim back the entire security deposit, provided that there is no property damage in sight.

Defining Normal Wear and Tear

Time passes and wear and tear results when your rental home is occupied. As a landlord, you can expect to see scratches on the floors, carpet stains, dull paint on walls, and sun-faded curtains. 

professional cleaner disinfecting a bathroom sink

But you can’t ask the tenants to pay for repair or replacement for furnishings that have undergone wear and tear. You can only deduct repair costs from their deposits if the damage occurred beyond wear and tear.

End of Tenancy Cleaning Inclusions

When a tenancy ends, the unit must be returned in an acceptable cleaned state. Tenants may consider hiring a cleaner but if they have time and want to save on the fees, they can also perform the cleaning task on their own. 

An end-of-tenancy cleaning checklist is necessary to make sure that all the rental areas are covered. Landlords should also inspect the property to ensure it’s rent-ready and can welcome prospective tenants who scheduled property showings.

Before doing the rental cleanup, it’s essential to get your equipment in order. Have the following on hand:

Here are the main areas that should be cleaned:

Walls, Doors, and Ceilings

  • Inspect the markings on the walls, then either do a cleanup or retouch with paint 
  • Wipe the light switches
  • Wipe down the surfaces and handles of doors and windows, including the frames
  • Clean mirrors for a polished surface
  • Dust windowsills and window frames

 

someone using a squeegee on a mirror

Fixtures and Furnishings

  • Dust the tops of closets, shelves, and cupboards
  • Clean curtain rods, mirrors, and picture frames
  • Dust off lampshades and light bulbs
  • Vacuum the sofa 
  • Clean the clutter of inside drawers and cupboards
  • Wipe the surfaces of desks and tables

Bathrooms 

  • Clean bathtubs and get rid of hard water stains
  • Scrub and clean the toilet using a toilet brush, disinfectant, and rubber gloves
  • Remove mold stuck to the tile grouts by using an old toothbrush
  • Wipe the basin and taps with vinegar or lemon juice to make it shiny

Kitchens

  • Use lemon juice or vinegar to clean the sink and kitchen taps
  • Wipe the kitchen countertops
  • Degrease the oven 
  • Get rid of the limescale from your kitchen sink
  • Clean out the items inside your refrigerator
  • Put disinfectant in trash cans once you empty them
  • Brush the wall tiles with an old toothbrush to ensure that the dirt is removed
  • Mop the kitchen floors
  • Do a detailed cleaning of small appliances, such as blenders, toasters, and kettles
  • Make sure the cutlery and dishware are clean and properly stored in the kitchen drawers
  • Clean large appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines

Carpets

A dirty carpet can make a room less attractive. It’s also a common source of conflict for landlords and tenants. It’s best to keep them clean with a steam cleaning machine. You can either rent one or hire a professional cleaner to do the steam cleaning for you.

three carpet cleaners in red overalls holding vacuums and steamers

Keep it free from furniture temporarily to ensure that the entire carpet area will be steam-cleaned. This process eliminates plenty of stains and dirt. Do note that carpets must dry thoroughly to prevent bad odors since they can easily trap smells. This can take time so it’s best to do it as the final task. 

Outside Areas

The first thing prospective tenants will see is the outside of the unit. Knowing this, you must enhance your curb appeal. Make sure that clutter in the outdoor areas is removed. 

Schedule regular lawn maintenance and plant new grass. Rake leaves and remove weeds. With a clean rental home, inside and outside, advertising it to prospective renters will be a breeze.

Bottom Line

Cleaning the property at the end of a tenancy is a step that should not be overlooked. With this guide, you’ll be better able to keep your rentals clean so that the next tenant can fully enjoy the property. 

Are you looking for a trusted property manager to advertise your rental home or help keep it well-maintained? Contact T-Square Properties today! 

Disclaimer: This blog article is for informational purposes. The information contained in this blog article may not be the official policies of T-Square Properties.

What Maintenance Issues Are Emergencies and What Can Wait For Regular Business Hours?

What Maintenance Issues Are Emergencies and What Can Wait For Regular Business Hours?

Do you find the prospect of dealing with emergency maintenance issues daunting? Learning which maintenance tasks to prioritize is vital! 

Compared to other industries, managing a property does not stick to regular business hours. You can be called up in the middle of the night for a property emergency. Property maintenance is an ongoing task that requires time and proper coordination. 

Though you want to avoid the midnight calls, its important to know how to handle these matters, so youre prepared when it happens. 

What Is Categorized as Rental Property Emergency Maintenance?

To be ready when maintenance issues strike requires you to fully understand whats deemed as an emergency. A bit of discomfort or inconvenience experienced by the renters isnt automatically counted as an emergency. 

Some problems that may manifest in the early hours of the morning may be tagged as maintenance issues but they can be managed later in the morning during more standard working hours. This requires the best judgment from the tenants and landlords. 

To keep things easy, a situation can be considered an emergency when the maintenance issue is likely to result in injury, serious property damage, or threaten the health and safety of an occupant. 

person with clip board and hard hat inspecting a home

Here are some examples of maintenance concerns:

  • Frozen pipes or broken water lines
  • Flooding or leaking roof
  • Fire or gas leak
  • Insufficient heat in winter
  • Electrical Issues or extended power outage
  • Break-ins by intruders resulting in property damage or safety issues. 

What Doesnt Count as a Maintenance Emergency

If no immediate threat to an occupant’s health and safety, or to the property is seen then this is not categorized as an emergency. In that case, the maintenance request can be addressed during normal business hours but swift action should still be taken. Non-emergent maintenance can include:

  • Malfunctioning appliance
  • No hot water
  • No air conditioning (when the outside temperature falls below 90 degrees)
  • No heat (when the outside temperature is above 50 degrees)
  • Parking disagreements
  • Minor leaks
  • Noise complaints

Ways to Deal with Rental Property Emergency Maintenance

If you want to have a healthy relationship with your renter and protect your property at the same time, you should learn how to handle tenant requests. Here are key factors in managing rental property emergency maintenance:

Be Reachable to Your Tenants

During emergencies, its critical for landlords to be accessible to the renters. You must provide alternate ways to be reached, so youre available to answer vital questions, guide the renters on the next steps and remain updated with the situation.

maintenance coordinator taking a call and making notes

Generally speaking, its good to be reachable by phone and email as well as provide emergency contacts for issues occurring outside of standing operating hours. 

Practice Open Communication

Constant communication is required even after an emergency incident is reported. You cant just contact a vendor and leave it at that. You should spare some time in talking with your renters and assure them of the steps taken, what the arrival time for the repair will be, and how to manage the current situation while the vendor is not yet around.

Once the issue is fixed in full, its still smart to follow up with your tenants to ensure theyre satisfied. This will help protect your landlord-tenant relationship. 

Have Access to Emergency Services

Its expected to have contact numbers of the police, fire, and utility service companies but landlords are also required to access emergency services. Past regular business hours, a tenant might experience an extended power outage or a broken heater. During these times you should be able to easily reach out to a vendor. Its best to be ready with a network of trusted vendors when an emergency crisis hits.

Be Aware of Your Immediate Responsibilities

As a landlord, youll be faced with many situations requiring repairs. You should be able to identify which warrants your immediate attention, what can be addressed later, and what to delegate to the renters.  

tool belt on a roof

Always keep in mind that emergency repairs are required when a situation is a threat to your tenantshealth and safety, or can result in massive property damage. Thus, fast action is required from landlords.

Adopt an Understanding Mindset

Be empathetic and keep calm during emergencies. Even if a renter reached out to you when a situation was not deemed as an emergency, talk to the renter patiently and provide instructions on sending a maintenance request. Even though you may have previously discussed the guidelines on rental property emergency maintenance, some tenants can panic and call you, especially new renters. Its important for them to hear your reassurance.

Keep Proper Documentation

Its easy to have a written record of regular maintenance requests. But emergencies can be challenging since they require swift action. When the immediate crisis is over, its still vital to document the events. Note down the agreements and do follow-ups in writing or through email. This lets you know if the situation is resolved to the satisfaction of the tenants and ensures that youre on top of things.

Building Positive Emergency Maintenance Vendor Relationships

One of the critical relationships a landlord needs to establish is with maintenance vendors. Repairs are expected when running a rental unit and having a set of trusted contractors to rely on is priceless.  

contractor in a blue shirt and hat fixing pipes

When looking for contractors and vendors, its important to conduct a screening. The essential factors to seek in a vendor have a solid reputation and reviews, insurance coverage, and a proper understanding of repair costs and time frames.

Bottom Line

Emergencies are bound to occur at some point so having a plan in place is vital. By understanding what situations call for swift and immediate action youll be better able to prioritize repair work. 

Another way to succeed in the competitive rental industry is to engage the services of a professional property management company. If youre looking for proven and trusted property management services, contact T-Square Properties today!

Disclaimer: This blog article is for informational purposes. The information contained in this blog article may not be the official policies of T-Square Properties.

Top Tenant Complaints and How to Solve Them

Top Tenant Complaints and How to Solve Them

Investing in rental properties can be a lucrative business. However, it also takes a lot of hard work, time, and effort before you can reap the rewards. If you want to be successful in rental property investing, you need to know how to keep your tenants happy. After all, without tenants, you won’t be able to generate consistent rental income.

As a landlord, you will encounter different kinds of tenants with varying needs. It’s your job to understand these needs and make sure that you provide a safe and habitable property that is conducive to living. Unfortunately, no matter how perfect your property may seem, there will likely be issues that tenants will complain about. 

It’s a landlord’s responsibility to address tenants’ concerns and resolve issues as soon as possible. This can help build a good rapport with your tenants and keep your tenant retention rate high. To be able to resolve tenant complaints confidently and efficiently, you first need to know and understand the common issues that most tenants complain about.

Here are the top tenant complaints and ways how to solve them:

Noisy and Problematic Neighbors

One of the most common issues many tenants bring up is noisy or problematic neighbors. Neighbors that play loud music or make too much noise are a major concern. Problematic neighbors such as those who make common areas dirty and don’t throw garbage properly also generate many complaints from tenants. 

one neighbor confronting a noisy neighbor

Before you try to help resolve the issue, it’s best to ask the tenants to talk to the neighbors themselves. Tenants should learn to handle problems with neighbors on their own and learn how to settle the issue amicably. However, if the situation remains the same even after your tenants tried to speak with the neighbors, then it’s time for you to take action and help the tenants resolve the problem.

If the disruptive neighbor is also one of your tenants, this situation will be easier to handle. You can refer to the clause in the lease agreement about noise and disruptive behavior. You can then consider eviction if they don’t stop disturbing the other tenants. 

However, if the neighbor is not one of your tenants, you can try and talk to them to see if it can help stop the disruptive behavior. But if not, the best course of action is to report them to the authorities and refer to the city’s bylaw to resolve the issue.

Maintenance-Related Complaints

Maintenance issues are also one of the most typical complaints from tenants. The good news is, that maintenance issues are easier to handle compared to neighbor issues. As the landlord, it’s your responsibility to fix repair and maintenance requests as soon as possible.

person on a ladder with a paintbrush

When you receive a maintenance complaint, you should go and visit the property right away. It’s best to bring someone who is knowledgeable of building maintenance so they can locate the root cause of the issue immediately. Make sure to make arrangements with the tenants on the best time to enter the property.

After you have established what the maintenance issue is, it’s important to address it and have it fixed as soon as possible. Additionally, continue communicating with your tenants to let them know the cause of the maintenance problem and what actions will be taken to remove it. Give them updates on when you expect it to be fixed too. Moreover, if your rental property is a multi-family home, it’s best to check with the other tenants and ask if they also encounter the same problem.

Pet Issues

There are some tenant complaints that involve pets. These often relate to a dog’s barking, aggressive behavior, or waste materials. If the issue is about a barking dog, you can handle it the same way you would a complaint about a noisy neighbor. Try to talk to the owner of the dog for an amicable solution.

However, if the barkings continue despite talking to the dog owner, the next step is to issue written warnings. If the owner is also your tenant, you may have no other choice but to process eviction. However, if it’s not one of your tenants, then you can handle it the same way you would a noisy neighbor and involve the authorities.

little brown dog in green sweater barking

If the pet complaints are related to messes or aggressive behavior, you can also check if there are city ordinances related to the issue. Refer to the city bylaw to help you deal with the problem.

Pest-Related Issues

If your property has pest issues it needs your immediate attention or you will end up losing your tenants and, ultimately, your rental income. As a matter of fact, you should not wait until you receive a complaint to take action. 

Hire competent and professional pest exterminators in your area to handle pest complaints efficiently. It’s also better to hire the services of pest exterminators on a regular basis as part of your preventive measures. 

Bottom Line 

As a landlord, you should know that receiving complaints from tenants is unavoidable. No matter how much you try to keep your property in good shape, there will come a time when you’re faced with a complaint. When you receive one, make sure to check on it without any bias so you can act on it rationally and effectively. When evaluating tenant complaints, it’s important to look at the issues as if you, yourself, are the tenant.

Being a landlord means handling complaints and daily rental business operations which can take up a lot of time. If you want to take this out of your daily tasks, you can opt to hire a professional rental property manager to handle these issues for you. If you’re looking for a reliable property management company in Washington, call T-Square Real Estate Services, Inc. at 425-485-1800. Our property managers look forward to speaking with you!

Disclaimer: This blog article is for informational purposes. The information contained in this blog article may not be the official policies of T-Square Properties.

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