Renters Complaints and How to Handle Them

Talley Properties
We all have complaints every now and again. Sometimes the things that we complain about are simply small trifles, things that manage to get under our skin in one way or another. Other times, the focus of our complaint is something that is truly difficult. It may be something that stops us from achieving what we want or living in an easy way. While all of us do complain periodically, others have a habit of complaining incessantly. This can become quite a problem if the person complaining so much happens to be your tenant.
Most renters will only place a complaint when something is truly wrong. For example, a little while ago I had to list my first complaint to my landlord because of a small hole in a pipe behind our sink. The water had been leaking out of the pipe and had begun to cause water damage in the apartment underneath. This was the first thing I have mentioned to my landlord since we moved in last year, as all other issues I have simply dealt with myself. Naturally, however, this was something that needed a professional touch and therefore needed to have the landlord's approval. Other tenants may not react to issues that occur in the same way.
Some tenants do have quite a habit for complaining about every small thing. This may be for any number of reasons. Depending on your tenant's age or physical mobility, they may not be able to handle the small day to day issues on their own. If they have no one else in their lives or in the area, then helping them with these things may very well fall to you. Hopefully you will be made aware of this before they move in, however things can certainly happen after someone moves in which necessitates extra help. While we always hope that people will remain healthy and happy, this is not always the case.
Handling complaints from your renters can be a rather exhausting activity depending upon your specific situation. The one thing that is most important to remember is that you are normally the easiest person for your tenant to contact when something goes wrong in the apartment. You are the person who needs to know what is going on, after all.

Tenant Relatonship

Talley Properties
Having a strong and sturdy relationship with your tenant is one of the most fundamentally important things you can do as a landlord. Although you may not end up best buddies with whoever you are renting to, you certainly want to be at least amicable with them. Although we don't always get along with everyone we meet, there are certain ways to be a landlord with a good relationship regardless of what you may think of your tenant on a personal level.
One of the biggest things that you can do to cultivate a good relationship is uphold your end of the lease. If it is written that you are to take care of the repairs in a timely manner, then do so. If you are supposed to come around in person every month to collect the rent, stick to that. Always do what is expected of you as per your original agreement and that is a wonderful place to start.
Another thing that is extremely important in having a good relationship with your tenant is to go the extra mile. Now this doesn't mean you need to come around to their apartment and cook them dinner every Friday or shower them with gifts. A message every now and then simply checking in, however, can do a great deal to help your relationship. Ask if everything is okay at the rental property. Check if there may be anything you can do or help with in regard to the housing. If they respond that there is, then go and help them. One thing that I know some of the landlord's I have had did that hurt our professional relationship was offering help and then telling me that I should do it myself.
Speaking of the professional relationship, this is one of the biggest things. You should always keep the relationship between yourself and your tenant professional. You could be renting to your best friend, but business is business and many people seem to forget this. It is much easier to let one's friends get away with things than people you don't have a personal connection to. When it comes to property management, there really should be a separation. The relationship between you and your client is extremely important, so you want to do everything you can to strengthen it.

Tenant Fitness

Talley Properties
Before you read any further, no, this article is not about making sure that your residents are "fit". This article will be about possibly giving your tenants the tools with which to be fit. While this obviously isn't always possible for you to do, it is always useful to have new ideas regarding how to utilize possibly unused space.
If you are renting out a single house, this probably won't be viable for you to do. If, however, you own an apartment building or complex, you may find that it is worth your while, and your cash, to use a room to promote fitness among your residents. If you have a room that is not used, even a basement room, it can be redone and loaded with fitness equipment. With the large jump in fitness awareness, it is certainly something that would be a large selling point for many people. Being able to head to a room that is close to their home for any amount of time, at any time of the day depending on where it is located, can help to promote a healthy lifestyle for everyone who lives in your complex.
If you have a room that either was not utilized or had, perhaps, vending machines, this would be a perfect area to transform. You may want to look into the possibility of partially soundproofing the room, especially if it is connected to residential areas. Otherwise, you will have to have certain hours that the room is closed down which can prove troublesome for those with abnormal work schedules.
If you do not have the room to spare in your apartment complex, but still want to help promote health and wellness among your residents, you may be able to look around at local gyms. Sometimes, you will be able to find a gym that is close to your building that will be willing to work with you to offer a reduced rate to your residents. Some also offer group rates, so you can always try and drum up a crowd of your residents to all go together.
Now that it is the New Year, many people have their health as a resolution. You can certainly use this to your advantage when trying to upgrade your apartment complex. There is nothing wrong with helping your residents to achieve their goals!

Having a Safe Complex

Talley Properties
If you are an owner and landlord to an apartment complex, you have a lot to worry about. You worry about people paying rent on time, you worry about people sticking to a pet or visitor policy or maybe a noise ordinance that you have in place for the complex. Parking is almost always a concern as well. You also likely worry about the safety of the complex itself. You need to make sure the building is up to code, that the wiring is fine, that the sidewalks are even, and any stair railings are securely fastened. If your complex has a pool, you need to worry about those who may be swimming, about hiring a lifeguard if your township requires it, about keeping the water clean, and about dealing with any "accidents" kids may have quickly. It can get exhausting and if you focus on worrying about all of this, it can drive you slowly insane. Unfortunately, the list never seems to get smaller, no matter what we do.
Make a list of things you need to keep an eye on. Start with the obvious things, like the sidewalks, railings, parking lots, etc. As you think of things, add them in. Keeping a growing list is one of the best ideas when it comes to organization. How are the lights around the complex? Do you have a laundry room, and if so is it clean, bright, and safe? Do you have a plan for winter with the snow and ice? Continue like this until you cannot think of any more.
Ask around the complex itself. See what your tenants are concerned about. They may come up with things you hadn't thought of, like dead trees or the need for an extra dumpster or recycling service in the back. Perhaps they saw a growth of poison ivy by the back fence that you had no idea about. It's always a good idea to check with those who live at the complex, since they spend most of their time looking at the area.
Keeping a list of things to check is the easiest way to ensure your complex's safety. See about a couple of things each week and if they're good, mark them off on your list until the next time. This can help keep your anxiety down and your productivity up. It's a win for everyone this way!

Our Services

Talley Properties
All too often, things go wrong. It always seems to go wrong at the worst possible time and often feels like everything goes wrong at once. While some people believe that it is coincidence, others believe that it may be a karmic response. Some people just believe the phrase, "When it rains, it pours". Whether you believe it to be some larger power or simply how things work, the fact of the matter is nothing ever works forever. Things will always go wrong. It is a fact of life. Sometimes we thankfully have warning, but most often it comes out of the blue. Unfortunately this can be the source of endless headaches and can leave you confused, frustrated, broke, and sometimes feeling completely drained.
This is where we are able to step in. Here at Talley, we offer many different services. We don't just give great advice on how to better yourself as a property owner, we help you achieve that goal. We work with people who can help with almost any problem you may have develop. While we more than understand if you would prefer to go with someone who you are well acquainted with, that isn't always an option. We understand this.
One of the best things about our property services is the fact that we provide 24-hour emergency care. We understand that emergencies can occur at any time, on any date, and normally aren't respectful of commonly observed business hours. We will always send someone to repair the problem as soon as possible and we will take the panic away from both the tenant and yourself.
Another thing that out people help to provide is regular maintenance for your rental property. This includes plumbing and electrical work. We understand that many people say they can do this work, however we always make sure that you are legally covered by using only those who are licensed and insured. If you have an emergency, you don't want another surprise on top of the first.
We also can help contact people who will get your rental property into move-in condition. This can include painters, cleaners, and anyone else who can get your apartment looking its best. After all, the better looking the space is, the quicker someone will snatch it up.

Having Outdoor Space

Talley Properties
We have recently been talking quite a bit about amenities and what can help to make your rental property more desirable to different tenants. While of course each area is different, many of the wants, or sometimes requirements, of those who you are renting to can be extremely similar. It is almost impossible to give a list of perks that every landlord should know, but we are doing our best to help to cater to all kinds of different locations. This article is a perfect example of how certain amenities aren't even thoughts for some people or areas.
Outdoor space is something that is almost always wanted. While in some areas it cannot be expected for most price points, it is certainly something that people do generally want. In largely urban or developed areas, outdoor space is often only a distant dream to most people. If, however, you are renting in a rural area, this will not be a concern for your renters. It will be expected. This is what I meant when I stated that some people will not find use in this list.
Some renters will feel a large need for usable outdoor space. This may be due to children, animals, or even something like claustrophobia. If you have yard space that the tenant may use, you may want to think about possibly installing a fence. Again, though, learn your town's bylaws and always remember to check to see if you need a permit for a fence, especially of a certain height.
Even if outdoor space doesn't mean a full yard to some people, it can still be nice to have access to a small patio or balcony if the apartment is on an upper level. Being able to have a chair or two, maybe even a small table, outside to drink coffee, read a book, or maybe even grill can be a wonderful feeling for a renter. It also provides a good space for anything that needs open ventilation, such as painting or cleaning with potent chemicals.
Having an outdoor space, if possible, is always a good idea if you are trying to rent an area out. Even if you simply build a platform for your resident outside that they are allowed to use, it can be a great selling point. If this is something that is wanted in your area, look into the different possibilities.

Community Get Togethers

Talley Properties
Living in an apartment complex can be difficult. Many people I know have lived in the same location for years, sometimes even decades, and have never gotten to meet or speak with their neighbors. This can be for any number of reasons, but it never makes it any less sad. Many of us have such busy lives that we simply don't connect to others the way we used to. This isn't meant to be a philosophical post or a commentary on our world today, it is simply a statement of the facts. If this saddens you the way it does me, after all I like getting to know people, then there are things you can do to maybe help others who want to get to know those they live near.
Hosting community events is something you may be able to find useful in helping your residents to get to know each other. Having tenants that know each other is extremely beneficial to the safety and security of everyone around as well as that of your property. While not everyone is interested in getting to know those around them, many of us are. We may just not know the best way to go about this and so you have the unique opportunity, as building owner and/or manager, to help this happen.
A community event can be something as simple as posting on the community bulletin board that there will be a gathering with music on a certain day at a certain time. If you want, the holidays are a wonderful time to have something like this. For example, if you can set up a projector in a common area, there is nothing stopping you from showing holiday movies or having a gathering to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for those who may not have somewhere else to go.
During the summer, many people opt for having an ice cream social gathering. After all, who doesn't like free ice cream? Even people who cannot have ice cream often come down and either munch on the toppings or simply talk and get to know others. It's certainly nice to be able to beat the heat and find out who you share a building with.
Don't be afraid of getting creative with your events. If you want, you can always start small but if they prove to be a success, have some fun with it. I'm sure no one will mind.

Keeping Your Tenants Happy

Tenants
One of your main goals as a landlord and a rental property owner should be to keep your tenants happy. While for some people this can be done with only a few simple things, other people require a bit more work to be put in. How happy they expect to be kept can also depend upon how much they are paying in rent and while there is never a way to keep everyone happy and content, there are certainly some things that are always better to do than to leave alone. This is especially true if you own an apartment complex or building.
Keeping your common areas clean is something that most residents will expect from you if they pay rent. If you go into a hotel, you expect their lobby to be reasonably clean along with any hallways and rooms such as laundry areas or vending spaces. While your apartment building is slightly different due to your residence, the standards to which many residents hold do not differ all that much. Making sure that the floors and walls and even ceilings are kept appropriately clean is something that you should put at the top of your list. Having a small cleaning crew may seem costly, but there are certainly ways around this. You may ask around to see if any of your residents are looking for a part time job, especially if there are teenagers or older tenants. You can always offer to either pay them slightly less than others may take or you can offer to take some money off of their rent in exchange for the work.
Having a type of security can always help to make your tenants happier as well. This can be with anything from motion sensor lights to having an actual security system installed. Having a buzzer or telephone entry system normally won't break the bank, or you can always hire someone to work security for the building. Ask your tenants what would make them feel safer and see what their response is.
If you want to keep good tenants, you need to keep them happy. The easiest way to do that is to ask them what they would like to see the most. See what they say and if possible, make it happen. It doesn't need to be difficult, which is the beauty of helping your tenants out.

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