Top Tenant Complaints and How to Solve Them

As a landlord, keeping residents happy and maintaining positive relationships is key to the success and longevity of your rental property. But this often requires you to be prepared for any situation, including dissatisfied residents. Understanding common resident complaints and how to solve them can help you prevent the same issues in the future. 

So, what do you do if a tenant has a complaint? This article will give you some insight into common complaints and some smart ways to sort them out. Keep reading to learn more!

7 Common Resident Complaints 

Even if you take good care of your property, problems and complaints can still pop up, and you’ll need to step in. Knowing the usual complaints can help you avoid them in the future.

Maintenance Issues 

Plumbing leaks, electrical malfunctions, broken appliances, faulty doors and locks, and other repair needs can seriously disrupt residents’ daily lives and diminish their quality of living if not properly addressed. Issues like leaky roofs, if left unresolved, also run the risk of causing costly damage to the property over time from water damage and mold growth. 

From a resident’s perspective, unaddressed maintenance issues undermine their comfort, security, and overall enjoyment of your rental property becoming their home. Without clear communication on expected repair timelines from you, it’s understandable that a resident may feel uncertain and frustrated. 

Close up of silver bathtub handles in a white bathtub

To help resolve maintenance issues, you should implement a priority-based work order system. After a resident reports a problem, you or a maintenance professional can do an initial assessment of the issue. 

Then, let your resident know in writing how soon you’ll fix it, based on how serious it is. Keeping them updated on the progress is also a good move, so they know when to expect maintenance workers to resolve the issue and can communicate with the right people if anything else comes up. 

Loud Neighbors

Occasionally, a resident might complain about a noisy neighbor. It is your duty as the landlord to make sure that every one of your residents is comfortable. You might think about adding soundproofing and more insulation to address this issue. 

However, you might not be able to afford to make these upgrades to your property. This solution is most helpful if the neighbor your resident is complaining about doesn’t live in a rental property you own.

If both residents rent from you, you could speak with the noisy neighbor and remind them of the expectations that come along with the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment. Make sure your lease agreement outlines the resident’s obligations and consequences for noncompliance. 

Having a solid lease agreement means you always have a signed document to turn to if residents are causing issues for their neighbors. 

Four people in a living room, one adult is shaking a child's hand

Aging Appliances Trouble

Over time, rental appliances like washers, dryers, fridges, and stoves can start to wear out and need fixing. Old appliances can be a real headache for renters, especially when it’s hot and the air conditioner isn’t working right, or when the washing machine breaks and they have a mountain of clothes to wash.

As appliances get older, they’ll probably need more repairs. Fixing or replacing them before they break down shows residents you care about their comfort. Having spare parts on hand can also speed up repairs, so residents can enjoy their space without major interruptions.

High Utility Costs

In homes that aren’t energy-efficient, residents might end up with really high monthly bills. Things like drafty windows and old heating and cooling systems can make energy bills go through the roof, which is tough on a renter’s budget. 

In a home that’s not well-insulated, heating and cooling costs can jump by 30–50 percent. If landlords don’t fix the problems or make improvements, residents may feel like they’re paying too much for the property they’re renting out. 

To fix this, landlords should check out their property’s energy efficiency. Adding attic insulation, using energy-efficient appliances, installing smart thermostats, and sealing up leaks can help lower costs for everyone in the long run.

Person holding a laundry basket and loading laundry into a washing machine

Concerns About Rent

Tenants might also have issues with strict rent due dates or rent increases. There are a few ways to handle this. First, it’s super important to set clear expectations right from the start. In the lease, you should tell residents when rent is due each month. You might also offer to help them set up an easy payment plan. 

You can also offer them a deal to lock in their rent for a longer lease. For rent increases, always abide by the rent increase laws in Rhode Island or Massachusetts. Once expectations are set, it’s easier to enforce them.

Pests Ruining Comfort and Property

No one wants to live with pests. Infestations, whether it’s mice, ants, or bed bugs, can really mess with a resident’s quality of life and mental health. If pests aren’t dealt with quickly and aggressively, they can spread and damage the property.

A pest control professional can find out where the pests are coming from and how bad the problem is. Follow their advice on how to get rid of them and fix things like cracks or holes that let pests in. 

Regular checks, especially in places like basements and attics, are a good idea for landlords. Keeping on top of pest control and property maintenance shows residents you care about their home and will catch problems early.

Interior of an empty home with hardwood floors

Safety Standards to Address Security Concerns

Making sure tenants feel safe at home is super important. Normal wear and tear is to be expected but problems like loose railings or deteriorating locks can potentially compromise the safety of your property. Regular maintenance checks help you solve issues before an accident happens and ensure the property is safe. 

Rebuilding railings or replacing locks can alleviate resident concerns. Increased outdoor lighting around entrances and walkways can deter unwanted activity and reduce visibility issues. 

Regular inspections and prompt repairs show landlords care about their residents. It shows residents that their peace of mind comes first. Providing a safe, secure home should be one of your top priorities as a landlord. 

Conclusion

The most common resident complaints surround maintenance issues, broken appliances, high utility costs, rent increases, and pest infestations. Addressing complaints quickly and keeping communication channels open is key to succeeding as a rental property owner. 

Showing empathy for residents’ situations and making a good-faith effort to solve issues promotes satisfaction and loyalty. With compassion and responsiveness, landlords can turn rentals into places residents are proud to call their homes. Handling complaints respectfully goes a long way!

As property managers at Stonelink Property Management know well, proactively addressing the root cause of these common complaints is key to developing strong relationships with residents over the long term. If you have questions about tenant complaints or want help managing your property in Rhode Island or Southern Massachusetts, contact us today!

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