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3 Tips for Dealing with Landlord/Tenant Confrontations

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Confrontation can be a normal part of being a property owner, even if you employ Rockville’s best property management company to manage all of your rental property needs.

However, understanding how to deal with confrontation in a professional and effective way does not always come naturally to rental property business owners.  In fact, dealing with confrontation is something most people try to avoid at all costs.

The fact of the matter is that if you want your tenants to remain satisfied and continue to lease from you, you will need to have some strategies prepared for dealing with the inevitable issues your tenant will bring to your attention at some point.

Today we are going to look at three tips for dealing with a landlord/tenant confrontation that both you and your Rockville property management company will find useful when face-to-face with an irked tenant.

 

What is Confrontation?

Typically, in the professional world, including the rental property business, confrontation is the act of dealing with opposing parties and finding a solution to an existing problem.  The end goal is to fix the issue head-on in a confrontation, rather than avoid it.  If avoidance occurs and the problem does not get resolved, your rental property business and reputation are sure to suffer because of it.

 

3 Best Ways to Handle Landlord/Tenant Confrontations

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When it comes to future landlord/tenant confrontations, the key is to be prepared beforehand.  Understanding how to negotiate, deal with problematic situations, and find an appropriate solution that satisfies everyone involved is the best way to keep problems at bay.

 

1. Understand the Other Party’s Perspective

Oftentimes conflicts occur because one party has unmet expectations that are angering them.  For example, maybe your tenant is upset because they were recently billed for the garbage disposal repair your property management company had to perform because they clogged it with too much food.

For the tenant, a broken garbage disposal seems like a routine maintenance issue that should be handled by the property management company. For you, this broken appliance seems like a responsibility the tenant took on by signing the lease agreement and agreeing to care for your property.

If you are dealing with a tenant, a broken garbage disposal, and a looming confrontation, try to see the tenant’s perspective and understand where they are coming from. This applies to any other confrontation you may have to deal with as a property owner.

Did you go through the lease agreement thoroughly and make it known to the tenants at move-in that repairs that were their fault would be their financial obligation? 

Better yet, did you outline for them some tips on how to handle such common maintenance problems in order to avoid excess costs associated with repairs?

Depending on the cost and situation, consider letting this go and footing the bill for the tenant if you failed to clarify their expectations of living in your property from the start.  And from then on, always make sure to set clear expectations at move-in so these confrontations do not occur again.

 

2. Go in With a Resolution in Mind

Whether you are the one at odds with your tenant, or your Rockville property manager is, it is a good idea to go into any confrontation with a resolution in mind before engaging the other party.

Have an idea of what you want to get out of the conversation and try to keep your emotions out of it.  Stay rational, calm, and listen attentively to the tenant’s side of the story, regardless of whether you feel they are right or wrong.

In addition, using the above scenario regarding the garbage disposal, have resolutions such as the following in mind:

  • Have a copy of the signed lease agreement that clearly defines the tenant’s maintenance responsibilities
  • Agree to pay for half (or more) of the repair bill due to your unclear expectations set forth for the tenant at move-in time
  • Allow the tenant to remove the garbage disposal and do without it for the rest of the lease term, but inform them a new appliance will be installed using a portion of their security deposit at the end of the lease term

In the end, it depends on what the confrontation is about and what is at stake when it comes to possible resolutions.  However, coming to a confrontation prepared, and without heated emotions, will help significantly when it comes to resolving the conflict.

 

3. Acknowledge Mistakes

No one likes to be wrong.  However, a surefire way to upset your tenant further during a confrontation is to stick to your guns, even though you know you are in the wrong.

However, with a good property management team on board to help mediate confrontations between you and your tenant, this should never happen; your property management company will remain neutral, objective, and point out who is clearly right and wrong.

If by chance, you have made an error, fess up and apologize.  By doing so, your tenant is more likely to respect you and agree to resolve the entire situation with less anger than was initially there.  People make mistakes; there is no avoiding that.  It is all in how you handle them when they are your fault that is going to make the biggest difference.

 

Tenant Confrontation Quick Tips

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If you find yourself in a confrontation with your tenant and have very little time to prepare for an official sit-down to discuss the situation, keep these tips in mind:

  • Focus on the issue at hand. Sticking to the issue at hand will prevent further escalation of the problem.  Bringing up other issues that are bothering you, past instances of tenant wrongdoings, or things that are simply not relevant will only make matters worse.
  • Stay simple. State your point, your possible resolution, and stop while you are ahead.  Interrupting your tenant is unprofessional and not effective.  Do not continue to add in other points, argue their side, or worse change your position.  Great listening skills are crucial for effective conflict resolution.
  • Use anger to help you, not hurt you. Identifying things that trigger your angry responses during confrontations can help when faced with an upset tenant.  This will help you meet any confrontation in the most objective way possible and lead to a fairer resolution.

Altogether, confrontation is not a fun thing to deal with as a property owner.  However, it is bound to happen at one time or another.  The best thing you can do is prepare yourself for confrontation so that when it starts happening, you can take a step back, evaluate the situation without emotions, and focus on a satisfying resolution.

Another great way to eliminate many common conflicts that landlords and tenants have with each other is to set clear expectations at the time of move-in so all parties – property managers, landlords, and tenants – know exactly what their role is during the lease term.

 

If you have a rental property in the Rockville area and need help with defining landlord/tenant roles and drafting a solid lease agreement that everyone can agree to and fully understand, contact Bay Management Group to help.

With an experienced and knowledgeable staff on hand, Bay Management Group can not only draw up an airtight and legally compliant lease agreement and help explain it to your tenants, we can help you manage all other things property related as well.  So, contact us today to ensure that your leasing runs smoothly and that landlord/tenant confrontations do not become the norm.