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Landlords: How To Handle Maintenance Complaints from Your Tenants

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By : Fredrica Smith    99 or more times read
Your topmost priority in managing your rental property is to ensure that it undergoes continuous maintenance. Whether you are personally taking care of the property or you have hired the services of property management company, complaints from tenants may still occur. There are certain measures you can do in handling such problem.

Even before tenants can occupy your rental unit, you must make them aware of the terms and conditions of the rental agreement. Specify in it the scope of your maintenance duties. Clarify that while it is your obligation to provide habitable conditions to your tenants, it is also their responsibility to give proper care for the unit they are renting. In addition, let your tenants know if you are dealing with a property management company. This way you are clearly drawing the line when you would be the primary person to be responsible for the poor maintenance. Your tenants must be also made aware of the services the management company can only render.

You should also include details of how to file maintenance complaints in case the property tending you gave did not satisfy them. You must firstly have a complaint form and a set of rules for processing the complaint. Give them a time frame of how long you will deliberate the validity of the complaint and when proper actions would be implemented. Also, establish a contingency period, which can be helpful you are not physically or financially available to respond to the complaint. But what is important is to always assure your tenants that their requests are taken in and would be complied with as soon as possible.

And for your further protection, keep receipts and reports you have accumulated from paying repairs or utilities bills. For example, you conduct monthly inspections and yet the tenant complains the unit he is renting has not been properly checked. Use your documents to prove you have pursued correct maintenance. Another instance is that a tenant may object you are charging him more than what he consumes, say in terms of electric bills. You can then show him how such service is computed.

You can also use a software program for accounting and monitoring purposes. This tool can help you track whether the damages your tenant is complaining about are logical to occur. Keep backup copies of your records, which should contain the nature of complaint, filing date and actions taken.

To save you from encountering maintenance negligence issues, ensure frequent property check ups. Conduct your own monthly inspection, and at least once a year, employ professional inspection of your entire rental property. Give proper notification to your tenants when the inspection would take place, so as to show your respect for their privacy. Let them know about it a week or two prior the inspection. Or you could just implement a regular date specifically for the inspection. And even if small damages are found, immediately address them to bail you out of expensive repairs.

The key point in all of these is to guarantee your rental property is at its best condition at all times. Maintenance complaints would be definitely out of your way.
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