22 Jun How to Deal With an Angry Tenant
Owning a home is an incredibly rewarding milestone, but there are many differences between being a homeowner and being a landlord – who contracts a tenant to stay in their home while also collecting rent from them. Being a landlord can be incredibly challenging and there are many issues that might arise out of the blue.
If you have a tenant that is visibly upset with the state of affairs in the house, or they are angry for any other reason, it is your job to hear their concerns and make sure that their problems are solved properly and amicably. Otherwise, you might open yourself up to new and greater issues that may not go away so easily.
Let’s have a look at a few ways you can deal with an angry tenant and the best courses of action to resolve problematic scenarios.
Listen to Them
This may seem like the most obvious thing to do and say, but sometimes as a landlord, you may also have a short fuse, which is why you might not listen to what your tenants are actually saying to you. In some cases, they may have told you to fix something in the house multiple times, and if you don’t pay heed to their constant complaints, you are bound to upset them, thus causing a bigger rift in your landlord-tenant relationship.
Therefore, it is very important to listen to what your tenant is telling you time and again, and also make sure to let them finish talking before you bombard them with your own responses. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure you take swift action on any and every maintenance request to not only avoid this situation, but to take proper care of your property. Tenants wish to be treated fairly and also respected, and it is your job to ensure that this happens.
Understand their Concerns
As mentioned above, landlords can sometimes fail to listen to their tenants’ repeated requests or complaints, and when they finally start raising their voices to gain attention, they are blamed for causing a scene and being irrational. However, on the other hand, tenants can also often bring an attitude when an issue has arisen for the first time. So, no matter if they are in the right or wrong, you should start by listening to everything your tenant has to say, and also understand what they actually mean.
Once you gain complete information about your tenants’ concerns and complaints, you will have a better understanding of the entire situation, and you will also be able to devise an efficient and long-term solution for their problem.
One of the most important things you should do to pacify an angry tenant is to give them the reassurance and confidence that you are with them, and that you will solve any problem that may come their way. If they are shouting at you and you can’t seem to get them to mellow down, make sure to remind them that you have an agreement and that you have to work together to uphold it.
By reassuring your tenants that you are on their side, you will be able to de-escalate the situation much faster and also put their mind at ease.
A crucial step in handling angry tenants is to be realistic, rather than being impulsive and letting them push you down a spiraling slope of emotion-driven actions. This will only cause you to make commitments that you can’t uphold, or cause the tenant to hold you hostage due to something you may have said.
While you may not be in the right all the time, neither is your tenant. This means that most of the time, tenants may try to force you into getting work done that you shouldn’t have to pay or take care of. Therefore, make sure to know all the facts and figures before you go talking to your tenant. This way, if the tenant tries to spin the story in their way, you can prove them wrong by stating accurate factors.
Stay Away from Accusations
Pointing the finger at someone is never a good or viable solution, no matter what the situation may be. Similarly, if your tenant is angry at you for not listening to them or fixing the problems in your house, keep away from unloading the blame on them or pointing the finger at them. This is a defense strategy that people often employ when they either want to avoid facing a problem, or they don’t have anything to justify their actions.
Therefore, make sure to be calm, compassionate, and responsible when you are dealing with an angry tenant. Most of the time, the situation can simply be solved with dialogue, and you may not even have to do or spend much to resolve their queries or complaints.
Look for Solutions Together
Another valuable guideline to deal with an angry tenant is to find an efficient and long-term solution that works well for both parties. Let’s take this scenario for example: Your tenant is behind on rent and you’ve been going through the normal process of communication to acquire payment, yet now your tenant is feeling “attacked” and overwhelmed. The appropriate steps would be to set up some time to speak with them one-on-one to find out what is going on in their life that has delayed payment, listen intently, and establish together a reasonable and realistic repayment plan.
Sometimes, it all comes down to listening to your angry or upset tenant, showing empathy, communicating thoroughly, and creating a strategic plan of action together.
Follow the Law & Document Everything
If you are a landlord, you should be aware of the rights and responsibilities of both tenants and landlords that are drafted in the law. No matter what the issue may be, always ensure that you resolve it in the proper legal manner, and prefer not to venture into any unlawful actions or shortcuts to solve the problem. While it may pacify your angry tenant for the time being, it may open you up to legal action later on.
Lastly, always always always get communication with your tenant in writing. Even if you’ve had a phone or video call, always send a follow-up email detailing any issues and solutions that were discussed. This will be your first line of defense in case litigations were ever to come into play.
The Bottom Line
These are the basic steps that you should follow if you are dealing with an angry tenant. As is the case with every other conflict, the key is to have a peaceful dialogue where both parties are heard and understood. As the landlord, it is your responsibility to listen to your tenant and also solve any problems that may arise on the property. Make sure you follow up on your promises and be a good landlord. This way, you can ensure that your tenant remains in contract for the long-haul.
And if you’re working with a professional property management company, always let them communicate with your tenant on your behalf. That’s why you hired them after all! Allow them to use their expertise to guide any unforeseen or unwanted situations with your tenants toward an amicable resolution.
Listen in to learn more details from 1836PM Founder, Matt Leschber:
By: Kayla Gonzales, 1836PM Marketing Manager