Common Causes of Conflict for Rental Property Owners

Owning a rental property can be a conflict-heavy occupation. Between dealing with disputes between tenants, managing maintenance staff and obtaining renovation permits from local government, many landlords are up to their eyeballs in conflict. Needless to say, constant conflict is hardly conducive to a positive professional reputation or sound mental health. So, if you’re looking for effective ways to stop conflict in its tracks, you’d do well to brush up on some of its most common causes.

Tenants Who Refuse to Keep Up with Rent

It’s easy to see why landlords often come into conflict with tenants who are unable or unwilling to keep up with rent. After all, in the absence of responsible tenants, any rental property is liable to have trouble generating income. Of course, this isn’t to say that every late payment should be met with a combative attitude. For example, if a tenant who’s generally dependable needs a few extra days to make rent, it’s in your best interest to be understanding. Slightly late rental income is infinitely better than no rental income, and if you’re going to be paid regardless, there’s no sense in flying off the handle.

Even when dealing with tenants who are months behind on their rent, getting angry or adopting a threatening attitude won’t serve anyone well. If you believe that a tenant is never going to catch up with all the rent they’ve missed – or even make an effort to do so – it may be in your best interest to begin eviction proceedings and/or sue them for back rent.

You can save yourself a lot of headaches by putting every rental applicant through a rigorous screening process, during which you’ll look into their credit score, rental history, employment history and criminal background (after getting permission, of course). A good screening process will ensure that you’re able to make informed choices with regard to the tenants you take on and reduce your chances of winding up with unreliable renters.

Lack of Advance Notice About Renovations

Whenever large-scale renovations are set to take place, it’s imperative that you alert your tenants as far in advance as possible. Since major renovations stand to shake up their daily routines and create noise pollution, it’s important for your renters to have ample time to prepare. This is particularly true in the case of renovations to common areas, like parking lots and laundry rooms.

To help ensure that renovation proceed at an even clip, enlist the services of contractors who are fully licensed and insured. You should also confirm that your contractors pull the proper permits ahead of beginning work, which can be fairly easy in municipalities that utilize cutting-edge government software systems.

Poor Property Maintenance

Poor property maintenance is among the most common reasons renters come into conflict with their landlords. As the owner of the property, it’s your job to stay on top of maintenance and ensure that your tenants have a nice place to live. So, if you’ve allowed maintenance to fall by the wayside, there’s little wonder as to why your tenants may be less than pleased with your approach to property management.

To help ensure tenant satisfaction on the maintenance front, make a point of hiring knowledgeable, reliable maintenance personnel – especially if the property in question contains multiple units. In fact, depending on the size of the property, a full-time maintenance staff may be needed to keep the premises in prime condition.

You’ll also need to process maintenance requests in a timely manner, which entails handing every request you receive off to your maintenance as soon as it comes through and requiring them to prioritize it by level of severity. Any maintenance request relating to an issue that compromises a unit’s livability or a tenant’s safety should be addressed forthwith.

Rental property ownership is an occupation that’s often rife with conflict. At any given time, property owners are liable to be at odds with tenants, maintenance personnel or various other parties. As such, newer landlords are liable to think that conflict is an inescapable part of the job. While conflict avoidance can certainly prove tricky at times, it’s far from impossible – and well within the capabilities of most property owners. Property owners looking to keep conflict to the barest of minimums can benefit from the helpful pointers outlined above.