How to deal with multifamily tenant complaints

Dealing with multifamily tenant complaints is an inevitable part of property management. Tenant complaints will vary widely, from noisy neighbors to burst pipes to concerns about sustainability in multifamily properties. Successfully managing tenant complaints ensures issues are resolved immediately and tenant relationships remain positive, bolstering the reputation of your property management.

In this blog, we outline how to deal with multifamily tenant complaints. By following these strategies, you can effectively manage any complaint and maintain tenant satisfaction.

7 ways to deal with tenant complaints

No matter how diligently you maintain and manage your multifamily property, issues and tenant complaints can still occasionally surface. How you deal with complaints from your tenants can make the difference between high rates of tenant satisfaction or tenant turnover.

Here are our 7 strategies for effectively dealing with multifamily tenant complaints:

1) Encourage tenants to come to you with problems

Encouraging tenants to openly communicate their concerns with you is crucial. It helps in identifying and resolving issues early, preventing them from escalating into more significant problems that can be costly to repair. It also fosters an environment where tenants feel heard and valued, enhancing tenant satisfaction that can contribute to long-term tenant retention.

Property managers can encourage tenants to come forward with problems by creating a culture of openness and accessibility. This can be done through hosting regular meetings for tenants to air concerns, sending out surveys, and being responsive to tenants’ emails or calls.

Utilizing multifamily property software can also assist tenants in sharing their concerns. Tenants can submit maintenance requests, emergency issues, or other complaints through the resident portal. This makes communicating concerns convenient and simple for tenants, allowing you to promptly address issues and create an encouraging environment.

2) Resolve the issue as soon as possible

Once you have created an environment where tenants feel comfortable to present their complaints, you need to prioritize managing the issue. Promptly addressing and resolving the problem will demonstrate your commitment to their satisfaction in your multifamily property. Not only does solving any issues quickly prevent tenant frustration, but it can also prevent the issues from escalating into more significant and costly problems.

Whether it’s a leaky faucet or malfunctioning heating, having a responsive maintenance or repair team in place can help ensure problems are solved quickly. Property management software can assist you to track maintenance progress and communicate the progress to the tenants. You can also set up an emergency hotline that tenants can use to report urgent issues outside of working hours.

3) Create an official tenant complaint form

Implementing an official tenant complaint form provides a structured and organized way for tenants to report issues. This ensures that essential information such as problem specifics, location, date, and contact details are collected uniformly. Having a standardized process in place helps property managers track, categorize, and prioritize complaints, ensuring that none slip through the cracks.

Property managers can easily provide tenants with a complaint form on the resident portal, property’s website, or physical copies in common areas. By making the complaint form easily accessible, tenants will feel encouraged to share their complaints. This helps enhance their satisfaction and allows you to promptly resolve the issues.

4) Be sensitive when handling interpersonal tenant issues

Not all tenant complaints will be maintenance or property-related issues. Some may involve disputes or conflicts between tenants, such as excessively barking dogs, loud music after hours, or arguments over parking spaces. These types of complaints can be prevalent in multifamily properties due to the close proximity between neighbors.

When dealing with interpersonal problems, it’s crucial to approach the situation with sensitivity and professionalism. You should listen to both parties involved, mediate when necessary, and work towards achieving a peaceful resolution that respects the rights and concerns of all individuals affected by the dispute.

5) Follow up with tenants

Once an issue has been resolved, it is important to follow up with the tenants. This gives tenants the opportunity to provide feedback on the resolution process. It also allows you to identify any potential recurring issues and take proactive measures to prevent them in the future.

You can follow up with the tenants through communication channels on the multifamily property management software, by phoning or emailing them, or by sending them a survey. Creating a feedback loop can then be used to improve property management practices and enhance tenant satisfaction.

6) Define what counts as an emergency

It’s important to clearly define to tenants what constitutes an emergency, such as gas leaks, electrical failures, or significant water damage. This empowers tenants to take appropriate actions or seek assistance immediately, potentially preventing injuries or further damage. Tenants are also less likely to misuse emergency services, which can lead to unnecessary costs and disruptions.

Property managers can assist tenants during emergency situations by establishing clear emergency contact procedures and response protocols. Providing tenants with emergency contact information and guidance on how to handle urgent issues ensures that they know how to react in critical moments. You should have a reliable and responsive team in place to address emergency complaints promptly, ensuring tenant safety and well-being.

7) Screen out potentially bad tenants from the start

One proactive way to minimize tenant complaints is to conduct thorough tenant screening during the leasing process. Tenant screening allows property managers to proactively select responsible and respectful tenants by conducting comprehensive background checks, credit history assessments, and rental history reviews. This screening process can help you identify potential red flags that may lead to future complaints.

You can enhance the tenant screening process by leveraging multifamily property management software integrated with multifamily AI. These advanced technologies enable efficient and thorough evaluations of applicants, providing insights into their financial stability, rental history, and background. This can help you select tenants who are more likely to be responsible and respectful of property rules and other tenants.

FAQs about dealing with multifamily tenant complaints

Get a software demo

Multifamily software used by the top ten NMHC managers

Take full control of the lead-to-lease process

Get a demo
Find good tenants
How can property managers encourage open communication to prevent complaints?
How can tenant complaints be used to improve property management practices?
Ebook

Upgrade your multifamily budget bootcamp

Put the “fun” back in “funding” this multifamily budget season Budgeting season in the multifamily industry can be stressful. What if you could make this year’s “Budget Bootcamp” run a little smoother and hav…

View the Ebook

Reinvest in some more great content:

Webinar
Multifamily Mid-Year Review: Fundamentals and Foresight to Guide You Into 2025

Multifamily mid-year review: Fundamentals and foresight to guide you into 2025

Find out more

Select your region

45000+

Clients

20.1m

Units

4.2m

Leases

300+

Partners

170+

Countries