angry | demanding tenants

5 Steps To Deal With Demanding Tenants

In the rental market, landlords often encounter demanding tenants — the type to make unreasonable requests and pester you until you take action. Dealing with this kind of tenant can come as a challenge, especially if you lack the experience. Luckily, there are some tips you can follow to make the task easier.


Dealing With Demanding Tenants in 5 Easy Steps

Demanding residents are some of the most difficult tenants you will ever encounter. Apart from the incessant calls at ungodly hours and their laundry list of unreasonable requests, these types of tenants seem impossible to please. After one outrageous complaint comes another. And, when you are busy fielding these complaints, you lose time to deal with other, more urgent problems.

As a landlord, it is easy to lose your cool when faced with demanding renters. You may even be tempted to evict them simply out of spite, which is a dangerous course of action in terms of legal liability. Instead of acting rashly, though, consider taking the following steps to deal with demanding tenants:


1. Acknowledge and Address

The first thing you must do when faced with a demanding resident is to acknowledge their concerns. Sometimes, demanding tenants just want to know someone is listening on the other end of the line. Let them know you hear them and understand where they are coming from. It is always important to empathize with them so they don’t feel unappreciated.

After acknowledging their complaints, you can then move on to addressing them the best you can. Of course, there is only so much you can do to fix whatever issue is bothering them. It’s not like it is your job to change a lightbulb or take out their trash.

In line with this, you must also learn how to say no. Modern society has programmed some people into believing that saying no is rude or mean. In truth, though, saying no is just a part of any job.

When denying a request, make sure to maintain a respectful tone. You can apologize but not too much as that will make it seem like you are at fault for something. It may take some practice, but you will eventually realize that saying no is a necessary skill.

Tenant demands are not always bad. In fact, some complaints are sensible and justifiable. When a tenant brings up a water leak, for instance, it would be in your best interest to remedy the situation at the soonest possible time.


2. Look to State Laws

law | demanding residentsAccording to the Landlord-Tenant Law, landlords must provide their tenants with livable conditions. Usually, that means giving them working appliances, running water, heat, and the like.

Though, it is important to remember that the definition of livable conditions can vary depending on your location. As such, you must check your state laws to know to what extent your responsibility lies. This will allow you to discern which requests you are obliged to fulfill.

With that in mind, if a tenant asks you to address an issue you’re not responsible for, let them know that their request doesn’t change the habitability of the property. You can address the issue if it is reasonable, but it is in no way urgent. Therefore, it does not take priority.


3. Refer to Your Lease Agreement

Lease or rental agreements typically outlined, in detail, the responsibilities of both parties. This includes any repairs, utilities, and maintenance work.

When faced with demanding tenants, check your agreement to see if their request falls under your responsibility. It is equally vital to check the procedure of making requests as indicated in the contract. Your tenant should follow this procedure when submitting a complaint or request.

Remember that your tenant agreed to the terms of your rental agreement when they signed it. So, they are in danger of violating the terms when they fail to follow protocol. Remind your tenant about the terms of the lease, pointing out which responsibilities you’re obliged to fulfill. These agreements also normally state that any damages caused by the tenant out of neglect should be covered by them.


4. Set Guidelines

Demanding tenants can call in the wee hours of the night or morning, robbing you of a good night’s sleep or a pleasant start to your day. To prevent this from happening, you must set some guidelines.

Establish work hours and workdays when tenants can get in touch with you for non-emergency issues. Give them your work phone number and email address instead of your personal contact information. For emergencies, give them a number where they can reach you.

Make sure to put these guidelines in writing and include them in your lease agreement. It is also imperative that you describe in your contract what counts as an emergency. Establishing these rules will allow you to draw a line between your personal life and your work as a landlord. If a tenant calls you outside of work hours with a non-emergency concern, remind them of the terms of the lease.


5. Exercise Professionalism at All Times

manners | demanding residentsIt is easy to give in to your frustrations and lash out at your tenants for their overly demanding habits.

It would certainly feel great at first, but it will only come around to bite you in the end. Behaving this way will open you up to legal trouble.

When handling difficult tenants of any sort, it is essential to remain polite and courteous at all times. Maintain a professional demeanor and approach every situation with consideration.

Demanding tenants will certainly test your patience. Before you answer their questions or complaints, try counting to 10 first. This will help you manage your temper and keep everything civil.

Consider limiting your verbal communications. Require tenants to make requests or submit complaints in writing. When replying to tenants, you must maintain a professional tone and avoid making promises you can’t keep. In addition to avoiding conflicts, written communications leave a paper trail, which can come in handy in case of litigation.


Try Professional Property Management

If you are lucky, you will consistently have understanding tenants who follow the rules at all times. Unfortunately, most landlords encounter demanding tenants at one point or another. The trick is to know how to deal with them. Follow these steps and you won’t have any trouble with demanding residents anymore.

Some landlords have no problem managing difficult tenants, while others feel the need to hire a property management company for help. Start your search for the best property management companies using Florida Property Management’s online directory. You can also use our online directory to search for real estate agents and HOA management companies.