Managing Conflicts Between Property Owners and Tenants
April 14, 2017
As a landlord or rental property owner, you may have had difficulties working with a particular tenant. You went out of your way to be nice to them and let your patience get pushed to the limit yet you couldn’t resolve the problem. If you’re thinking something has to change, you might be right, especially if you’ve considered handing the responsibilities over to a property management company. If there is one thing that these companies are well-versed at, it Is conflict management. More importantly, it may be time for you to work on your skills in that area of property management as well.
Communication Skills are Essential
Having good communication skills are essential to conflict management; it’s a talent that has enabled hundreds of landlords to resolve issues with problem tenants. Ironically, those conflicts are not always a bad thing. In fact, some conflicts can be good for the property owner-tenant relationship. These conflicts can help to resolve issues that you may be having with a difficult tenant. Let’s be realistic. Resolving conflicts between you and a tenant is much better than letting them fester. Additionally, having a property management team to handle all of this is the easiest.
The Art of Managing Conflicts
If you can effectively manage any conflicts you are having with a tenant, you’ll find that this is something that can strengthen the relationship and enable you to work together better in the future. By now, you’re probably wondering how something negative can lead to positive results. Granted, conflicts can be destructive. For instance, you can say something that you wind up regretting. And in many cases, having a legal team to back your stance is important.
If you want to improve the quality of future conflicts, then you have to sharpen your abilities at managing them.
Here are several helpful tips:
Choose your words wisely – Many landlords have a bad habit of attacking tenants (verbally) instead of describing their negative activities or behavior. Remember, a poor choice of words can cause conflicts to escalate rapidly and get very ugly.
Go for the ‘win-win” solution – Human beings are competitive by nature. Sometimes during a conflict or disagreement, we turn on that “win at all costs” mindset. The best option is to come up with a solution that you can mutually agree upon.
Know when it’s time to call it a day – Let’s face it, there are going to be times when you have that one tenant that’s a constant headache. When you finally realize there are no more options, you’ll need to evict them or refuse to renew their lease. You can select whatever works best in the particular circumstances.
You’re not perfect – This type of self-evaluation helps you two different ways. First, it will enable you to recognize when you’re the problem and not the tenant. Second, it gives you the chance to apologize if you made a mistake or mishandled the situation.