I always advocate addressing problems proactively, especially when it comes to rental properties. However, no matter how much you plan ahead, unexpected issues will arise and require swift action. Here are some tips on how to deal with bad tenants, local government and even the police.
Respond immediately – It’s human nature to hope that problems will just go away, but ignoring most problems will only make them worse. Instead, make immediate contact with whoever brought the issue to your attention and let them know that you will deal with the problem swiftly.
Understand expectations – The same way there are two sides to every story, there can often be two versions of what “fixing the problem” means. Make sure that you understand what the other party expects of you to correct the issue and always share your concerns as well.
Communicate effectively – Problems can quickly become emotional and escalate, so it’s critical that you remain calm when addressing issues with your rental property. You will often find that the other party will adopt your calm demeanor as well, making a mutual resolution easier. Also, don’t think that a single call or email is all that is needed. Be sure to follow up and make sure your resolution is acceptable.
Be professional – This may seem obvious, but it is the single most important element in dispute resolution. Treat the other party respectfully and commit yourself to a resolution. A good way to think of professionalism is to imagine you are at work. People often handle problems in the workplace much better than those in their personal lives.
Whether you are talking with a troublesome tenant or a city inspector, it is important that you deal with every issue swiftly and respectfully. Applying these simple steps to your conflict resolution will make the problem easier to solve and will ensure the long term profitability of your income property.