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Handling tenants request

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by chibs, 16th Aug, 2016.

  1. chibs

    chibs Active Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm after some advice on how to handle tenants requests.
    I have tenants who keep requesting one thing after another. They never seem to be happy with the house and always something to complain about. It is a newly built house, mind you, the built quality is much better than the house I'm living in. They will complain about the design of the house, said material is cheap, said house too cold/too hot etc.

    So, we signed them up 6 months back. After they moved in, they wanted the fence replaced as it is too low and the neighbour has a big dog (they are not fond of dogs). Threatened will call police etc. We negotiated with the neighbour to replace the fence, thought it's something we want to do in the long run anyway. Even so, they're not happy, said process took too long. Recently, they wanted an aircon installed, they said the kids keep getting sick because house is too cold (house is new, no budget for aircon). I replied with a no unless they can contribute in the form of a rent increase. They are not happy about it and want to move out. As the rental market now is weaker than 6 months ago, they are paying higher than the current asking rent. I did wonder if I should have just installed the aircon per their request.

    I am wondering at how I can handle tenants request better in the future.

    Any advice appreciated.
     
  2. Colin Rice

    Colin Rice Mortgage Broker Australia Wide Business Member

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    Get a good Property Manager :)
     
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  3. JDM

    JDM Well-Known Member

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    Repair of existing items is completely different to requests for new items. The tenant knew the fence height and lack of air con when they signed the tenancy agreement so why should it be your issue now? In your position I would politely decline all of their future requests for new items unless they are willing to contribute by way of a rent increase, as you have suggested.
     
  4. JacM

    JacM VIC Buyer's Agent Business Member

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    The tenants sighted the property and its offerings and signed a lease on that basis. They don't get free upgrades without an increased rent. They are welcome to move out if they wish - it's called a lease break... and there is financial penalty to them for doing so (paying the rent till a suitable replacement tenant is found at the same $$ amount. Contributing towards advertising/leasing fees, and contributing towards water meter readings.)

    I'd be kicking my PM in the butt for constantly pestering me with this sort of thing. I would expect them to block a lot of this nonsense on my behalf by explaining precisely what I have mentioned above to the tenant, and giving them a choice of three things :

    • Stay put in the dwelling as is
    • Offer to agree to an increased rent for the "upgrades"
    • Break lease and cop the consequences
     
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  5. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Yep, PM's are a filter in a way. Landlords want a hands-off experience to investing and don't need to hear about every single call or email we get.
     
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  6. Lil Skater

    Lil Skater Well-Known Member Business Member

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    Yes!! The PM is there to handle requests, but also remove the bullsh** before it reaches you. Most of my clients I think don't realise how many requests are fielded by their tenants and that only reasonable ones are sent through - or if they're making a request for an upgrade it would need to be a good tenant that doesn't complain like yours.

    Say no and leave it at that, I wouldn't have done the fence. Let them complain, just keep saying no unless it's reasonable and let them leave after six months or they can pay to leave earlier if they're so unhappy.
     
  7. DaveM

    DaveM Adelaide Buyers Agent & KFC Strategist Business Member

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    Let them leave and tell them not to let the door hit them on the way out. Life is too short to spend it on malcontents
     
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  8. chibs

    chibs Active Member

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    Yup, I agree with all the comments and this is where we stand. Soon enough, we got a hostile email from the tenants about wanting a rent increase. Their lease is expiring, I guess they won't be renewing. We shall cut our loss and get new tenants. Even though they pay their rent on time, they seem to always find something to be unhappy about. They seem to have this entitlement complex. It's not like I can change the climate for them or stop their kids from getting sick o_O

    It's unfortunate that Perth rental market is very bad at the moment, getting rid of current tenants mean we'll have to settle for a lower rent when we look for new tenants. But we are probably better off getting rid of tenants we can't work with anyway.

    We are self managing as I have the time on my hands, but had a PM before. The PM sided with tenants so much (eg. pressuring us to install an aircon for tenants), we decided to stop using this PM. We've now got the best and cheapest PM :D. I would give two thumbs up to property managers though for being able to handle this sort of rubbish all the time
     
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  9. chibs

    chibs Active Member

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    They pay their rent on time and make efforts to clean the house (at least during inspections). The only problem is that they want free upgrades

    Yep, will move along. End of rant. Life is too short to dwell on negativities.
     
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  10. Big Will

    Big Will Well-Known Member

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    Not going to side with the PM here but maybe the PM was saying put in aircon because the rental market is really bad.

    If you are looking at $50/week drop if a tenant leave I would in someway look at trying to keep them but at the same time these guys do seem demanding.
     
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  11. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Perth market is really bad at the moment - I've heard of some peoples tenants asking for $50 a week reduction upon their lease renewal and being offered it as thats cheaper than trying to find another tenant. Sometimes PM has to look at the whole situation rather than just giving black and white answers.
     
  12. SeafordSunshine

    SeafordSunshine Well-Known Member

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    Dear Chibs,
    My tenants have asked for the earth, sun and moon, and keep the new bathroom mouldy.
    I would rather have $30 a week less than their constant list of demands.. including freezing to death... their lease end soon..:rolleyes:
     
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  13. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    I guess I'm probably taking a contrary view from most, but in Perth right now, I'd be bending over backwards to keep a tenant who was paying above market rent reliably.

    Also, air con is something that is quite a cost-effective improvement generally, and I imagine would pay for itself in the long run.
     
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  14. JacM

    JacM VIC Buyer's Agent Business Member

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    @SeafordSunshine remember that if you want them to move out at the end of the lease, you must still issue a notice to vacate.
     
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  15. SeafordSunshine

    SeafordSunshine Well-Known Member

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    Thanks JacM
    for NSW,
    I understand its 30 days notice to vacate, plus postage days, coinciding with expiry of lease.
     
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  16. WattleIdo

    WattleIdo renovating Premium Member

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    I have a similar situation but finally a good PM has moved into the agency. Add to all the requests, the tenant keeps doing his own renovations! :mad: They're done well though.
    I discussed with the PM that I can't afford an air-conditioner this year - to be reviewed next year. My rent is low and needs to be increased significantly. If the PM had let me put up the rent by $40 - $60 a week, I would have got one for them this year but of course, this kind of increase is out of the question.
    In the two years they've been there they've had multiple repairs, exterior paint job, new carport wiht hip roof plus he's built a deck, laid cement and built an extra set of stairs (without permission).
    Some mothers do have 'em.
    If / when I get a split system for them, I'll put them on a two year lease with a $20 increase in the first year and another $20 in the second.
     
  17. JacM

    JacM VIC Buyer's Agent Business Member

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    @WattleIdo ... I hope the tenant renovations are to code? Otherwise not helpful.
     
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  18. Ricky Adelaide

    Ricky Adelaide PM in Adelaide -Elizabeth Salisbury Modbury Business Member

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    Knowing that the property has no aircon why didn't the pm point this out as an obvious priority over a fence anyway? I mean this kind of upgrade almost always should be done first- especially if your basically using all of your budget at this point.
     
  19. JacM

    JacM VIC Buyer's Agent Business Member

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    @Ricky Adelaide

    Depends on a person's priorities. Someone with young children or a pet to contain might prefer a secure fence over air conditioning...
     
  20. Ricky Adelaide

    Ricky Adelaide PM in Adelaide -Elizabeth Salisbury Modbury Business Member

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    Yeah, I could understand that if there was no fence at all, but with only a 12 month lease I would have been inclined to at least ask the question. You are right as far as people having different priorities and we cant be sure what we would prefer without knowing the whole situation- we don't have to live there after all. Having said that how often do you hear requests from tenants for improved/replaced or repaired AC units vs upgraded fences. I am not saying there is a right or wrong answer. Maybe the PM was not aware of the cash flow issues (we are not peoples accountants after all) but given how many people in my market have a high priority for heating & cooling, especially in my area for the families with youngsters, even though the fence preference may be correct at that point in time the AC concern was predictable- Us South Aussies don't cope with our 40+ days so well lol:)