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What do you do with tenants who constantly complain

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by TMNT, 27th Oct, 2015.

  1. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

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    I have a tenant who seems to spend every day and night writing up lists of defects to a house that I own,

    the latest list is 15 items, of these the agent has recommended I fix 3 of them, the remaining the agent has told them, you took the house as is, deal with it,

    psychologically I feel that if I dont do all or most of them, they will think its a permission not to pay rent, and although my insurance will cover it, its another headache

    on the other hand you fix a few things and they might see it as permission to find another 100 things

    the least urgent ones are stuff like,

    handle on the kitchen cupboard is a bit loose
    next door neighbour keeps on throwing dangerous rubbish in to our side (eg sharp branches, glass)
    window doesnt open (frame is a bit old)
    drip here, drip there

    what do you guys do?

    im new to tenants who complain all day.....most of my tenants simply fix the problem by setting it alight ;) ;) ;)
     
  2. Cara

    Cara Member

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    Unfortunately, in my experience you are damned if you do and damned if you don't!
    Depending on where the window is located they may came back at you and say fire and safety issue, drips (presume you mean dripping taps?) if they pay water usage they will claim your lack of Maintenence is costing them money and so on. These sort of people have a lot of time on their hands and may be likely to take it further.
    Personally, I would consider getting a handyman in to deal with the issues, sand the window frame, get washers changed and so on and clear the issues. If they come back with more, don't renew the lease, it will never stop!
    We sold the house to the tenants that did this to us a few years back, yeah, it got that bad and getting tenants at all was a nightmare!
     
  3. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    Loose handles and sticking windows sounds like maintenance issues. Just because they were present when the house was rented out does not excuse you from maintenance.

    Why not get your PM to do a thorough check of what needs doing and attend to it all at once?
    Marg.
     
  4. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    lol

    I had a tenant who sent through a written stream of complaints. They were all bs. Anyway, for each complaint I made sure I responded in writing, such as "do you want this fixed?". I printed and filed all of her responses. Anyway, we got so sick of her that we put the rent up $5 per week. She moved out and took us to the tribunal claiming compensation for all of the faults not fixed. I simply provided her written responses where she had advised that she didn't need things fixed. I also provided photographic evidence that things she claimed were broken were actually working. We got most of what we asked for an never heard from her again. Idiot.

    I like @Marg4000's idea. Get your PM to inspect all the faults and fix what needs doing.

    Or put the rent up ;)
     
  5. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    Is it insured?? Could be a worthy option
     
  6. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Sell up quick while the market is still hot.

    Property investment clearly isn't for you.
     
  7. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    The agent has done the right thing and get those things fixed. Then up the rent or simply find new tenants
    Ask your pm about the demands in the area and start advertising asap
     
  8. SeafordSunshine

    SeafordSunshine Well-Known Member

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    Just playing devils advocate here! They don't sound like large things, I would get them fixed, Make sure your tenants tell the council about the neighbours dumping rubbish. Actually a rubbing cake of soap on an old window frame could 'unstuck it', cost, not much!
    I hope this helps
     
  9. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    I have one that likes to complain a lot. They do everything right though - pay on time, fantastic inspections etc, so can't evict them for any faults.

    So, I put the rent up as frequently as allowed. If they want to be annoying they can pay for the privilege.
     
  10. Toon

    Toon Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, beat them to it ;)
     
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  11. Matty77

    Matty77 Active Member

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    I agree, get it fixed then put up the rent. At least if they keep complaining the extra $ makes it a bit easier, even better if you can put the rent up by what it cost to do the repairs for the past 12 months, if you spent $2000 of repairs in the last 12 months then increase rent by that much. Also your RE should be stating they are happy to send a tradie out to fix things up, but it the tradie finds it doesnt need to be fixed they will be liable for the cost to get the tradie out. Sometimes that can work as well, god I hate painful tenants. I had to literally once send a tradie to my IP to tighten a cupboard handle.. OMG..
     
  12. chindonly

    chindonly Well-Known Member

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    Take your PMs advice and only fix what is necessary and is your responsibility
    I have had similar tenants in the past, if you keep bowing to their excessive requests, they will just keep asking for more.
    Once you say no, it usually quietens down.
    If it doesn't, I wouldn't renew.
     
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  13. Lil Skater

    Lil Skater Well-Known Member Business Member

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    People like this are the worst!

    I have a few, at the beginning of the tenancy, but as your PM looks to have done is explain to them that XYZ isn't being fixed because 1. You leased as is 2. It doesn't need to be done 3. It's not maintenance etc. and for a select few I've literally gone there with a screw driver to shut them up!

    I had one that had consumer affairs come out because I refused to repaint and recarpet the whole property. Yup.

    I suggest only do what needs to be completed (safety issue, actual maintenance) and advise the rest is not a maintenance issue or suggest the tenant pick up a damn screwdriver and tighten the kitchen door handle.
     
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  14. Xenia

    Xenia Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Get a maintenance person to fix all those small issues all in one go.
    rubbish over fence - not your problem

    What is not maintenance - let them know in clear black and white language, if they complain let them know again.
    they will stop eventually, they always do.
     
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  15. mja

    mja Well-Known Member

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    This. And attend with the PM if you can. I've found that whingey tenants are considerably less whingey when you talk to them and find out what's really the problem.
     
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  16. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    The more you give the more they want. I always tell my tenants "no" for their demands when they first move into a property, unless it is an actual fault. Otherwise they just keep asking, asking, asking. I always fix things that are actually broken though.
     
  17. Chilliblue

    Chilliblue Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes they can come good. Had one that went through this process and it was painful for about year. Since settled down and not a peep in 5 years.
     
  18. Mumbai

    Mumbai Well-Known Member

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    Why so much tenant bashing??
    Without knowing the other side of the story, its all smoke and mirrors. From the limited info provided, the requests do look legit. Don't start on the premise that the tenant is always wrong. Check what they want properly. Apart from the garbage dumped from the neighbours, get those issues fixed. Speak to the neighbour regarding the garbage issue.
    Don't make a mountain of a molehill.
     
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  19. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

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    Because the vast majority think the landlord is some rich so and so there to be taken advantage of. If it was their own house would they call a tradie just to tighten a loose handle? Would they call a tradie for a window that is a bit difficult to slide or would they perhaps clean the track or spray a bit of WD40 on it?

    If you're the the type who likes to lay down and take it like an old granny good luck to you but the from my point of view I feel in general most tenants are just taking advantage of the system along with tradies who are dishonest and PM's that are by and large useless at diagnosing problems.
     
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  20. Mumbai

    Mumbai Well-Known Member

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    First and foremost, not every tenant is handy like yours truly. Secondly, would you be a happy chappy, if just tighten a loose handle broke it or just trying to slide the window after cleaning/spraying removed it from the tracks. It's NOT their house, is the point. Two entirely different things.

    And FWIW, I would rather go and check (or get my PM check) the issues before making assumptions
     
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