Back to List
Posted September 22, 2023 by Rental Advisors

How to Resolve Conflict with Tenants

Conflict resolution is an essential skill for any landlord or property manager. When trouble starts to arise with your tenants, make sure that you take the proper steps to resolve it as quickly and respectfully as possible.

Before conflict can occur, make sure to outline specific rules and expectations in the lease agreement regarding unacceptable behaviours. These include things like threats and harassment. Keeping all living environments safe and respectful is important. Ensure the tenant has a copy of the agreement so they can refer to it alongside you when clarifying disagreements.

Make sure to establish open communication. When larger issues emerge, do not expect the tenants to work it out on their own. Instead, encourage them to reach out to you with any concerns. Confirm that all communication channels that you provide – such as email or phone number – are available and checked regularly.

If a tenant asks to speak with you, connect with them face-to-face. Ensure the meeting occurs in neutral territory to allow the conversation to be more open and comfortable. While the tenant is speaking, make sure to actively listen. This means giving them your full attention, asking questions and expressing empathy. Maintain your professionalism by avoiding confrontation or getting defensive. In the end, offer solutions that are appropriate to the situation and the lease agreement in place.

Take some time to assess the issue. Break down the details and determine the severity of the situation. Depending on the outcome, legal proceedings – such as notices or meetings – may need to take place or an attorney may be contacted. If you want to investigate further, call for a mediation meeting. Let both parties voice their concerns and work together to reach a resolution in a respectful and calm way. Help lead them to a compromise instead of making one yourself.

It is important to document everything. Record when the complaint was made, any steps taken to resolve it, briefings on all in-person conversations and a settlement if one is reached. Keep these, along with all emails, texts, letters, photos and such, in a folder labelled with the tenant’s information. These details will be crucial if the situation escalates and legal action is pursued.

Conflict with tenants is never easy. Do everything you can to help resolve problems and only consider eviction as a last resort. Keeping these things in mind will help you maintain positive relationships with your tenants and ensure the smooth operation of your rental properties.