Landlords are tasked with overseeing properties, interviewing potential tenants, collecting rent, and carrying out many other duties. But another important part of every landlord’s job that some may not be aware of is the responsibility to handle disagreements and ease tension with tenants. This can be especially challenging if you are dealing with angry tenants.
If you have a great working relationship with your tenant, you likely won’t ever have to diffuse a tense situation between the two of you. However, there are aspects of the relationship between landlord and tenant that can create negative feelings, especially if one party isn’t upholding their end of the lease agreement. Here are some tips for dealing with angry tenants.
How to Respond to Angry Tenants
If your tenant is expressing anger toward you, the first thing to do before anything else is to make sure you’re safe. In some extreme situations, angry tenants can become violent, and you may need to get local authorities involved if your safety is threatened.
If you feel that you can diffuse the situation with your tenant without involving outside parties, there are a few key steps to take for success in easing your tenant’s anger and improving the working relationship between you.
Be a Listening Ear
In some cases, your tenant’s frustration can escalate to the point of anger simply because they feel they aren’t being heard or listened to.
By showing your tenant that you care what they have to say and are interested in reaching a compromise, you could go a long way in simmering down the tension. Do not interrupt them as they voice their complaint. Make it clear that they have your attention.
Don’t Match Their Level of Intensity
If your tenant is coming to you with a complaint in an angry way, the situation will likely become even more hostile if you meet their attitude with a similar level of anger. Additionally, if both of you are approaching the interaction with a lot of tension, one of you is more likely to escalate to violence, creating a dangerous situation.
No matter how you might feel about your angry tenant’s point of view, it’s important that you keep your composure throughout the interaction.
Make Sure You’re Keeping Your End of the Contract
If your tenant is presenting you with an issue and claiming that you as the landlord are at fault, it’s important to thoroughly consider what they’re saying before responding or jumping to your own defense.
If you’re unsure, you can always take the time to reexamine your lease contract to check whether you’re truly at fault or if your tenant is mistaken. Either way, presenting the facts of your lease agreement will help to bring the issue closer to a solution and ease the tenant’s frustration.
Find a Communication Method that Works for Both Parties
If you have had multiple issues with a tenant becoming angry during your interactions, you may have to find an alternative method of communication besides speaking in person.
Communicating remotely, such as over text or email, will help to provide some distance and give each party ample time to craft their responses. Also, when you communicate in a text format, you’ll have all of your correspondence in writing should you ever need it for a legal defense in the future.
Use Online Rent Collection If Necessary
Dealing with angry tenants can become particularly stressful around rent collection time.
If you’ve found it necessary to keep all of your communications remote to prevent tense and uncomfortable situations, you should consider using an online rent collection platform. This way, you can ensure that you’ll receive rent on time with virtual reminders and quick bank transfers, and you won’t have to collect it in person.
Consider Lease Termination If Necessary
In some situations, you can work with angry tenants by finding ways to ease the tension or creating space with virtual communication and online rent collection.
However, if you determine that both you and your tenant are unhappy with the lease agreement or your tenant struggles to be content living on your property, you can release them from their contract early without any penalty based on incompatibility. This common feature of lease agreements is often referred to as the “happiness clause.”