You have employed a professional property management company because you feel their expertise will give you the best solution for your investment property. In particular, this alleviates having to handle difficult tenant situations. Then the phone rings and your tenant is on the line. What do you do now?
Different scenarios can lead to a call from your tenant
- You and your tenant know each other from previous contacts, so the tenant calls you directly. They figure they do not have to bother to interact with the Property Management Company despite the fact you have hired them.
- You visited the property and the tenant now decides to call you because they feel this is now a better way to get what they want.
- The tenant is unhappy with a “no,” a notice to pay or quit, or other information they have received from our company and they decide to circumvent the property management company by calling you.
- The tenants want to cut a “new deal” on rent, repairs, or other issues and decide they have a better chance of getting what they want from the property owner.
Positive steps to take when the tenant calls:
We ask that you politely give them our number and ask them to call your Property Manager to discuss any issues that they may have. Inform them that you hired our service to take care of the property and work directly with the tenant. Emphasize that we have authorization to act on your behalf and consult with you.
- Call us as soon as possible to let us know that the tenant is trying to circumvent our company and deal directly with you. We will then contact them to help them with their problems or requests.
- If they demand immediate action from you, reiterate with them that you will discuss their call with your Property Management Company but they are to call their Property Manager as soon as possible.
- Be calm if the tenant threatens you with legal action. Do not panic with a threat. Many people feel that getting what they want involves using forceful action. Let them know that you will be discussing the situation with us and if necessary, your property manager will contact an attorney.
- No matter what the tenants have said, please reserve judgment and give us the benefit of doubt if the tenant claims unfair treatment and practices. We will give you the facts and it may differ greatly from the tenant.
What NOT to do when the tenant calls:
- Do NOT negotiate with the tenant on the rental amount, payment of rent, authorization of repairs, or promise any repairs or improvements. This really puts your Property Manager in a weak position and without the facts; it may put you and your investment in jeopardy.
- If you know that there are eviction proceedings on the property, do NOT talk to the tenant and definitely do NOT make any promises. Certain actions can void an eviction and you could have to begin the process again, causing more rent losses and incurring more legal fees. Tell them to call their attorney or our office.
- Do NOT set up an appointment to meet with them. Tell them you will contact us and we will arrange an appointment at the property, with the Property Manager, with you and the Property Manager, or between any attorneys involved.
Meeting with the tenants:
Obviously, a tenant calling you directly can create a three-way situation that can undermine our authority, possibly cause you anxiety, and in some circumstances, create legal issues and liability. We have taken on management of your property so you can avoid sticky situations and reduce your liability. We will always work diligently to settle all tenant issues and protect your investment; your assistance and support is important if a tenant calls you.