Best Practices for Handling Tenant Complaints in Commercial Properties

As a commercial property manager, you may receive complaints from tenants about various issues such as maintenance problems, noise disturbances, or other concerns. It’s absolutely imperative that you handle these complaints promptly and professionally to ensure tenant satisfaction and prevent any escalation of issues.

In this article, we’re going to look at some of the best methods for handling tenant complaints in commercial properties. More than that, we’ll cover how to do it in a way that de-escalated the situation and makes you come out looking better on the back end.

Encourage Open Communication


Encouraging open communication between you and your tenants can help prevent misunderstandings and build trust. Make sure your tenants are aware of the channels through which they can contact you or your property management team. This includes phone, email, or any other communication platform that you use. Double-check that your contact information is easily accessible and readily available for tenants.

A lot of landlords get frustrated when a tenant reaches out to them on their personal cell phone, but if you don’t stipulate exactly how and where you should be reached, your tenants have no way of knowing what they’re supposed to do. If email is the preferred mode of communication, make that known. If there’s a dedicated phone number, clearly post that number. (You get the idea.)

When tenants reach out to you with complaints, ensure that you respond promptly, acknowledge their concerns, and provide them with a timeline for when they can expect a resolution. This proactive approach will help to alleviate any stress that they might be feeling and demonstrate your commitment to resolving the issue.

Empathize with Your Tenants


When dealing with tenant complaints, it’s essential to approach them with empathy. Putting yourself in your tenant’s shoes will help you to understand their concerns and address the problem more effectively.

Start by actively listening and allowing them to express their concerns fully. Stop trying to formulate a response and actually focus on the words they’re saying. Make sure you understand the problem before offering any solutions.

This approach will help you show your tenants that you care about their concerns and are committed to providing a positive experience for them. It will not go unnoticed.

Keep Very Detailed Records

Keeping detailed records of tenant complaints can help you to track recurring issues and identify trends that may require attention. Ensure that you document every complaint and the steps taken to address it. These records can help you to identify and resolve issues that may have gone unnoticed.

Detailed records will also be useful in the future when analyzing how effective your property management approach is and how you can improve on it.

Prioritize Maintenance Issues


Maintenance issues can be a significant source of tenant complaints, so prioritizing them is essential. It’s important to address maintenance issues promptly to prevent them from becoming more significant problems that may require costly repairs.

Set up a system to prioritize maintenance requests based on their urgency. This will help you to address the most pressing issues first and provide timely resolutions to your tenants.

This is one area where having a commercial property manager on your team is important. They can help you set up a system and implement consistent processes that prevent issues from slipping through the cracks.

Ensure Transparency

Transparency is essential when handling tenant complaints. Be sure to provide regular updates to your tenants on the status of their complaints and what steps you are taking to resolve them.

If you cannot provide an immediate solution, let your tenants know that you are working on the issue and that you will provide them with an update as soon as possible. This approach will help to build trust with your tenants and ensure that they know that you take their concerns seriously.

Be Solution-Oriented


When dealing with tenant complaints, you have to be solution-oriented. Focus on finding solutions that will meet the needs of your tenants while still being feasible for your property management team. You’re a problem-solver. Look for ways to implement a corrective solution that benefits all parties involved.

Be open to feedback and suggestions from your tenants, as this can help you to improve your approach to handling complaints and prevent future issues.

Always Follow Up

When it’s all said and done, always following up with your tenants after a complaint has been resolved is crucial. This demonstrates that you care about their experience and are committed to providing a positive one.

How you handle tenant complaints says a lot about you as a property owner and a person. As frustrating as it can be to constantly put out fires and deal with needy tenants, it comes with the territory. Your attention to detail will help you serve your tenants well and continue to attract good tenants in the future.