There’s more to renting out condo units and apartments than just the payment a landlord gets every month. There’s more to it than income and investment. Owners who offer their condo for rent have to deal with a leaking faucet, maintenance and property issues, renter’s concerns, late payments, rude lessees, and complaints.
Among the complaints that landlords might have to handle are a renter’s dispute with a neighbor. Condo living means you are part of a larger community and you have to learn how to co-exist peacefully. But what if your renter gets into a nasty argument with a neighbor because the renter makes too much noise, have rowdy children, do not dispose trash properly, fights over parking, etc.? As the landlord, property managers will probably reach out to you to mediate and take action. What do you do?
Put out the fire calmly and effectively with these techniques:
Be clear about rules
When tenant disputes arise, you will see the value of having clear-cut rules for tenants. While common courtesy and decorum are expected, you can’t count on it all the time.
Lay down your rules and make sure your lessees understand them. Should a neighbor raise an issue, you can approach it with a signed document. For example, if your tenant agreed to not have rowdy house parties, you can go to him and remind him of such agreement. If everything is in black and white, you take away discretion and avoid the risk of having to confront people with nothing to back you up.
Stay cool and calm
Whatever you do, be calm. You can’t apply techniques for solving conflict between your renter and their neighbors if you are not calm and collected. Be as diplomatic as you can and approach the situation with tact, a steady hand and a cool head. Remember that nothing good ever comes out of temper-fueled confrontations.
Be patient and learn to wait
Don’t come in full battle mode the moment a neighbor or property manager calls you about your lessee. Wait it out for at least 24 hours to avoid heated arguments. When emotions run high, nothing will get resolved. Raise the concern and talk to concerned parties when you are feeling calm and reasonable so that foul moods do not get the best of you and the persons involved.
Allow parties to resolve dispute
The truth is that the problem is between your renter and their neighbor. Stepping in immediately or asking management to intervene may not be the best way on how to solve problems between your renter and their neighbors because if you don’t even have a good understanding of the dispute, your intervention can do more harm than good. It is best to suggest that your renter and their neighbor try to resolve the problem by themselves.
If they cannot act decently toward each other, that’s the time you mediate. But always remember that while neighbors are likely to argue over the simplest things, they can also get along. So try to distance yourself when you can and let them figure things out on their own.
Be nice, but be firm
Don’t start with an apology. You don’t have to say sorry to your renter for raising a concern. But remember to be kind, lower your tone, and prepare to listen. However, being nice doesn’t mean you don’t have to be firm. First of all, rules are rules. If it is clear that your renter broke them, don’t skirt around the rules for them.
In dealing with the other party, your renter’s neighbor, get a grip of their side of the story. If you were to mediate, you have to be able to have a full grasp of the situation before you take action. Again, be calm. A compromise is usually your best bet but be firm about the points you make.
Leave the police out of this
Is it really that bad that you need to call the cops? Probably not. Owners of condos for rent must be prepared to take on problems that may arise among tenants. Neighbors usually complain about noise, mess, pets, late-night parties, and parking. Law enforcement officers do not need this on their plate. If ever, they will also most likely advise the concerned parties to compromise. In any case, getting the police or village authorities involved can only make the situation more tensed.
Always aim for a win-win resolution
Condo renting in the Philippines is generally a pleasant experience. While disputes may happen, they are few and far between. So when such disagreements arise, your goal must be to bring back the peace by arriving at a solution that works for everyone. In short, don’t approach a problem with tenant eviction already in mind or police action.
At the same time, it must be clear to your renter, the neighbor, and property managers that what you seek is a win-win solution. Suggest that they should too.
Learn from the dispute
Just like problems and mistakes in like, you have to learn from tenant disputes. If you think a written document could have prevented things from happening, make sure to document everything next time. If tempers made things worse, be more diplomatic and calm next time. If you think you were too soft or too strong in resolving the problem, make personal adjustments. The idea is to be a better landlord and to work on fostering friendly or cordial relations among your lessee and other tenants in the condo community.
Disputes and disagreements may be prevented, but if they come seeking your attention, be ready to face them. Don’t let temper or pride get the better of you. Help parties arrive at a resolution or a compromise and help them move forward. Living in a condo community has so many benefits and a single altercation shouldn’t get in the way.