Real Estate Tips |6 min read

How to Handle Tenant Complaints Effectively

When owning or managing rental properties, staying prepared for anything that may happen is important. While some tenants enjoy their rental property and go through their tenancy without complaints, that’s not always the case. You’ll likely end up dealing with tenant complaints or concerns at some point during your time as a landlord or property manager. Today, we’ll go over some of the most common tenant complaints and how to handle them. 


Contents of This Article: 

5 of the Most Common Tenant Complaints

Whether you take top-notch care of your properties or not, some tenants will still find something to complain about. That said, it’s your job as a landlord or property management company in Fairfax to resolve any tenant complaints or issues. After all, you’ll want to maintain your rental business’s reputation and keep your tenants happy. Knowing some of the most common tenant complaints can help you stay diligent and avoid complaints in the future. 


  1. Poor Communication
  2. Lack of Maintenance 
  3. Noise Complaints
  4. Pest Problems
  5. Lack of Privacy

Poor Communication

Communication is key in any relationship, especially between landlords and tenants. After all, it can be frustrating for tenants to rent from someone who never answers their phone or takes days to respond to important emails. Whether a prospective renter has questions about a property or an existing renter has maintenance concerns, it’s crucial to maintain prompt communication with your tenants. 

Additionally, a lack of communication during a tenant’s stay at your rental property can deter them from signing a lease renewal. After all, all tenants want a landlord or property manager that they can count on. So, when you respond to issues and concerns immediately, they may be more willing to rent from you again. 

Lack of Maintenance

Lack of maintenance or consistent repair issues are some of the most common tenant complaints. While all rental homes require maintenance and occasional repairs, landlords must handle them promptly. After all, a small issue can quickly become a large one if it goes unnoticed or untreated. 

To ensure you catch maintenance issues early, you’ll want to have a good tenant request/inquiry process in place. In your lease agreement, include maintenance procedures so tenants know what steps to take if their property needs maintenance or critical repair. For instance, you’ll want to ensure your tenants document their requests on paper or using a tenant portal system.

If you receive a maintenance or repair request from a tenant, it’s crucial to respond to them appropriately. If too much time goes by without your communication or action, you could end up with additional complaints. 

Noise Complaints

Tenants, especially those who live in apartment buildings, can sometimes complain about too much noise. While it may be out of the landlord’s hands, all tenants want to live in peace. So, whether a loud party or a dog is barking throughout the night, you may get a few noise complaints from tenants. 

Depending on the situation, your resolutions to the issue as a landlord may differ. For instance, if it’s another one of your tenants causing the noise, it’s often a more simple solution. You can simply talk with the tenant and ask them to keep their noise levels down. Or, if the situation continues, you may move them to a unit in the apartment that’s further away. 

However, if the noise is coming from an outside source or another property, it may be more difficult to resolve the issue. For instance, you can encourage your tenant to resolve the issue or address it with the property owner. Either way, it’s your responsibility to help your tenant find a reasonable solution. 

Pest Problems

Pests are another issue in rental properties. If a tenant notices an issue with bugs or mice, especially if they’ve just moved in, they will likely complain about it. After all, nobody wants to live in a pest-infested environment. So, if a tenant contacts you or your property managers about an infestation, you’ll want to act quickly. 


Bugs, rodents, and other pests can cause health issues, and they’re a huge inconvenience. So, as soon as you get a complaint, you’ll want to investigate and address the issue as soon as possible. 

If there’s an infestation, hire an exterminator immediately to get rid of it. Then, you’ll want to follow up with the tenant to ensure the issue is completely handled. Then, to prevent pest issues in the future, take preventative action and inspect your properties regularly. 

Lack of Privacy

Tenants have a right to privacy, and landlords and property managers must respect it. If you or your team fails to recognize a tenant’s privacy, you may end up with complaints. For instance, realizing that you can’t just show up to an occupied rental property unannounced is critical. 

If you need to access the property for regular maintenance, repairs, inspections, or any other reason, you must provide advanced notice, typically 24 to 48 hours before entering. 

On the other hand, if there’s an emergency and you need to enter the property immediately, you may be legally entitled to enter without a tenant’s consent. That said, if this happens and a tenant complains, you may want to consult with a legal professional before resolving the complaint. 

How to Resolve Tenant Complaints in Rental Properties

Although you may have preventative measures in place to reduce tenant complaints, they can still arise at any time. That said, it’s crucial for landlords and property managers to have steps in place to handle them. Here are some tips for resolving tenant complaints in rental properties. 

  • Maintain Open Communication- Keeping open and honest communication is crucial in any landlord-tenant relationship. Actively listening to your tenant’s concerns and working hard to resolve them quickly can ensure they feel heard and cared about.


  • Have Systems in Place- When developing a lease agreement, it’s important to include information about how tenants can file a complaint or maintenance concern. Then, if your tenant has an issue, they can effectively communicate it to you and properly report it.
  • Respond to Requests Promptly- When a tenant files a complaint, you’ll want to respond promptly. Don’t wait days to respond to the issue, even if you’re unable to resolve it right away. Instead, let your tenant know that you’ve received their complaint and you’re working to resolve it.
  • Stay Calm and Professional- When a tenant comes at you angrily with a complaint, your first instinct may be to react similarly. However, staying as calm as possible and resolving complaints in a professional manner is important. Instead of matching their energy, try understanding where your tenant is coming from.

Ensure Fewer Complaints With Property Management

One of the simplest ways to avoid excessive tenant complaints is by hiring a rental property management team, like Bay Property Management Group. With a reputable team of property managers on your side, you can feel at peace knowing your rentals are in good hands. If your tenants have any complaints about their rental property, our team works swiftly to handle them professionally. 

BMG offers comprehensive rental property management services throughout Northern Virginia and surrounding areas. So, if you’re looking for help marketing rentals, finding qualified tenants, collecting rent payments, and maintaining properties, contact BMG to learn more today!

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