Every landlord has been on the receiving end of tenant complaints, from infestations to noisy neighbors, but what if you could do something to eliminate complaints? Though there will always be factors you can’t control, smart renovations can help reduce the overall volume of complaints, making life more pleasant for both you and your tenants.
The next time your properties are vacant, consider making these 3 simple improvements. As a landlord, the little things matter – so make them a priority.
Prevent Parking Problems
Whether you own properties in a crowded urban area or simply have limited parking available in your apartment complex, parking can be a serious point of contention for tenants. Another common complaint is insufficient guest parking – even if there are enough spots for tenants, if there isn’t room for guests, residents can get crowded out.
As a landlord, the best way to deal with limited parking is by assigning spots to residents. The only difficulty with this is that if one person parks incorrectly or if a guest is occupying a spot, it can set off a chain reaction of incorrect parking, creating chaos and frustration. Still, when parking is tight, assigning spots is a wise strategy. And of course, always clearly designate your guest spots.
If you want to take things a step further and really please your tenants, consider installing a covered parking structure. Covered parking structures can help protect your residents’ vehicles from damage, including from animals and serious weather, such as hailstorms, and they also provide enhanced security. Though there are obviously significant costs affiliated with building a parking structure, these shouldn’t be prohibitive for smaller properties.
Eliminate Noise Complaints
Noise complaints are among the most common conflicts between tenants, and landlords are often left trying to determine whether they’re reasonable. Particularly when it comes to noise, people are prone to complain about very specific things: animals, children, or music, for example. What’s more, most of the time, the noise involved doesn’t rise to the level designated by local noise ordinances. That’s where you come in as the landlord.
One of the best solutions for ongoing noise is to install carpeting. Yes, carpeting is often more labor intensive to maintain than tile or wood, but there’s a reason many leases in large cities mandate carpet cover – it reduces noise at minimal expense. In New York City, for example, most leases require tenants maintain 80 percent carpet cover. You don’t have to put this sort of clause in your lease, though, especially if you’re the one installing the carpet.
When you install carpet in your apartments, take the extra step towards noise reduction by installing a noise-blocking carpet underlay. In addition, in areas of the residence where there isn’t carpet, such as kitchens or bathrooms, consider using a cellulose fiberboard flooring. This is a good alternative material for absorbing noise without carpet.
Another simple renovation, and one that will reduce energy bills in addition to noise, is installing double-paned windows. As with properly insulating the walls of your properties, double-paned windows absorb noise because they place an additional layer between the interior of the building and what’s outside – in this case, air. The air between the panes helps to absorb sound. Consider the reduced temperature exchange to be a bonus.
Carpeting and heavy-duty windows won’t eliminate all potential noise complaints; neighbors who share walls, for example, will always be exposed to lateral sound, but noise-absorbing flooring can improve things significantly. And don’t forget, when dealing with noise complaints, always address them with clear language and consequences. Don’t use the language of noise ordinances, which can be hard to understand, but do make your language legally binding.
Downgrade Dust Levels
Dust isn’t just a nuisance – it can be a serious health hazard for many tenants, triggering allergies and asthma. One of the best ways to reduce dust in your apartments is by installing HEPA filters in all the properties. HEPA filters remove a range of particulates from the air and are very effective at reducing allergy symptoms. They’re also easy to add to your existing HVAC system.
Installing a HEPA filter is especially worthwhile if you’re using carpet to diminish noise exchange. Carpeting can make apartments more prone to dust problems, but a HEPA filter can significantly reduce the buildup of dust and other particulates. If you’re going to eliminate noise complaints with carpets, you’ll want to take the next step and install proper air filters.
If you’re also hearing complaints about mold, in addition to dust, consider also installing dehumidifiers – or at the very least, install thorough bathroom ventilation. Mold can be much more dangerous than dust in the long run, causing severe illness even in those with no prior respiratory problems and can also cause structural damage to your properties. Preventing serious mold issues before they happen, then, is vital to your tenants’ health and happiness.
Make Complaints Someone Else’s Problem With Green Residential
When you manage your own properties, all tenant complaints come directly to you. Besides broken appliances or leaky roofs, there’s not much worse than a stream of tenant complaints. But what if you could shift the responsibility of tenant complaints to someone else? Bring the property management specialists from Green Residential on board and let us wrangle unhappy tenants.
At Green Residential, we have over 30 years of Houston-area property management experience – and that means we’ve heard more than our fair share of tenant complaints. And that’s okay with us! We take property management to the next level by applying our advanced knowledge of tenant needs to each step of the process, from screening to eviction and everything in between. We do the tough stuff so you don’t have to.
It takes a lot of expertise to be an effective landlord – so why not take your property investments and make them a source of passive income by hiring a property management company. Put Green Residential at the helm of your properties. We’ll bring the insights that matter.