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How to Handle Hostile Renters At Your Multifamily Property

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No matter how thoroughly you screen your renters at the time of application, it’s impossible to know the attitude they’ll show up with at your property. Hopefully, they’ll be communicative, pleasant residents that cause little issues during their stay. Those residents are what you aim for, and they’ll be the ones to renew their leases and keep your cash flow healthy. Worst case scenario, they neglect to pay rent or cause major disruptions to neighbors and staff. Those are the ones you’ll be fighting to evict, and understandably the ones you’ll do your absolutely best to avoid leasing to. But what about those residents that fall somewhere in between? 

We’ll call these hostile renters, and these are the residents that simply aren’t pleasant to interact with. They’re behavior isn’t eviction worthy, but it isn’t exactly sunshine and rainbows when they’re around either. But why are some renters so hostile, why should you care, and what can you do to get them on your side? Read on to find out! 

Why Renters May Be Hostile 

Before diving into why some renters are hostile, it’s important to define what this kind of renter hostility looks like. You may be dealing with a hostile renter if they check any of the following boxes:

  • They’re rude to you, your staff, or your vendors
  • They often ignore or fight back on your property policies (like having more guests than allowed in amenities, for example)
  • They complain often about little things
  • They have poor communication or are flat-out unresponsive

These are just a few examples of hostile renter behavior, but the list can be endless. In reality, it can be difficult to pinpoint one concrete reason for hostility, and there could be a combination of contributing factors. It could be anything from you not delivering on your promises (think unresolved maintenance issues or false advertising during a property showing) to a general disdain for landlords and property managers, to a personal reason that has nothing to do with you or your property.

So, you’ve determined you have a hostile resident, and you may or may not have an idea of what caused the hostility. But why should you care to turn their attitude around? 

Improving Relationships Is a Win-Win

While they may not be causing any real trouble at your property, having a hostile renter is never a favorable situation to be in. By taking the time to get to the bottom of a renter’s bad attitude and doing what’s in your power to improve it, you’ll be setting everyone up for success. Not only will your residents be more relaxed and enjoy their home more, your staff and your business will thank you too. Fostering positive relationships with these kinds of renters will build a level of respect that may not have existed before. This means they’ll be more likely to pay rent on time, more likely to follow property rules, more likely to treat you and your staff fairly, and more likely to leave a great review of your business. So what can you do to flip the narrative?

3 Strategies to Get Them On Your Side

No matter the reason for their hostility, doing everything you can to ensure they have a great experience at your property will help alleviate a resident’s bad attitude. Here are our three favorite strategies to do just that:

Encourage open communication

The best way to keep a wedge between you and your residents is failing to communicate early and often with them. Let them know, as early as the application process, that you’re here for them. But once you’ve talked, it’s imperative you walk the walk. Give residents the tools they need to communicate with you easily. The best way we’ve found to do this is by giving residents access to an online portal where they can interact with you and their home by simply logging onto a mobile app. Making communication as seamless as possible will help bridge the gap between you and a hostile renter. 

Be responsive to concerns and requests

A common cause of hostile residents is the impression that landlords and property managers don’t care about a renter’s needs. The best way to prove them wrong? Show up for them with quick and meaningful responses to any concerns or requests. Whether it’s maintenance requests, questions about their lease, or anything in between, prioritizing responsiveness will further show them that you care about them and their rental experience. 

Help make their rental feel like home

The more your units feel like home to your renters, the happier they’ll feel, and in turn, the less hostile they’ll be. There are endless ways to make a multifamily rental family feel more like a home, but some of our favorites include:

  • Complimentary package management
  • Seamless guest key access
  • Amenities spaces that are well looked after
  • Community-centered classes & events 

Implementing these three strategies will build a foundation of trust and ease reservations of hostile renters. Getting residents on your side may be a lengthy process, but by showing up again and again for them, you’ll reap the benefits of gaining another long term renter.

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