Whether you’re a landlord or a property manager, one of the most difficult yet rewarding parts of your role is keeping your tenants happy. While most of your renters may never utter a single complaint, you need to handle it properly when a tenant does have one. All complaints, even minor ones, must be taken seriously. If your tenant feels as if you’re ridiculing or brushing them off, you could lose him or her, and no one wants to see a good tenant go if it’s preventable.

If you haven’t taken a close look at your tenant handling procedures, check out the must-have items below.

Document the matter immediately

You may think you’ll remember a complaint or issue later, but if you get busy, it may fall by the wayside. Get the matter down in writing so you can resolve it in a speedy and efficient fashion.

Address complaints as soon as possible

Resolve the heart of the complaint as soon as you can. Don’t put off maintenance calls until later—you may end up a higher bill and have an unhappy tenant because of repair delays. When you’ve got a noise complaint, investigate it right away to determine the scope and legitimacy of the report. If you don’t find a noise violation, take the time to explain the rules to the person who is complaining. If you do find something, such as music blaring at midnight, deal with the violating party immediately.

Evaluate the complaint’s legitimacy

Not all complaints are valid or something you can solve. You still need to treat the tenant with respect and in a professional manner, even if the complaint isn’t legitimate, such as a tenant grievance about all-tan walls that were there when he or she took the unit.

Use complaint levels

While you naturally want to treat all complaints as important, complaints about things such as burned-out lights or broken gates are naturally a higher priority than a pool that needs its daily skimming. Use complaint level designations so you can address these issues by level of urgency.

Give written responses

Always give your tenants written responses to their complaints. Speaking to them in person is good, but having it in writing as well provides even more reassurance that the issue has been seriously considered and dealt with.

By having a clear, responsive and professional system for handling tenant complaints in place, you can keep your properties running more smoothly and your tenants happier. Revamp or improve your procedures today to keep that tenant turnover rate down!