The Right & Wrong Way to Have Those Tough Tenant Conversations

The Right & Wrong Way to Have Those Tough Tenant Conversations

When it comes to managing tenants one of the toughest things to handle is the conversations. From evictions to payments, complaints, advice, and more; there are a lot of difficult issues that need to be addressed.

Given our years of property management experience, we’re no stranger to handling these discussions. That’s why we’ve outlined the right and wrong ways for you to speak with tenants below.

The Right Way

Respond Quickly

The easiest way to de-escalate a tough topic is to show that you care. Regardless of whether the issue seems minor to you (like a small unit repair), to the tenant, it can be a big deal. That’s why it’s important for landlords to respond quickly. Even if the communication is just to coordinate a fix, or to let them know that you’re on top of it. Simply acknowledge their issue, to let them know you are aware. Doing this tends to go a long way in de-escalating potential problems.

Remain Calm and Diplomatic

It’s important that landlords remember to keep calm and collected during all tenant discussions. This is especially critical when dealing with issues such as late payments, evictions, neighbor complaints, etc. If these aren’t handled in a calm manner, tempers can quickly escalate as tenants may feel like their home is being threatened.

So, to militate any problem, landlords should remain calm, avoid harsh language, and say anything that is off-topic. That way, the tenant can be reassured that you simply want to come to an agreement rather than getting angry with one another.

Be Firm and Direct

For certain conversations, you will need to be as direct and firm as possible. This is important when it comes to things like late payments or broken lease rules. For these discussions, getting straight to the point limits any negative response from the tenant seeing as they will know exactly what the conversation is regarding. Otherwise, getting off-topic or seeming uncertain can put them in a position to be manipulative or get hostile with their reply.

The Wrong Way

Failing to Address Concerns

One of the quickest ways to aggravate a tenant is to not address their concerns in a timely manner. Everything from maintenance requests, to neighbor disputes, and lease renewals need to be addressed with the tenant right away. Otherwise, they will likely think you don’t care about their living situation.

If a tenant forms this option, it will understandably make them more upset. That’s why we recommend addressing their exact concern quickly by scheduling a follow-up conversation, directing them on what is being done, and relieving them of any anxieties they may have.

Providing No Proof

Another way a landlord-tenant conversation can escalate is if proof or evidence isn’t brought into the discussion. For example, evidence is needed when it comes to things like evictions and late payments. Otherwise, failing to have it ready can make tenants think they are in the right.

What’s why documented proof can inform tenants of the laws and how they are defying them. Plus, it can help explain what action you will need to take if they keep acting this way.

Ultimately, we understand how hard it can be for one person to handle communication with tenants. Especially for owners who have multi-unit properties with many issues.

That’s why managing it can be easier with the help of a property management team. Someone like us at PMI Midwest offers 24/7 service by a specially trained team to ensure all landlord-tenant discussions end amicably.

To see how we can help you, call 317-546-3482 or email