5 Tips for Handling Needy Tenants

Renting out property is a great way to earn income, but dealing with tenants can come with its fair share of challenges. One of the most annoying challenges of being a landlord is handling needy tenants — those renters who are in constant contact with you regarding repairs, help or hand-holding. If you are a landlord or in professional property management and end up renting to needy tenants, you may find the below tips useful. These strategies will keep the tenants at bay and ensure your experience renting to them is a pleasant and easy one.

1. Create a Formal Request Process for Repairs and Maintenance

When tenants have easy access to you and can simply call you to come in and make repairs, it can encourage them to call often — and at all times of the day. Discourage frequent calling — and excessive repair requests — by creating a formal request process. Create an online form they must fill out in order to request a repair or maintenance, or require them to write out a description of what they need and submit it to you via email. Not only will this discourage tenants from making frivolous requests, it will also give you a helpful system for keeping requests organized.

2. Include a Deductible in Your Lease

One way to reduce unnecessary repair requests by tenants is to include a low-amount deductible, around $100, in their lease. This means that tenants have to cover the first $100 of repairs in the apartment, and then you cover the rest. By requiring tenants to spend $100 on maintenance, it will limit their requests to only the vital ones — and it will help ensure that they take better care of the apartment in order to avoid spending their own money.

3. Provide a Schedule

Give your tenants a schedule with your availability to handle non-emergency requests. This will discourage them from calling you at off or odd hours. Additionally, you can set up an email auto-response for maintenance requests that includes information about when and how you'll be responding to requests.

4. Don't Be Afraid to Say No

If a tenant begins to make unreasonable requests, do not be afraid to say no to those requests. Make sure you can show your tenant how the written lease agreement doesn't cover what's being asking for. Refusing to make unnecessary repairs or fulfill unreasonable requests from the get-go sets a precedent that you only handle what's stipulated in the lease, and it discourages tenants from testing your boundaries throughout the duration of their time as renters.

5. Consider Using a Professional Property Management Company

One effective way to remove yourself from the annoyance of dealing with needy tenants is to hire a professional property management company. When you hire a professional property manager, that person becomes the point of contact for tenants and fields repair and maintenance requests. While property management companies may cost you some money outright, they can ultimately save you money on repairs and the headache of having to communicate constantly with needy renters.
If you're a landlord or rent out property, managing needy tenants can be tricky. However, by properly laying out the rules and guidelines of maintenance requests early, or by employing the help of a property management company, you can effectively handle tenants' issues and make renting pleasant for all parties involved.