When you're an investment property owner, you're forced to wear many hats; Perform background checks, inspect properties, back-up repairman, etc. But when tensions are high between tenant and neighbor, you might be thrown into the role of mediator. In an ideal world, there would never be any disputes and all of the neighbors would gather and sing Kumbaya. But in the real world, disputes happen, which means they need to be resolved cordially. The property owner needs to know how to handle the situation without escalating things and doing so decisively.
In this blog, we'll discuss what a property owner should do if there is a dispute between neighbors and when they should get involved.
Neighbor Complaint About Your Tenant
To handle the situation properly, it's very important to learn as much as possible about the nature of the dispute. We're not saying to imitate an FBI agent and overstep your boundaries. Found out basic information such as; is the disagreement related to the property itself or the behavior of a nearby tenant? The lease that the tenant signs before they move-in will benefit the property owner in this case. The lease should clearly outline certain behaviors will not be tolerated. If a tenant is violating the lease and a neighbor has complained, the property owner must take the necessary steps to handle the problem accordingly.
Tenant Complaint About a Neighbor
If your tenant has a complaint about a neighbor, we strongly advise that you check for a history of disputes. Yes, the neighbor may be an ongoing problem, but you could also have an overly sensitive tenant. Listening to a complaint and showing genuine concern will go a long way with the tenant and potentially helping resolve the issue faster.
Speaking directly to the neighbor and giving them a chance to tell their side of the story can help ease some tension. Remember to stay calm yourself and keep an open mind while speaking to both parties. Ruining a relationship with a neighbor is something that a successful property owner can't afford.
It's important to remember not to overstep boundaries. If talking to the neighbor doesn't resolve the issue, it might be best to leave the problem to an owner's association or other local officials.
Neighbor Violating The Law
If the neighbor is participating in illegal activity, strongly encourage your tenant to report them to the local authorities. This is extremely critical if threats are made or your tenant feels like their safety is at risk. You have an obligation to help your tenants stay safe; contact local authorities if you feel things are getting out of hand. If you don't take action and a dispute escalates into harassment or violence, you could find yourself in a lawsuit or worse.
Reed Property Management
We understand dealing with a tenant dispute can be challenging and at times unsettling. But when you have an experienced property management company in your corner, it can take some of the load off of your shoulders. Reed Property Management can help resolve disputes in a calm effective manner and take necessary action to help investment property owners.