When you’re dealing with bad tenants, face-to-face communication is the best way to resolve a problem. A letter or email has zero impact when dealing with bad tenants. And a Tenancy Tribunal hearing is not the answer either; that is just the outcome of poor property management, or signing up the wrong tenant.
Yet when Property Managers are asked why they haven’t visited the tenant to resolve a problem, the answer is often that they feel unsafe when visiting the property.
What to do if you feel unsafe visiting the tenants or property
1. Ask yourself why this problem arose in the first place
To err is human – the key is to learn from our mistakes so that we don’t repeat them. So it’s important to first of all address why you’ve ended up dealing with bad tenants in the first place:
- Why did you end up with a D-Grade tenant instead of an A1 tenant?
- Which of your internal property management systems has failed you, for this to happen?
- Who is responsible for signing up the D-Grade tenant?
2. Protect the property owner’s asset
If the Property Manager feels unsafe visiting the property or dealing with bad tenants, there is a good chance that the tenant is not taking care of the property.
As a Property Manager, it is your role to safeguard the property owner’s investment. So simply leaving a bad tenant to his or her own devices is pure property mismanagement. It is unacceptable for the Property Manager to put this in the “too hard” basket. Refer to our troubleshooting guide on dealing with difficult tenants.
3. How to deal with the safety issues
Making sure that the Property Manager is safe is of paramount importance. If a Property Manager does feel unsafe visiting the property or tenants, they need to arrange for a work colleague to accompany them. Otherwise, a Property Manager who is comfortable with communicating with the tenant should be appointed.
4. Improve on management, communication and negotiation skills
Dealing with confrontation and potentially heated situations requires advanced management skills. There is no shortcut to this process, but simply turning your back on the problem puts your client’s asset at risk.
The task of the Property Manager is to resolve ALL tenant problems, not just the easy one! Thus a Property Manager should have a Professional Development programme that sees them working on their skills.
Not only will the Property Manager feel more confident and in control, but they will make better decisions around tenant selection and will be less likely to encounter these negative situations.
If a Property Manager feels unsafe visiting a tenant or property, they need to:
- Ask themselves why the problem of dealing with bad tenants arose in the first place;
- Focus on maintaining the property owner’s asset;
- Take a colleague with them when visiting the tenant;
- Have a professional development programme that works on their management, communication and negotiation skills.
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