Tenant disputes may not happen often, but they are a regular part of property management – they’re simply part of the job.
And no matter how good you are at handling disagreements, managing a tenant dispute will always be a challenge. People can get emotional with even the most minor dispute, so it’s important to handle these matters properly to prevent it from blowing up into an ugly fight between parties.
The better you handle a tenancy dispute, the more likely you’ll reach a solution that satisfies everyone.
Here’s how to do it.
Before Your Discussion
Before confronting your tenant about the dispute, it’s important to prepare and know all the details of the issue. This will help you stay objective and lay the foundation for smooth discussions and/or negotiations.
– Define the problem and objectives clearly. Identify the exact issues at hand and why/how it happened. Note your concerns on the matter and identify the outcomes you want to achieve when resolving the dispute.
– Consider all sides. Put yourself in the shoes of everyone involved and try to understand the problem from their perspective. Why do they feel the way they do about the issue? How do they want to resolve this dispute? Resolving tenancy disputes sometimes requires compromise, so considering everyone’s perspective will help you negotiate and reach a middle ground that works for everyone.
– Be realistic. Not every dispute resolves the way you want, so be prepared to deal with the worst-case scenario. What’s the worst that could happen if you don’t resolve this dispute like you envisioned? And how will the parties involved react and deal with that outcome?
During Your Discussion
Once you’ve prepared and gathered all relevant information, it’s time to reach out to your tenant and other parties involved.
– Initiate communications. If possible, contact your tenant directly to discuss the issue before proposing a discussion. This will let you voice your concerns and hear their side of the story. In some cases, you might even be able to resolve the issue in this initial discussion. Keep a record of this discussion (by putting it in writing) and record any details or agreements from this. Even if you do not resolve the issue in this initial communication, you’ll get a better idea of how to approach your ensuing discussion with them.
– Keep calm. Things can get intense during discussions, especially if the dispute involves sensitive matters. Remember to always keep calm, professional, and respectful throughout the process. Be as objective as possible and avoid making the discussions personal.
– Discuss the problem objectively. Stay on track in your discussions by defining what happened, identifying the problem, voicing your concerns, and proposing the best way to resolve it. If you get side-tracked in your discussions, work your way back to the problem and finding a solution together.
– Hear their side. Give your tenant a chance to explain and discuss their side of the dispute. Consider their concerns and understand why they feel the way they do. Also, take note of any information or details that you may not have known and consider these when working to resolve the issue.
– Be flexible. Chances are you and your tenant will be on different sides in a tenancy dispute. Be willing to meet in the middle if the situation calls for it. Remember that compromise requires give and take, so try to arrive at a solution that makes sense for everyone.
Assistance from the RTA
If you’re still having trouble resolving your tenant dispute despite these discussions and negotiations, you can apply for dispute resolution from the RTA to help resolve it. This will give you another opportunity to resolve your tenant dispute before it escalates into a legal matter with the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).
Need More Information?
Looking for a property manager who knows how to handle disputes the right way?
Here at Beyond Property Management, we go above and beyond to take care of your property and resolve any tenancy dispute that may arise. Get in touch with us to find out more.