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Dealing with difficult tenants and landlords

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Brought to you by Debbie Palmer of PPM Group

Across the nation we are collectively known as property managers; however we should be more aptly known as, ‘people managers’ or ‘relationship managers’.  Properties don’t complain, get angry or fail to follow through on requests, but sometimes tenants and landlords do.

Managing difficult tenants and landlords is all about understanding relationships, emotions and behaviours. More often than not, it’s not personal; but fear, concern, or frustration from the other party.

It’s about defusing the situation, putting yourself in their shoes, moderating your voice, learning the art of truly listening, having empathy, and reassuring the tenant or landlord that the matter is important and that you are going to work towards a solution to ensure all parties are happy.

The following are a few scripts and dialogues that you can use when dealing with a difficult tenant or landlord:

  1. “Thank you for drawing this to my attention” or “I apologise that you have had to raise this matter with me”
  2. “I would feel the same” or “I would be annoyed as well”
  3. “I understand your concerns”
  4. “I will look into the matter as a priority and get back to you” or “I will resolve this for you and let you know”
  5. “This is an important matter” or “I will make this a priority to take action and resolve the matter”
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If you have effectively communicated with the tenant or landlord and they are still being difficult you could use the following close statements:

  1. “What would you like me to do?” or “What can I do to make you happy?” or “What would you like us to do, while being fair to all parties, to resolve the matter for you?”

There is much more than a few script and dialogues that are needed to manage difficult tenants and landlords. However, this should get you started on how to communicate more effectively, defuse the situation and create win/win outcomes.


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If you would like to be coached by Debbie Palmer she delivers live online coaching sessions each Tuesday that covers dealing with difficult tenants and landlords in more detail as well as many other topics. Visit www.ppmgroup.com.au to find out more or email info@ppmgroup.com.au