The role of a Seattle Property Manager, first and foremost, is to provide a landlord with peace of mind regarding their investments. This peace of mind covers all facets of property leasing and management, and it no less covers the challenges of handling difficult tenants. However, while it should be the case that the tenant only directly contacts the property manager, there are occasions where the tenant will attempt to contact the landlord directly. If you are a landlord who is being directly contacted by a tenant, this could have happened for one of many reasons:
- You and your tenant know each other from previous contacts, either in person or over the phone and email, so the tenant feels that there is no need to interact with a Property Management Company even if you hired them.
- The tenant is unhappy with a certain development regarding their unit, a notice to pay or quit, or other information that they have received from our company and they decide to circumvent the Property Manager by contacting you.
- The tenant may want to cut a “new deal” on rent, repairs, or other issues and decide they have a better chance of getting what they want by directly contacting the property owner.
- They are unaware of how to deal with a Property Manager, and simply do not understand that communications between them and you absolutely needs to happen through your property management company to avoid confusion.
What to do when the tenant calls
- We ask that you politely give them our number and ask them to contact their Property Manager to discuss any issues that they have. Inform them that you hired our services to take care of the property and work directly with the tenant. Emphasize that we have authorization to act on your behalf and consult with you.
- Call us as soon as possible to let us know that the tenant is either knowingly or unknowingly circumventing our company to deal with you directly. We will proceed to contact them and help them with their problems or requests.
- If they demand immediate action from you, reiterate to them that you will discuss their call with your Property Manager, and that they should call your Property Manager as soon as possible.
- Remain calm if the tenant threatens you with legal action. Politely let them know that you will be discussing the situation with us and, if necessary, with your attorney.
- No matter what the tenant has said, please reserve judgement and give your Property Manager the benefit of the doubt if the tenant claims unfair treatment and practices. We will give you the facts and they could very well differ from what the tenant has said.
What NOT to do when the tenant calls
- Do NOT negotiate with the tenant on the rental amount, payment of rent, authorization of repairs, or promise any repairs or improvements. This will almost certainly leave your Property Manager in a weak and ineffective position to work on your behalf.
- If you know that there are eviction proceedings on the property, do NOT talk to the tenant and definitely do not make any promises. Certain actions can void an eviction, and you could have to begin the process again, which would cause you more loss of rent.
- Do not set up an appointment to meet with them. If an appointment is necessary, tell them that you will contact us and arrange an appointment at the property with the Property Manager or with you and the Property Manager.
Dave Poletti & Associates is an established Seattle Property Management Company that always strives to bring you peace of mind with your unit. We excel in managing tenant-landlord relations, and we hold ourselves to the highest standards as the intermediaries between you and your tenant.