Part 3: Property management challenges and how to deal with them
Owning rental, stratified property and commercial property can be very profitable but it can also be very difficult.
There are many challenges that come with property ownership and more specifically with the management of stratified and rental property. In part one of three articles, Cornerstone Properties will look at some challenges that every property manager faces and offer some practical advice on how to deal with them.
Issues can take many forms and involve many different people. Disputes may arise between neighbours over noise levels, use of common areas, parking, elevators and waste receptacles – if an argument is possible, it will likely happen.
Cornerstone Properties recommend their professional property managers identify potential areas of conflict and develop a strategy to diffuse situations and deal with anti-social behaviour and deal with malcontents.
In a multi-story property, are there bare, hardwood floors? This can create noise and anger in suites and apartments below, leading to tenant conflict. Consider a carpet runner in these high-traffic areas to reduce the noise of foot traffic. Loud music and television is also a major source of acrimony: tenants should be aware or their rights and obligations and landlords should endeavor to resolve issues quickly.
If sound deadening appliances such as carpets and insulation are not possible, the landlord should inform potential tenants ahead of time about the possibility of persistent noise issues. Some tenants will not care while others who are more noise more sensitive will look for rental property elsewhere, but you will have prevented a potentially litigious situation before it can take root.
Cornerstone Properties encourage their professional property managers to be good judges of character and to preform stringent background checks and to seek out those tenants who are reasonable and respectful of their neighbours.
While this can be challenging, finding respectful and sensible tenants will minimize the potential for conflict between the landlord, building owner, tenants and others involved. Remember: there are much better and more productive things to commit time and energy to than evicting a troublesome tenant or, in the worst-case scenario, dealing with law enforcement when a dispute devolves into threats and violence.
Cornerstone Properties also encourage their professional property managers to recognize the fact that a well-maintained, clean and respected property will engender greater pride among the tenants and a sense of place and a want to protect their home. If broken down furniture litters the garage, garbage fills the common areas and lights are out and windows broken, tenants become frustrated and are more likely to lash out. Stay on top of maintenance, repairs and cleaning and tenants will be happier and more contented.
Disputed between landlord and tenant and tenants can amplify very quickly and can overwhelm a manager. Cornerstone Property managers work hard to identify potential issues and then move quickly to deal with them. This is best accomplished through open and friendly lines-of-communication and by ensuring tenants feel like they are being heard and respected and that their complaints are being heard.
Troublesome and troubled tenants will always be out there. A professional property manager will plan and manage and minimize their possibly destructive negative impact on other tenants and on the bottom line.