Two major annoyances for tenants–and what you can do to fix them.

In the world of rentals, there is potential for tenants and property managers alike to experience some less-than ideal circumstances. With any communal space, conflicting habits can make managing everyone’s expectations complicated. In order to cut down on complaints, we’ve broken down two major annoyances for tenants and an easy solution for property managers.

  1. The Parking Lot

parking cars

The parking lot can be a point of tension for any property. Either there are never enough spaces, there are too many potholes, or impatient drivers make the blacktop a “walk at your own risk” zone.

But recently I heard of an unfortunate young couple who lived in a highly occupied apartment building. For some reason, the lot directly outside of their building was always packed, when other lots in the complex resembled the Wild West, tumbleweeds and all. Regardless, it always seemed like they were having to haul their groceries from three parking lots away due to the never-ending slew of used spots. It’s like their neighbors just never left! Eventually, the couple noticed a particular car in a particularly convenient (front row, right next to the sidewalk) spot that never moved. I mean never. The rotors on the car eventually rusted, proving that car had not only been hogging a primetime parking spot, but that it had also not been driven in months!

Finally, one glorious morning, when the sun was shining and the birds were singing, the little family arose from their first floor apartment to find that beloved spot empty, and the old car towed. “Finally!” they rejoiced. A new spot was open and their odds of parking within 50 feet of their front door were real again!

The fix: So how can property managers worldwide keep this parking fiasco from happening anywhere else? First, they can ensure that their parking space-to-building ratios are correct. You might have enough spaces in total, but arranging you parking lot to fit the needs of each building is important. It’s also crucial to track your tenant’s car information. If there comes a day when a car needs to be moved, towed, or reported, property managers should know exactly who each car belongs to so they can handle the issue with the tenant immediately.

  1. The Smell of Smoke

2663315164_fcb9fed5e6When moving into a rental, tenants don’t expect to live without the occasional thump from the upstairs neighbors or the unique mix of smells swirling in shared hallways. But what they do expect, is a smoke-free, air-filtered space. If your tenants aren’t smokers, it’s logical to expect their units be smoke-free, and truly smoke-free. That means no odor coming through the vents, and no residual smokiness on their clothing.  It’s one thing to live with the personal consequences associated with smoking indoors, but to force non-smoking families and businesses to stand the stench of stale smoke is just not OK. This annoyance will only lead to more complaints, shorter lives for air filters, and regret for letting tenants smoke inside.

The fix: Instead, property managers can ask their tenants to take their smoking outside, even if it’s just on the patio, or maybe a designated smoking area on the property. Including a non-smoking agreement in the lease can ensure you’re covered when faced with a rule-breaking tenant and reduces the risk of smoke-related damages to your units. The trend towards smoke-free rentals is rising. Maybe it’s time to reconsider your smoking agreement.

As a property manager, it’s hard to meet everyone’s expectations all of the time. Receiving complaints about one things or another is almost always a guarantee, but solving these two issues will certainly result in less grumbling and more satisfied tenants.

Photo credit: gothopotam / Foter / CC BY