Last modified on January 6th, 2016
By Aimee Miller
Property managers are constantly at the forefront of resident problems. They deal with disputes from residents more than the property owner will. It is important that property managers know how to deal with property disputes, especially if the owner isn’t looking to take things to court immediately.
Keep Calm and Carry On
When a problem arises with a resident, it is important not to blow your top even when the resident does. Property managers should always try to stay cool, calm and collected when a resident issue develops. Property managers with a calm attitude can sometimes resolve problems on their own before tempers escalate and end up in court.
Communicate Problems to Residents
Before taking drastic measures with residents, property owners should communicate their concerns. Many times an issue can be resolved if a conversation takes place. Effective communication proves to be easier and cheaper than a court case.
Implore the Services of Property Dispute Mediators
Many states have property dispute mediators. These professionals are trained to deal with resident situations. If the resident just won’t listen to the property manager or the owner, a professional mediator can sometimes do the trick and resolve a dispute.
Decide if the Situation Warrants Arbitration
The resident might be disputing something that the owner could be wrong about. In this case, it is best not to take it to an arbitrator. If, however, the resident is in the wrong, the manager and owner can take the issue to an arbitrator who will look at both sides of the case and issue a binding ruling.
Document Broken Agreements
If there is a situation with a resident, property managers must keep a detailed paper trail of the issue. Perhaps the resident breaks the lease agreement or sets forth unreasonable demands. If you have everything documented, it is much easier to prove a case with a disruptive resident. Property managers should always have on file a record of resident interactions and problems. Sometimes just presenting this documentation to a resident can convince them not to take things to court.
Leave It Up to the Lawyers
If you want to avoid small claims court and civil or criminal court, property managers can leave it up to the lawyers. Lawyers can help resolve cases before they even make it to the time-consuming court process. If both parties have lawyers, the resident situation might stay out of court.