Top Tenant Complaints and How to Handle Them

by Patrick Freeze  4/26/2023

Owning rental properties means preparing for all potential scenarios, including tenant complaints. Understanding how to handle tenant complaints and avoid future issues is crucial for all landlords or property managers. So, what can you do when a tenant comes to you with a complaint? Read along as we discuss the most common tenant complaints and how you or your property manager can resolve them peacefully. 


Contents of This Article: 

  • What are the Most Common Tenant Complaints?
  • How to Resolve Tenant Complaints
  • Get Fewer Tenant Complaints With Property Management

What are the Most Common Tenant Complaints?

As a landlord or property manager in Northern Virginia, staying prepared for tenant complaints is crucial, even if you take great care of your rentals. Resolving tenant issues is vital for maintaining a positive reputation and keeping your tenants satisfied. As such, understanding the most common tenant complaints can help prevent such situations in the future. 

That said, here are some frequently reported tenant complaints, and later, we’ll discuss how to address and solve them. 


  1. Lack of Communication
  2. Maintenance/Repair Issues
  3. Pest Infestations
  4. Noise Complaints
  5. Violation of Privacy

Lack of Communication

Effective communication is essential for landlords and property managers to maintain excellent relationships with their tenants. Neglecting to respond to calls or emails in a timely manner can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction. Unfortunately, that can result in your tenants not renewing their leases. As such, it’s crucial to be responsive to tenant inquiries and address any concerns immediately. 

That said, hiring a comprehensive property management company can be a viable solution if managing your properties becomes too much to handle. For instance, Professional Property Management of Northern Virginia can handle tenant communication, arrange maintenance services, and oversee your rentals efficiently. 

Maintenance/Repair Issues

Maintenance and repair issues are among some of the most common tenant complaints–and it’s crucial to address them promptly to prevent them from escalating. As such, implementing an effective maintenance request system can help identify and resolve issues quickly. For instance, your lease agreement should outline the procedures for reporting maintenance or repair requests. 

You should encourage tenants to document their requests and ensure you respond within a reasonable time frame. After all, timely action is essential to avoid potential complaints from tenants in the future. 

Pest Infestations

Pest infestations can cause significant distress to tenants, which is why they’re a common cause of complaints. As such, it’s your responsibility as a landlord or property manager to respond promptly and address the issue to prevent it from escalating. 


When you receive a complaint, it’s crucial to investigate the property and take immediate action to eliminate the pests. Hiring a professional exterminator is often the best course of action to ensure the infestation is completely gone. Then, following up with the tenant to confirm that the problem is resolved is another important step. 

To prevent pest infestations, you’ll want to regularly inspect your properties and take preventative measures when necessary. In turn, it can help identify potential issues before they become major problems and result in tenant complaints. 

Noise Complaints

Excessive noise can be a common tenant complaint, and addressing it quickly is essential to maintain a peaceful living environment. While noise issues caused by other tenants can be resolved internally, those caused by external sources may require more effort. 

For instance, if the noise issue stems from another tenant, you can work with them to resolve the issue by requesting that they keep noise levels down. Or, you can explore relocating them to another unit. However, remember that all tenants have the right to quiet enjoyment of their rental property, and it’s your job to maintain it. 

Finding a resolution can be more challenging if the noise originated from outside the rental or from another property. As such, encouraging your tenant to resolve the issue with the source of the noise or reaching out to the property owner can help. However, regardless of the approach, finding a solution and addressing the complaint quickly is crucial. 

Violation of Privacy

Tenants have the right to privacy in their rental properties; violating this can result in complaints. As such, it’s essential to understand that you must inform your tenant in advance before entering an occupied rental property. Generally, if you need to access the property for maintenance, inspections, or other reasons, you must provide notice 24-48 hours before entering. 


In the case of an emergency, you may be legally entitled to enter the property immediately. However, if a tenant complains about a privacy violation, you’ll want to seek legal advice before taking any action. 

To prevent complaints related to privacy violations, you’ll want to ensure your tenants stay informed about your access to the property and the reasons for it. As such, maintaining open communication with your tenants during these interactions is also important. 

How to Resolve Tenant Complaints

Landlords and property managers must be prepared to handle common tenant complaints, even if preventative measures are in place. As such, here’s a list of steps to follow while working with tenants to address their concerns. 

  • Keep an Open Line of Communication- Open communication is one of the most crucial skills a landlord or property manager can have. For instance, actively listening, understanding your tenant’s concerns, and working with them to resolve issues can make them feel heard and cared about. So, if something’s going wrong in one of your properties, ensure your tenants feel comfortable coming to you with concerns. 


  • Respond Quickly and Effectively- When a tenant files a complaint, it’s crucial to respond to it quickly and effectively. Even if you cannot fix the issue immediately, let your tenant know you’ve received their request. Then, let them know you’re working to resolve it. Leaving tenants without a response for days can be extremely frustrating and may damage your reputation as a landlord. 
  • Have Good Systems In Place- When you sit down and discuss a lease agreement with a new tenant, include information about filing a complaint or maintenance concern. Then, if your tenant has any issues, they know how to communicate it to you. Additionally, it can help keep a record of the issue and ensure your tenant’s needs are met. 
  • Always Remain Professional- Handling tenant complaints can be difficult and sometimes frustrating. However, it’s important to stay calm and handle complaints professionally. Losing your temper when your tenant is stressed or angry can fuel the fire. So, remain calm and understand where they’re coming from with their complaint. 

Get Fewer Tenant Complaints With Property Management

Hiring comprehensive property management is one of the best solutions if you want fewer tenant complaints in your rental properties. With a full-service property manager on your team, you can feel confident that your rentals are in great hands. That way, if your tenants have any complaints, a well-versed property manager can work with them to resolve issues peacefully. 

Professional Property Management of Northern Virginia offers full-service rental management. So, whether you’re looking for help with tenant screening, rent collection, finding new tenants, and more, we can help. Contact PPM today to learn more about our services near Northern Virginia and how we can help your rental business succeed today. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *