5 Ways You’re Infuriating Your Renters

Have you ever been minding your business on the subway, when, at the next stop, someone innocently sits across from you, and then, for some infuriating reason, starts clipping his nails? And even though you turn up your music and try to look anywhere but at that person, you hear the click of the clippers, and see pieces of human nails flying through the air and landing near you. Doesn’t that make you so, so angry? What is wrong with some people?

Well, I hate to break it to you, but sometimes property managers or apartment communities have policies that really tick off residents. That’s right—sometimes, you’re the metaphorical nail-clip subway guy (at least, I hope it’s just metaphorical. If you’re actually doing that, for the love of all things decent and holy, stop doing that). And, sure, sometimes you don’t have a choice about community policies. But sometimes, you do.

Here is a list of 5 things you might be doing that infuriate your residents, which you really don’t need to be doing.

Charging extra for online payment or automatic payment. Yes, the credit card companies might charge to do this. But, so what. You’re making money on rent. Don’t pass on that ultimately minuscule fee to your residents. It more difficult for residents to pay online, which unnecessarily complicates the whole rent-paying system, and it makes you look cheap. Don’t do it.

Having impractical hours at the leasing office and for package pickup. No one is asking your employees to work 24/7, but many of your residents work full time. And if “business hours” are the only times they can get their packages or talk to someone in the leasing office, then it becomes extremely stressful. Have a night a week where both are open later, and try to be open on the weekends for at least some time so that people can get their business taken care of when they’re around.

Nickel and dime-ing residents over light bulbs, etc. When residents call to say they need a light bulb changed, or that the refrigerator needs a new water filter, or something like that that, yes, residents should be able to do on their own, do you make them provide the items? It’s much easier for you to buy a ton in bulk, instead of having the residents go out and buy just one. Plus then everything stays uniform, and you don’t look like Scrooge McDuck.

Being inconsistent about who is let in. Does your doorman buzz a resident when her mom is at the front desk, even though she’s on the permanent “allow up” list? Or, on the other hand, does he just send up someone who came in with a resident once so he assumes that person is OK? Those are good ways for a resident to get nagged or stalked, respectively. If you have a policy for people visiting residents, stick to it.

Not taking care of maintenance requests right away. Sure, some things take priority, but just because it’s not an emergency for you doesn’t mean it’s not for them. And, if you can’t get to them right away, have a way to let residents know, and keep them updated. Like, how at airports now instead of just saying a flight is delayed, they’ll say the flight is delayed because the pilot can’t find his hat and little wings pin. That’s right, I said it, strive to be more like an airport. Wait. Acutally, don’t. Airports are the worst. Just unclog that toilet in 3B already.

What other little tweaks can we make to make residents’ lives less stressful?

-Jessica Fiur, Senior Editor