3 Tips to Help Track and Resolve Resident Requests and Complaints

Property managers have a range of responsibilities. Successful Toronto property management companies have systematic checks and balances that ensure they keep things organized for the condo buildings they’re expected to look after. As a property manager, one of the core tasks you’re responsible for is the safe recordkeeping of various documents. From financial records, receipts, resident requests, and complaints, there’s a lot of paperwork you’re expected to organize.

Approximately 45% of condo dwellers are single, with those younger than 35 and older than 65 making up the largest share of owners. The reason for a large number of complaints within condo buildings results from the fact that these two groups have very different opinions and expectations of condo living. When these two very different demographics end up living side by side in the same buildings, complaints are sure to surface, according to Maclean’s.

That is why it is key to ensure that you have procedures and systems in place to make sure your condo’s complaint documentation process is as organized as can be. Something that many property managers in Toronto forget they should keep track of are complaints and requests from condo residents or owners.

Without clear records, it is difficult to track or follow-up with a complaint or request made by a tenant or property owner. Without clear records, it’s impossible for your property managers to establish transparency or accountability.

What are some of the most common complaints received by property management?

  • Noise complaints
  • Gym equipment complaints
  • Maintenance follow up complaints
  • The misuse of shared facilities
  • Financial transparency requests
  • Special assessment charges
  • Greater accessibility to the condo board and meetings
  • Condo fee complaints
  • Pet complaints

From the first instance of a complaint, clear and detailed records ensure that there is a verifiable source of evidence. This evidence can be useful if the complaint is not addressed, or to follow-up to ensure that the issue has been resolved. If there is a direct paper-trail that suggests that you’re addressing a complaint or tenant request, that leaves less room for poor management.

When it comes to tracking requests, it’s important to have a system that works for you. Taking note of every stage of the inquiry, actions and outcomes can help avoid miscommunication. This will also mean that the property manager can be held accountable for compliance of the reported issue according to condo laws and procedures.

If a property manager has a complaint/request management system in place, it’s only going to benefit them, but also the property management team so that residents cannot point a finger at them or accuse them of non-compliance.

What are some best practices when it comes to tracking complaints from residents?

tracking tenant complaints

While Toronto rental property management companies may have an existing complaint or inquiry management plan in place, there are some tricks of the trade that we’re going to reveal. Clear, concise recordkeeping is a big part of the process and remaining organized is key.

For starters, it is important to establish what your procedure is for tenants to file complaints with your property manager. Are you going to use tickets to track that complaint as soon at is made?

Develop a standard for how tenants will report complaints or requests:

Should you provide tenants with forms to fill and submit in order to report an issue? Or is it better to just write the request down in a notebook and take notes with follow-up action?

Form submissions are a great resource when tracking complaints and requests for condo buildings. With an average of 350 units per condo building, it becomes extremely difficult for condo staff or property managers to take direct complaints at the lobby or upon an encounter with a tenant.

If you create a form for tenants to fill out with clear sections about the nature of the complaint, reason for request, dates, timings and specific details, it’s easier as a property manager to follow-up when you’re addressing the issue or trying to fulfill the request. Forms also ensure a unified, standard process for tenants to follow and they’re not confused about how to approach the issue.

Create a spreadsheet or logbook through your management software or computer to track issues, actions and decisions:

Organizing all your complaints by category and dates in one place will make it easier for you to address complaints. You’ll be able to analyze whether a complaint or request is recurring and track the seriousness of each complaint or demand.

Make sure you take note of dates and how you responded to each demand. In order to ensure that you took the necessary steps to address legitimate complaints, it is important that you record what actions you took to resolve the issue. This way, residents take you seriously and trust that you are taking their concerns seriously.

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Ensure transparency with both residents and the condo board in regards to property complaints.

If there’s a recurring call to action from tenants regarding an issue, such as an ongoing maintenance issue, be sure and update all parties involved. For example, if there is a noise complaint from a particular tenant that has been recorded in your system multiple times, your consistent record-tracking should show how the issue was addressed.

If there are multiple complaints, be sure and update the reporting parties and the condo board of the issue. Bring it up at meetings and consult with your condo board to review your Condo Declaration to determine what course of action to take.

Keep the residents who complained in the loop as well so that they rest assured that you are handling the situation. Clear and constant communication is just as important as organized recordkeeping when it comes to problems or requests reported by tenants. It can set you apart as a committed and proactive condo manager and property management company in Toronto.

Complaint and request management can be a tough aspect of a property manager’s job. It requires a great degree of investigation, correspondence and communication to determine the legitimate complaints from the less serious, petty complaints made by tenants.
Also, ensure that as a Property Manager in Toronto, you are following up on these complaints with the resident so that you are keeping them in the loop and make sure that when a complaint or request has been completed, follow up with them once again to advise them of this.

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A key part of the process, however, is to ensure that a clear system is in place to record complaints, requests actions, and correspondence with both the tenant and the board. That way if the matter gets out of hand or reaches a formal, legal complaint against the condo corporation, there is a concise history of the issue and the property management’s interaction. According to the Better Business Bureau, there have been 6,493 complaints filed against property management companies. In order to overcome the issues that result in complaints, property managers need to take charge.

Exceptional organization and communication skills do not come naturally to all property managers in Toronto when handling tenant requests or issues. If your property managers require assistance in dealing with tenant complaints and best practices, contact ICC®. We have been managing condo buildings in Toronto since 1992 and ensure that all property managers are trained to resolve any legitimate issues tenants may face. With a focus on transparency, communication and systematic record management, ICC® has developed management plans for buildings across Toronto.

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