How to communicate here?
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How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Feb 7, 2020 9:11 AM
       How to communicate here? (by J [FL]) Feb 7, 2020 9:23 AM
       How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Feb 7, 2020 9:31 AM
       How to communicate here? (by Doogie [KS]) Feb 7, 2020 9:32 AM
       How to communicate here? (by J [FL]) Feb 7, 2020 9:42 AM
       How to communicate here? (by AllyM [NJ]) Feb 7, 2020 9:46 AM
       How to communicate here? (by Plenty [MO]) Feb 7, 2020 9:54 AM
       How to communicate here? (by LisaFL [FL]) Feb 7, 2020 10:01 AM
       How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Feb 7, 2020 10:10 AM
       How to communicate here? (by Mike SWMO [MO]) Feb 7, 2020 10:12 AM
       How to communicate here? (by Lynn [MA]) Feb 7, 2020 10:16 AM
       How to communicate here? (by Sisco [MO]) Feb 7, 2020 10:23 AM
       How to communicate here? (by FloridaNative [FL]) Feb 7, 2020 10:34 AM
       How to communicate here? (by J [FL]) Feb 7, 2020 10:41 AM
       How to communicate here? (by Jeffrey [VA]) Feb 7, 2020 10:52 AM
       How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Feb 7, 2020 10:57 AM
       How to communicate here? (by AllyM [NJ]) Feb 7, 2020 11:05 AM
       How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Feb 7, 2020 11:17 AM
       How to communicate here? (by PG [SC]) Feb 7, 2020 11:34 AM
       How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Feb 7, 2020 11:38 AM
       How to communicate here? (by Busy [WI]) Feb 7, 2020 12:22 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Ken [NY]) Feb 7, 2020 12:44 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Still Learning [NH]) Feb 7, 2020 1:53 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Feb 7, 2020 2:26 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Robin [WI]) Feb 7, 2020 2:27 PM
       How to communicate here? (by J [FL]) Feb 7, 2020 2:43 PM
       How to communicate here? (by CX [WA]) Feb 7, 2020 2:49 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Paulio [PA]) Feb 7, 2020 2:53 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Dave [MO]) Feb 7, 2020 3:23 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Still Learning [NH]) Feb 7, 2020 3:25 PM
       How to communicate here? (by WMH [NC]) Feb 7, 2020 3:49 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Sandy [CO]) Feb 7, 2020 5:17 PM
       How to communicate here? (by LindaJ [NY]) Feb 7, 2020 7:20 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Feb 7, 2020 7:39 PM
       How to communicate here? (by myob [GA]) Feb 7, 2020 7:45 PM
       How to communicate here? (by MikeA [TX]) Feb 7, 2020 8:10 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Ken [NY]) Feb 7, 2020 8:56 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Feb 7, 2020 9:14 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Feb 7, 2020 9:26 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Ken [NY]) Feb 7, 2020 10:05 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Small potatoes [NY]) Feb 7, 2020 10:39 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Robert J [CA]) Feb 8, 2020 2:19 AM
       How to communicate here? (by LisaFL [FL]) Feb 8, 2020 6:18 AM
       How to communicate here? (by LisaFL [FL]) Feb 8, 2020 6:18 AM
       How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Feb 8, 2020 7:52 AM
       How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Feb 8, 2020 8:19 AM
       How to communicate here? (by RB [MI]) Feb 8, 2020 8:27 AM
       How to communicate here? (by LindaJ [NY]) Feb 8, 2020 8:37 AM
       How to communicate here? (by Busy [WI]) Feb 8, 2020 11:28 AM
       How to communicate here? (by Still Learning [NH]) Feb 8, 2020 1:27 PM
       How to communicate here? (by LisaFL [FL]) Feb 8, 2020 8:03 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Smokowna [MD]) Feb 8, 2020 8:22 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Anna [PA]) Feb 9, 2020 8:03 AM
       How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Feb 9, 2020 8:25 AM
       How to communicate here? (by LisaFL [FL]) Feb 9, 2020 9:04 AM
       How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Feb 9, 2020 9:46 AM
       How to communicate here? (by myob [GA]) Feb 9, 2020 2:47 PM
       How to communicate here? (by CX [WA]) Feb 9, 2020 4:06 PM
       How to communicate here? (by LisaFL [FL]) Feb 9, 2020 5:24 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Orit [MI]) Feb 10, 2020 12:29 PM
       How to communicate here? (by mike [CA]) Feb 10, 2020 12:38 PM
       How to communicate here? (by mike [CA]) Feb 10, 2020 1:01 PM
       How to communicate here? (by cheri woods [CA]) Feb 10, 2020 1:38 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Mike, PA [PA]) Feb 10, 2020 3:11 PM
       How to communicate here? (by 6x6 [TN]) Feb 10, 2020 3:45 PM
       How to communicate here? (by KALeg [CA]) Feb 10, 2020 4:20 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Sue [IN]) Feb 10, 2020 4:52 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Dan [OR]) Feb 10, 2020 7:13 PM
       How to communicate here? (by Dan [OR]) Feb 10, 2020 7:13 PM


How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 9:11 AM
Message:

My lease states that plumbing related problems will be dealt with in a reasonable amount of time,...usually within 12-24 hours.

Two weeks ago, a new tenant moves in and everything is fine and dandy. 2 days ago, I get a call from this tenant telling me the toilet will not flush and there is dirty water backing up in the bathtub. Now, my tenant is in a real panic now and is pissed off to the max. She starts demanding that I deal with this problem right now,..and not tomorrow at my plumber's earliest convenience. My tenant here is also now reminding me how much rent she pays and she expects immediate service for her rent.

I told the tenant that I am not a magician who can just wave a magic wand and 'poof',..all plumbing problems solved. That statement just pissed her off even more. I did call my plumber and he said he could not do anything until it stops raining. It was pouring down rain when she called me.

12 hours after this tenant called me and the rain had finally stopped, my plumber put a 100 ft. snake in the outside clean-out port and solved the problem. Everything is fine. Tenant is still irritated at me for not acting sooner.

My question here has nothing to do with plumbing. It is about communication. What is the best way (if there is one) to communicate with a female tenant who is pissed off to the max and wants immediate service that I can not provide? I tried my best to get her to 'calm down' , but everything I told her just pissed her off even more.

--68.63.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by J [FL]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 9:23 AM
Message:

"I told the tenant that I am not a magician who can just wave a magic wand and 'poof',..all plumbing problems solved. That statement just pissed her off even more."

I wouldn't say things like this. I'd try to keep it neutral.

She has only been there 2 weeks, she doesn't know or trust you yet...something major went wrong and it has her on edge. --72.188.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 9:31 AM
Message:

J(FL),

Now in hindsight, I know what not to say. What I need to know is,..what should have I said? Just tell me how YOU would have communicated with this tenant.

--68.63.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Doogie [KS]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 9:32 AM
Message:

I typically say something along the lines of:

"I apologize you are having issues with the plumbing. Unfortunately, I don't have the necessary equipment to remedy this particular problem and therefore I have to rely on a plumber. I rely on a 3rd party contractor to do this and am not in control of his schedule. You are on the next available time slot he had. ETA is xxx"

Some would even argue taking the apology out, and I could probably get behind that as well. --68.102.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by J [FL]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 9:42 AM
Message:

Roy I would have just explained to her that it can't be done until the rain stops. And if worse came to worse you could contact your plumber and have him text with the tenant explaining the situation, if he is willing to do that.

--72.188.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 9:46 AM
Message:

I have had rare plumbing issues but when people did call they were not screaming rude. However they had the sense to not keep flushing. My first words are usually. So sorry that is happening. Then I say I will call the whatever. I did have one that would report something and I would say that and she would keep repeating the same words over and over and I would have to say something like, "if I stay on the phone listening to you, I can't get someone to help you." And that would make her stop. I remember some pop psychological book I read that said when people are being childish then you have to say something to "hook their adult self". So stay logical. I wonder if the rains in your area prevented the sewer from flowing wherever it goes and that's why the plumber wouldn't come until it stopped raining. Of course he's not going to tell you that the problem will stop when the rain stops. Is it in a lowlying area? I would find out where that sewer empties. Our storm drains here empty into the Delaware River and when it's high tide and a big rain there is likely to be flooding. If it's not high tide, no flooding and we are 40 miles from the ocean. --173.61.xxx.xx




How to communicate here? (by Plenty [MO]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 9:54 AM
Message:

She wasn't being heard. Repeat back to her what she says. And just tell them, you need to get off the phone right now to see who you can get out there, you will fix it like your own home. You are sorry that is happening, you never had that happen before. Then I ask what is there available so you can get someone there asap,,, ASAP means as soon as possible, maybe that is 24 or 30 hours, but you just don't say that. For a home with only one bathroom it needs to be done the sooner the better. Perhaps you even need to go there and see for yourself so you can explain the situation to the plumber or know who you should call, or what is the best action. Sorry you had that happen, you don't deserve to be yelled at, reminding you of the $ paid is entitlement, she wasn't exactly being cooperative! --184.206.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 10:01 AM
Message:

What did the plumber find was the problem?

Did you give her a list of acceptable and non acceptable things you can flush?

My tenants must pay for tenant caused clogs. If itís a system failure or roots or indeterminable then I pay.

If I had a rude demanding tenant I would tell them I will notify the plumber and he will come as quickly as possible. If they want immediate service they are welcome to try and find it but they may only hire a licensed plumber and the service call/repair will be at their expense regardless of cause.

I recently had a tenant with a similar problem. She was going to do some plunging and get back with me. I specially reminded her to contact me if the problem didnít resolve itself and I would get the plumber there to determine/fix the problem.

Didnít hear back for two weeks. She called a plumber who charged her $275 to snake the line (my plumber charges $125 so even if it had been tenant caused she would have paid much less). Problem came back so now she was letting me know. My plumber came and determined an issue with the sewer line that needed to be repaired/replaced. He said the other plumber cleared it but the solids reaccumulated again at the problem area. So not a tenant caused problem. So she paid $275 for nothing. Had she done what I told her she would have spent nothing. No she was not reimbursed and she didnít ask to be because she knows I only use my own contractors. She didnít want to bother me. This is actually a very good tenant, very easy to work with and accommodating.

I donít have patience for unreasonable tenants. I have empathy for issues when they arise and get them serviced very quickly. You did nothing wrong.

I had another sewer issue recently in a one bathroom place and they had no use of their bathroom for over 24 hours. I apologized profusely for what an inconvenience this was. The response I received was along the lines of this: please donít feel so bad....itís not your fault....we know things happen and there is only so much you can do....I can shower at my friendís house or the gym and the grocery store is right down the street if I need the bathroom and a bucket isnít enough! You have enough to worry about because we know it is an expensive repair and we appreciate you always taking care of things quickly and properly.

When I get new tenants I make it a point to let them know how much I like my tenants. That Iím lucky they are all so easy to deal with and understanding when they have issues and I bend over backwards to get things fixed as quickly as possible (within a day or two). I offer to give them references if they would like. This puts the bug in their ear that I appreciate tenants and want to provide good service and do my best to provide it. --216.186.xxx.xx




How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 10:10 AM
Message:

Ally,

My master plumber's $3,000 plumbing snake operates on electricity. He is not going to risk getting electrocuted by feeding a steel cable through a drain during a thunderstorm. It took the entire 100 feet of steel cable to unclog this long sewer pipe. --68.63.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Mike SWMO [MO]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 10:12 AM
Message:

Roy - Not much help here.

Almost all my shacks are tax sale properties. Some on the west side of the state and some on the East side of the state and some around the middle of the state.

Also I am gone a lot. Physically as well as mentally.

So I put the following in my lease / rent to own contract.

Will it hold up in court. Why - most certainly. It could hold up court progression for about 10 or 15 minutes if I played my cards right - before the judge would say Ė what are you doing. I would say IDK.

However I do address issues in a timely manner when I am available.

Here is what they sign.

Due to the Distance that Owner lives / stays from the property, tenant agrees to maintain property in habitual condition at their own expense. This means tenant will do the maintenance, repair, and replacement of items needing work done without relying on owner to do any of the various maintenance work normally required to be done by a landlord.

Due to the distance. How far is that? Within a one minute walk (leisure stroll) I could throw rocks and break out windows in three of my properties. Riding a bicycle for two minutes I could throw rocks and break out windows in three other places. Getting in a car in 10-15 minutes I could do the same in four other places. My armís getting tired.

You just canít help some people.

I enjoy reading your post . You always have good questions. Sorry this is happing to you.

--98.17.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Lynn [MA]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 10:16 AM
Message:

I would hang up the phone. --38.142.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Sisco [MO]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 10:23 AM
Message:

I think the text is superior form of communication, but as I recall, you prefer voice calls. What should you communicate?

Terms of the lease, verbatim.

Status report of why plumber has been delayed.

Then get off the phone. --67.43.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by FloridaNative [FL]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 10:34 AM
Message:

Good advice given above by all.

I can tell you one thing only: don't use the phrase "Calm down" to anyone that is irate. That will push them right over the edge :) --99.56.xx.xx




How to communicate here? (by J [FL]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 10:41 AM
Message:

Is it established that this was the tenant's fault?

I had this happen too -- new tenants who had been there a couple of months -- they were already acting PITA about other things so when they called me about the "emergency" I was skeptical at first but found out it was real. Plumber had to use a sewer camera in the line and it turned out it was a problem on the city side of the line. --72.188.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Jeffrey [VA]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 10:52 AM
Message:

Hey my friend, moving forward, I would suggest communicating at the beginning of the lease that you have a "72 hours Maintenance Guarantee". Any problems, that are management's responsibility to take care of, will be handled with 72 hours after notification OR the resident will receive free rent on a pro-rated basis every day beyond the 72 hour period.

You implement that policy and instead of your resident getting angrier as time goes by they get happier. Knowing you, you should be able to take care of any maintenance issue within 72 hours. If for some strange reason it takes you longer, say 5 days to get it right, you still only have to pay out 2 days worth of free rent and everyone is able to move on without any threat of calling the city, health dept or other things landlords get threatened with:) --65.210.xx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 10:57 AM
Message:

FloridaNative,

Again, in hindsight, I know what 'not to say'. I have removed 'calm down' from my tenant only vocabulary. Are any other words that I need to remove?

Sisco - During the lease signing 2 weeks ago, I had a 'plumbing discussion' with her and she was in total agreement, however, the toilet and bathtub was working just fine then. If I had texted her the lease paragraph that explains plumbing issues,..that would have only added gasoline to the fire here.

--68.63.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 11:05 AM
Message:

The line cleanouts I have seen start at the toilet with the toilet removed. Not raining in there, or in the basement. Not raining in there either. --173.61.xxx.xx




How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 11:17 AM
Message:

Jeffrey,

Thanks for your assistance here. During my face to face 'plumbing discussion' two weeks ago, I basically told her what not to flush down the toilet and what can happen if certain items do get flushed and creates a clog. She was in total agreement then,..but her toilet and bath-tub drains were working just fine then.

I will have to give some thought to your '72 hour Maintenance Guarantee'. I am wondering if that would have made any difference in dealing with my tenant here who was just acting irrational and immature.

--68.63.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by PG [SC]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 11:34 AM
Message:

ROY

As a long time supervisor in industry. Try this - Let her vent - mostly Listen and ask simple questions about the problem - then calmly explain what the lease says - always stay within the parameters of the lease - show concern.

You may need to change your 12 to 24 hours to business days. If a tenant calls you on Saturday night the 24 hour clock starts Monday.

Also consider Text only communication. Texting allows you to provide a thought out response instead of the "I am not a magician" that comment accomplished nothing.

As you well know you must show calm resolve - the LL is in charge - If she jerks you around now after two weeks as a new tenant she will do it again.

GOOD LUCK --72.173.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 11:38 AM
Message:

Ally,

This post has NOTHING to do with plumbing. It has everything to do with COMMUNICATION. Lets not confuse these two things.

I have to leave here and go play Property Manager. I will check back with you all later on in the day. I do appreciate whatever advice you all can give me in dealing with immature tenants.

--68.63.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 12:22 PM
Message:

Two weeks at a property? If I were at a property ONLY two weeks in a one bathroom house, and a landlord told me Iíd have to wait up to 72 hours? I would be pissed (sorry Jeffrey, I just think up to 72 hours is way too long for a new tenant and a possible raw sewage issue. ) I donít think there would be ANYTHING that could be said other than, ďI will have someone right overĒ that would seem reasonable to me. AND, if the plumber couldnít resolve the issue, the landlord better say, Iíll pay X dollars towards a motel till we can get this resolved.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I GIVE my tenants waaay too much. But, new tenancy, and the only toilet doesnít flush, and now Ďstuffí is backing up into bathtub. Ewww! The tenantsí kids may have been bathing with a tad bit of raw sewage! The only communication that would work for ME , because it is a NEW tenancy, is a solution that makes the situation safe for my family.

AllyM, Roy doesnít buy houses with basements, so his clean-outs are all located outside, in the weather. Because I buy houses WITH basements , all of my clean-outs are in the house, so rain doesnít affect use of electricity. So, in my city, I would call a 24 hour drain service, BECAUSE this is a new tenant, whose flushing habits would not have had much time to clog lines, AND, the last tenant at this house may ( or may not, dunno) have been the one who left with the ex-husband in jail (maybe they left Ďpresentsí in the drain lines) I would call the service, I would be PRESENT when they came to the house. IF it were a longer term tenant, who had time to build trust with me, and trust that I would send a reliable company, then I give them the number, tell them to call. And remind them, if it is a problem with roots or collapsed pipe, they should have the drain company call me for payment, otherwise itís on them. But, I would do that after at least two months of tenancy.

Context of the situation does matter for communication, in my opinion. New tenant needs to be extended a bit more Ďstep in and manage it NOW Ď compared to a tenant who has been there a bit. So, in my never humble opinion, for a new tenant, the only response that will calm down is one that deals with a critical situation swiftly. Raw sewage IS critical, imo. And, some instances when a long-term tenant notifies landlord of (problem/issue) also require immediate expert response, such as electrical troubles. Otherwise, the message that is communicated is Ď I donít care if you get hurt.í

So, to sum up, Ďhow to communicateí-

Swiftly, with a landlord paid & supervised solution BECAUSE it is new tenant, and last tenant may have left a surprise. --70.92.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 12:44 PM
Message:

You should have told her you would start making calls asap and you would get back to her and stay in touch till the problem was solved.It sounds to me like the problem may be in the street,when you have a clog and no water is running in the house but sewage is backing up into the lowest drain,usually a tub it is often in the street.Also if the cleanout is in the yard why didn't you or someone go open the cleanout and let it dump on the lawn? at least if the clog was further down the line past the cleanout she would have been fine for the short term. --104.229.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Still Learning [NH]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 1:53 PM
Message:

Tenants arenít homeowners, they pay so their landlord can jump when there is a problem. They donít understand plumbers have other customers and emergencies as well. However, I do believe this is both a plumbing and a communication problem. Did you explain to her that the plumber will not use the electric snake during a storm due to safety? Loss of toilets and showers are an emergency. Would a more expensive group like Toto router or bigger plumbing service have come? --73.17.xx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 2:26 PM
Message:

Jeffrey,

My own kind here are ganging up on me and keep thinking this is a plumbing problem. Can you come to my rescue here?

Loss of toilets and showers for less than 24 hours is NOT an emergency. If the house is on FIRE,..that is an emergency! --68.63.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 2:27 PM
Message:

To know how to communicate, you need to know what your tenant needs.

--She needs to know you take her issue seriously.

--She needs to know you want to get it fixed as soon as possible.

--She needs to know what to expect from you.

So you could say something like, "A sewer backup is something we take very seriously. I will get a plumber out to snake the drain as soon as possible. He won't be able to do that safely until it stops raining, but I will call him as soon as I get off the phone with you to make sure you are at the top of his list."

If you really want to make her happy, after you've connected with the plumber, text her back and say, "I spoke with the plumber. He'll be over there as soon as it stops raining, probably at 10 a.m. tomorrow. Let me know if you need anything else."

Your actual response to her showed that you were a little irritated at how demanding she was. Next time, take a deep breath and then talk her off the ledge. --204.210.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by J [FL]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 2:43 PM
Message:

"Loss of toilets and showers for less than 24 hours is NOT an emergency. If the house is on FIRE,..that is an emergency!"

It is a big inconvenience though. This plumbing incident wasn't something you could have foreseen...but the tenant may not know that. She may be thinking "I just moved in here and this place already has a lot of problems, what's going to happen next, did I make a mistake moving here" --72.188.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by CX [WA]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 2:49 PM
Message:

"My own kind here are ganging up on me and keep thinking this is a plumbing problem. Can you come to my rescue here?"

Roy, let me say first that I don't know if this really applies here or not but your last comment did remind me of the mom who was at the high school football game, watching the marching band at halftime. "Wow, just look at that! They're all marching the wrong way except for my son!"

Being more constructive, I have found it important to convince the tenant that you both share the same goals here. "Thank you for telling me about this situation. Let's realize and agree that we both have the exact same goal here-- get it fixed and cleaned up ASAP. You want that and I want that and we will get better results if we work together to attain that. I see that I will need a good plumber to work on this and from my experience they might not be able to get out here as soon as WE would like, so we might have to adjust our expectations based on that."

And then keep her updated on the status. --174.21.xx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Paulio [PA]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 2:53 PM
Message:

I wouldnít put self-imposed deadlines on myself in writing whether itís 12, 24 or 72 hours especially when I may have to rely on others to meet the deadline. A plumber, roofer, electrician donít care about your promises to tenants. Theyíll do it when they can do it. Also, I donít have a problem with your magic wand line. If sheís only in there 2 weeks and sheís already getting that sh***y with you, she deserves it right back. She will interpret politeness as timidness and weakness. Then youíre going to have a real PITA on your hands moving forward. This goes back to the whole Landlord is in charge, tenant is not thing. Donít let her set the terms of your relationship. --50.107.xxx.xx




How to communicate here? (by Dave [MO]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 3:23 PM
Message:

Roy, some people, no matter what you say it will never be what they want to hear. Sounds like you took care of the issue as soon as time would allowed. Let her calls go to voicemail. Next time don't engage, give her the companies number to call and let her make the appointment. Then call or text the company to let them know, Mary at 123 Main St. will be calling about her sewer line that needs attention. --72.24.xx.xx




How to communicate here? (by Still Learning [NH]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 3:25 PM
Message:

Yes, not an emergency like the house is on fire, but not being able to use water, toilet, shower is a huge inconvenience. Time will tell if she is a PITA or just had a strong reaction to what happened. Often times I will follow up by text to make sure whatever work was done is working correctly. You could send ďHi X, Iím glad the rain ended quickly allowing the plumber to take care of the blockage so quickly. I just want to follow up and confirm everything is working as it should with no issues. Thank you, RoyĒ --73.17.xx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 3:49 PM
Message:

First, I never apologize any more. Never. I think "I'm sorry" but then I re-word it somehow.

I would have responded to her text with something like, "OH WOW! I will contact my plumber right away! With all this rain, what a nightmare!" or some such.

Then when my plumber gave me a time he could go (which mine is pretty darn good at getting to me same or next day, depending on when reported!) I would text her, "Good news! Plumber will be there at X o'clock."

Today, while I was in court at my volunteer job, I had a dryer, a washer, a stove and a dishwasher reported as having issues (all different places.)

I wrote back to each: "Yikes. Please send me make & model number!" Some were at work, said, "I'll get back to you when I get home." Some took pictures of said numbers and sent them to me. I responded, "THANK YOU! We will get our appliance guy on this!" (We don't really have an appliance guy. We have a used appliance guy we buy from.)

Point being, no one is blaming ME for the failed appliance, they are thankful I am jumping on it although note I haven't really done anything...

--50.82.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Sandy [CO]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 5:17 PM
Message:

Hi Roy,

I do a little of all the above!

1. My lease states that tenants are responsible for all maintenance, as ďMike SWMOĒ so colorfully explained. Loved your post Mike!

2. I avoid directly answering the phone calls from tenants. They will either leave a message or at the very least it gives me an opportunity to prepare and be in the right mindset. (AND, it gives the upset tenant time to cool their jets)

3. Finally, I always first thing say

ďOh my gosh!.... really?Ē

That puts you on their side, and they feel like they are being heard. Then just sit back and let them tell you their story as an interested party. I try to explain that there were no problems with the house before but that Iíll get someone out as soon as possible. And get back in touch.

If the first ďoh my gosh! .... Really!?!Ē Doesnít work and they are still aggressive, just continue to say things like ďWow, I had no idea, everything was working well.Ē And begin asking questions (politely, as if youíre trying to understand or possibly know the cause of the problem)

Basically focus the conversation on the problem.

*- DONíT use the words ďyouĒ or ďIĒ.

That brings up statements like ďwhat did you do?Ē -BAD! See how it makes anything more personal and blaming?... it fires people up. Try to stay neutral and focused on problem solving.

Of course all of this must be said in the right tone of voice. One of care and compassion and maybe say oh man thatís awful, or thatís a bummer, or thatís dEd inately a problem. Some way to communicate that you understand thereís a problem and youíll do your best to take care of it.

You can also ask if there is anything you can do in the meantime to help with situation (in this case, probably not). but say if a fridge raptor breaks or heat goes out... maybe offer to bring over a heater or a mini fridge. Sometimes just offering is all it takes and the tenant says no and is happy that you offered.

Also, I had not idea what you meant about the rain until you explained in your subsequent post that itís an electrical motor and the safety issue. It would be good to explain that to the tenant the reason you have to wait for the rain to stop. That the plumber could get electrocuted. If I heard that I would be like oh okay, I donít want to cause that.

Love your posts Roy! --45.56.xxx.xx




How to communicate here? (by LindaJ [NY]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 7:20 PM
Message:

After the "Oh cr@p" I might ask a few questions, did you check this or that, what does it sound like, can you try this... I then say, I will call repairman.

I never tell tenants why the repairman can't come. I just say, I have contacted them, they have a number of people in front of me to take care of, they estimate to be there at this time or they will call me when they have a better idea of when they can be there.

I might drive over to check it out myself and look here or there, check other sinks etc. Just to let them know I am concerned.

Stuff happens, tenants need to know I take it seriously and will get the repair done, but it might not be right now. --108.4.xxx.xx




How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 7:39 PM
Message:

This is not the first time I have had a 'communication problem' with a tenant(s). 2 months ago, I got chewed out about whose job it is to install weather stripping on the back door (that S.O.B is history now). 6 months ago, my entitlement drama queen tenant demanded I put her in a motel room when her central A/C unit stop working and she had waited 4 days until Friday at 5:00p.m. to call me about it. I got into a heated shouting match with her, which was pretty stupid of me. Then her Mother called (who was not on the lease) and another heated exchange ensued.

All of the tenants above, DEMANDED that I fix their problem immediately ONLY BECAUSE they are my tenant and they are paying me X dollars of rent each month. These type of tenants (Class C and some D's here) are accustomed to their former M & P LL's kissing their rear end in exchange for rents that were usually paid in cash.

With all of my new tenants, I make an attempt to explain to them that I am a Professional Property Manager and the way I manage my properties is little different than what you are probably accustom to. This little PM speech of mine usually does not hit home until they call me and start demanding that I fix their problem immediately.

--68.63.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 7:45 PM
Message:

Roy every one of my property's has a clean out-- most are in from of the proeprty-- some in back. If a proeprty doesn't have one we put it in-- WHY becasue we all know we're going ot get the CALL. Caps on cleanouts are upside down and only 1 or 2 treads. EVER tenant is shown the plug and how to open it. --12.190.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by MikeA [TX]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 8:10 PM
Message:

Your question is about communication and this answer isn't necessarily the best for entitled tenants, but for those who are normally calm and are unusually angry try empathy (putting yourself in their shoes, feeling the concern they are feeling). For some people, anger causes them to think irrationally so you are trying to help them through this, IE: they may be thinking they have no where to go to the bathroom for the next 24 hours. So try something like "I understand your concern, it is inconvenient to have to go to the gas station to use the restroom (which is giving her ideas for how to address the issue). Could you tell me if the tub does drain down after a while or not? ... Since it is draining slowly you should be able to flush every couple of hours if you will not run water anywhere else. (finding an intermediary work around)

These techniques are taught to help-desk technicians who are almost always angry when they call in for service. They are pretty useful to get the caller to calm down and help find solutions to the problem. --50.26.xx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 8:56 PM
Message:

Screen out entitled prospects,when I did that these kind of calls were reduced greatly --104.229.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 9:14 PM
Message:

Myob,

I think it was Ken that first suggested opening the Clean-out Port and letting fresh raw sewage flow out of this pipe. The problem here is this clean-out port is literally 2 feet away from the house. If any raw sewage had been allowed to flow just 2 feet from the house which is also near the driveway, the tenant would have called the Health dept. and I would now be in deep trouble right now. The Health dept. has the authority to condemn a house when raw sewage is present on the property.

I learned this lesson 12 years ago at another property where the tenant had removed the cap himself and never cared to tell me about it. After a few days, the stench was so bad the neighbors called the health dept and I had to pay a fine and had to hire someone to clean up the sewage spill which was the worse part. --68.63.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 9:26 PM
Message:

Ken,

I am doing just that. After I quit accepting Section 8 tenants, that eliminated quite a few of my entitlement minded tenants who got PO'd at me when they realized I was not their personal servant. --68.63.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 10:05 PM
Message:

Roy,if you had listened to her story then told her I will call the plummer right away but I know he cant solve the problem until it stops raining but if you will work with me I can solve it in an hour if you will help me? she will ask how can I help? you then tell her that you can open the clean out in the yard for an immediate fix and after the plummer is done you will get it cleaned up she would have said come and do it please. the helping you is basically not to turn you into the health dept and she will feel invested in helping to solve the problem and appreciate the help,wouldnt she rather have it outside in the yard than in her tub and not able to use it for a day or two?As soon as the plummer is done do a good job getting it cleaned up.All in how you present the solving of the problem to her to get her on your side. --104.229.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Small potatoes [NY]) Posted on: Feb 7, 2020 10:39 PM
Message:

I agree with Busy. New tenant does not know our trust you. You should have communicated that you would be over as soon as possible, even if you couldn't do anything, eyeballing it would start to put them in your corner.

Toilet backs up into tub is something I address right away. Think about how many dumps your asking them to take in a bucket in the next day,never mind people like their shower. Let roto router tell you they won't go out in a storm, that is a better answer then my plumber is a day out. It costs but on call drain cleaning is available. It might have cost you 200 more but it will be hard to right the ship w this tenant. --99.203.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2020 2:19 AM
Message:

I am a landlord with over 100 apartments, homes, commercial and retail stores. I am also a licensed "contractor" and licensed "plumbing" contractor. I know about "Plumbing Emergencies" and dealing with tenants. Communication is EVERYTHING!

Don't think this is only a "tenant" and "landlord" issue, it's MUCH MORE!

Case in point. One of my large apartment complex I own with partners. One of the partners sons moved into the property and declared themselves a "resident manager". I get an "EMERGENCY PAGE" on a Friday evening that a tenant's GARBAGE DISPOSAL is broken and the tenant is having a "dinner party" that evening an it needs to be fixed, ASAP -- like in the next hour!

So I call the tenant and find out that the disposal has been broken for the past week and finally when the tenant "saw" the resident manager on a "Tuesday", the tenant voiced his concerns. Doesn't matter that I have a storage garage in that property and stop by there every couple of days. Had the tenant left me a message as in the past, I could have fixed the disposal 5 times in the past 2 weeks when I was at the property anyways.

My next call was to the resident manager. I asked him why did he wait until Friday evening to inform me of the problem when he tenant told him on "Tuesday". In fact I was at the property that Friday Morning changing exterior bulbs in the common areas! The manager said the he let me know when it was convenient for him. I was very disjointed.

So I told the manager that in rush hour traffic it would take me an hour to go back to the property and and hour to return home. I'm not going to beat myself to death just because the tenant and manager were selfish and didn't bother for a 2 week period to clue me in... I will go first thing Saturday morning.

This wasn't good enough so the manager called a plumber. The bill for an emergency service and new disposal came to $450. I asked the accountant to pull up may past 5 disposals that I replaced in the buildings. The average charge to the property, since I was there doing other work, was $50 labor and $65 for the new 1/2 HP disposal, a total of $115...a lot less than $450.

So at the next partner meetings I told everyone that I'm not a lap dog, handyman or slave. I am an owner, licensed contractor, investor and professional property manager. If the "management team" working here on the property want's to play games, make-up excuses and be generally lazy and asleep on the job -- then you can find a whole team of workers to do the repairs/maintenance on the property.

Someone will have to be home to let the handyman inside and to lock-up afterwords. This is involve one of the 4 partners to be here almost 1 day a week to do something. No more having me to everything --plumbing, electrical, mechanical, carpentry, painting, appliance repair, glazing, flooring and everything else. I do everything to code and pull permits when necessary. We even get a 10% discount on our insurance policy -- like $2,000 a year because I am licensed and bonded.

The partners weren't impressed. So for the next 3 months I backed out of doing any of the work and let the Resident manager and partners run the show. Within a month I was called to a meeting and given a $5,000 bonus and told, "the tenants, resident manager and partners" are now willing to listen to reason and follow my advise. Three long term tenants moved out because the partners left a key under the mat and allowed an unknown handyman into units to fix things without telling the tenants and things went missing, doors were left unlocked..

Communication between the tenant, owner and workmen is a real skill and a fine line has to be followed...or else there could be a disaster in the making.

This subject matter is why so many owners are not Landlords but people trying to juggle and not manage things like a business.... --47.156.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2020 6:18 AM
Message:

Not to mention Robert how do even know it needed to be replaced? I have plenty of disposals and over 30 years Iíve only had two that actually needed to be replaced. Most are just jammed or need to be reset.

Did this ďresident managerĒ know enough to determine if calling a plumber was even warranted? I have definitely been lied to and oversold by tradesmen until I learned enough to know better- or they were just really dumb and I came up with much cheaper and practical options.

Kenís idea was great too. My tenants are instructed to remove the clean out cap for temporary relief. My tenants are told I need them to help me help them. If they are unwilling to work me in an amiable way they are made aware I have no issues with them moving.

Be firm, be fair, be confident and do your best. Good tenants will recognize and appreciate this. The relationship must be a good fit for both parties or itís not worth having. --216.186.xxx.xx




How to communicate here? (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2020 6:18 AM
Message:

Not to mention Robert how do even know it needed to be replaced? I have plenty of disposals and over 30 years Iíve only had two that actually needed to be replaced. Most are just jammed or need to be reset.

Did this ďresident managerĒ know enough to determine if calling a plumber was even warranted? I have definitely been lied to and oversold by tradesmen until I learned enough to know better- or they were just really dumb and I came up with much cheaper and practical options.

Kenís idea was great too. My tenants are instructed to remove the clean out cap for temporary relief. My tenants are told I need them to help me help them. If they are unwilling to work me in an amiable way they are made aware I have no issues with them moving.

Be firm, be fair, be confident and do your best. Good tenants will recognize and appreciate this. The relationship must be a good fit for both parties or itís not worth having. --216.186.xxx.xx




How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2020 7:52 AM
Message:

Lisa,

I would prefer my tenants, especially the new ones, not to unscrew the top on the clean-out port. (most of my tenants do even know what a clean-out port actually is, which is good). They could get in the habit of unscrewing it whenever a minor problem occurs and never telling me about it. It happened 12 years ago and I still have vivid memories of the cess pool that was created after just a couple of hot summer days.

Thanks Robert J for your confirmation that this is a Communication issue. --68.63.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2020 8:19 AM
Message:

Robert J said, "I told everyone that I'm not a lap dog, handyman or slave."

Robert: You just gave me the 'Subject line' of my next post. "Are you a lap dog?" --68.63.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by RB [MI]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2020 8:27 AM
Message:

In (fewer) words,

the door of communication, action and maturity,

swings Both ways.

Guess who should be better at all three ?

The Tenant or Mr. "I have to leave here and

go play Property Manager". --184.53.x.xx




How to communicate here? (by LindaJ [NY]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2020 8:37 AM
Message:

Roy, one of the hardest things for me to learn was to keep my emotions and mouth in check and not be a wise guy, fly off the handle or scream or threaten. Once I did learned that, things went a lot smoother with the tenants. Yes, plenty of times I left the property swearing all the way home and then vented on my husband. But the tenant never saw that.

Try to keep calm and QUIET, as hard as that can be sometimes! Try to show them you care, you are doing your best. Then if they are a PITA explain the rules after you fix the problem or get rid of them when it is convenient for you. Remember you are the better person and you can't fix stupid, even with duct tape. --108.4.xxx.xx




How to communicate here? (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2020 11:28 AM
Message:

Roy, regarding, ĎAre you a lap dog?í, Jeffrey (Va) gave you the best advice about communication, management, or being a lap dog in his SECOND response to your plea for help.

Think about it. --70.92.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Still Learning [NH]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2020 1:27 PM
Message:

ďYou canít fix stupid, even with duct tape.Ē Thanks for the laugh! --73.17.xx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2020 8:03 PM
Message:

Roy, if I didnít prefer allowing my tenants to get some temporary relief until my plumber could arrive by having them screw off the clean-cap then Iíd go over and do it myself. That communicates that you care enough to try something until the plumber can arrive.

Iíve gone over late at night in sweltering Florida weather to vacuum out clogged AC drain lines to get the system running again because I donít prefer my tenants to do it and they may not have the tools. If it turns out not to be the problem they donít get angry at me because they have to wait a day for the real AC technician to come. But they know I cared enough to try to provide them some relief.

I donít think your tenant having to wait a day is unreasonable. But I would take steps to try to provide relief before then if possible and with a clean-out it is possible so Iíve made sure to install them. Iíve never had anyone remove one for no reason but it sounds like you may have less responsible tenants. --216.186.xxx.xx




How to communicate here? (by Smokowna [MD]) Posted on: Feb 8, 2020 8:22 PM
Message:

This is a no win situation. I would approach it as that.

"I'm glad you called, I have a plumber whom I will call now. When I have more information from him, I'll pass that on to you."

When they go on and on....and finally finish.

"This must be very upsetting. I'll get off the phone now and contact the plumber".

(You could also add this one.... " How rude! You keep calling everyday. I know the sewer line is backed up...How can I not know when you have called five days in a row!")

"That buffet manager was so rude! Why he kept coming out every hour"

--74.96.xxx.xx




How to communicate here? (by Anna [PA]) Posted on: Feb 9, 2020 8:03 AM
Message:

Lots of great insight here! My 2 cents. Emotion has no place in business period! Whether it be yelling, cursing, showing anger or even crying. Problem is as soon as emotion takes over we lose control of the situation. When someone starts to yell at me on the phone I do what a mentor taught me many years ago. I calmly tell them with a smile in my voice that I understand they are upset and I am here to help however I am not paid enough nor will anyone ever be paid enough to be talked to in this way so I will make a deal with you, let's start this conversation over without yelling or I can hangup, so please tell me what you would like to do? After you say this stay dead silent. What almost always happens next is they apologize saying they had bad day ect and I say that's ok or I understand, and we move forward. By doing this I have regained control of the conversation, they have stopped yelling cause there is no reward in it and maybe now cooperation can begin. Win Win. Hope this helps someone. --73.236.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 9, 2020 8:25 AM
Message:

Lisa(FL)

So, you would have gone to this property in pouring rain to remove the clean-out port top yourself? Yes, that would give some temporary relief but it would have created another bigger problem in itself.

My plumber has told me he will not snake any drain (inside or out) if he has to setup his equipment in the middle of a large foul smelling cess pool where RAW SEWAGE is present (it is a personal health issue for the plumber). The plumber would insist that I get someone out there to clean-up the cess pool first before he can perform any his drain cleaning services. It could take several days before I can get a clean-up crew out there to clean up all of the crap (pun intended) that resulted from my giving my tenants some 'temporary relief'. So instead of the getting the drain snaked in 24 hours, it is now going to be a couple more days before that drain line gets snaked.

It is like Smokowna said,.."This is a No-Win situation".

--68.63.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Feb 9, 2020 9:04 AM
Message:

No. I would have made sure the tenant had basic instructions on handle things which I would have gone over with them when we signed the lease and would have reminded them of when they presented me with the problem. Because I donít have an issue with them unscrewing the clean out cap like you do. We have different tenants with different capabilities is all.

Like I said, responding the way you did is more than acceptable. You promptly addressed the issue as quickly as you could. The tenantís response was just annoying, sometimes you just have to ignore them. I used to let little things like that bother me too. Not anymore. Because they need me far, far more than I need them. Do your best, and let minor annoyances go. You followed your lease. Keep it professional and be glad you are not them. --216.186.xxx.xx




How to communicate here? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 9, 2020 9:46 AM
Message:

Lisa(FL)

I would love to meet your tenants someday just to compare them to my tenants.

One thing most (not all, but most) of my tenants have in common is that 'they will not accept responsibility for their own actions,...even when it is OBVIOUS they created the problem". Then add some immaturity, ignorance, stupidity to the mix and now I have defined my Class C and D tenant pool here. --68.63.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Feb 9, 2020 2:47 PM
Message:

Roy you seem to be big dealing everything lately. You are honestly starting to sound like a tenant who has an excuse for everything and a reason for not doing wheat's suggested.

Pro managers--- open the clean out (outside) when faced with this so no damage inside. Fact is there maybe a few babe ruths come up and some T/paper but nothing like it backing up inside. You even had an excuse about that though!

Now get it fixed and come up with a solution.

LOOK in a mirror as far as the not communicating-- maybe LL'ing is getting to you?

We love you ROY. --99.103.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by CX [WA]) Posted on: Feb 9, 2020 4:06 PM
Message:

Anna, thanks for sharing your de-escalation method. Truly a valuable gem! --174.21.xx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Feb 9, 2020 5:24 PM
Message:

Roy,

I know what you are saying. I have had tenants like that. But for the most part I donít now. Out of roughly 25 Iíd say I only have two that sound more similar to yours.

Examples:

1. Plumbing clogs. When plumber pulls out wipes or little white ďmiceĒ they apologize profusely and immediately pay either the plumber or me directly. And it doesnít happen again.

2. Fios guy runs a line and hits a water line inside the wall. Tenant is mortified and takes full responsibility paying me for the repairs even though they will be reimbursed by Fios. Not the kind of tenant who because ďit isnít their faultĒ balks at paying and expects me to deal with getting reimbursed from the company they hired.

3. Sprinkler head breaks. Tenant asks me who to call so he can get it repaired at his expense.

4. Window broken by soccer ball. Tenant contacts me, apologizes and asks if he should pay me or the repair person directly.

But then Iíve had these things as well:

Two houses I own are across the street from each other. To save money tenants decide only one will sign up for trash pick-up (tenant A) and in exchange for lawn mowing the other tenant who doesnít sign up (tenant B) will use the otherís trash service.

While mowing tenant As lawn, tenant B accidentally hits outside water faucet and breaks it.

Iím notified of the repair need, plumber fixes it and it cost $75. Clearly it is tenant As responsibility. She didnít feel she should have to pay because he broke it. He didnít feel he should have to pay because it was an accident. They both felt I should have to pay because itís my house!

My solution: we each pay $25.

Why? It is tenant As responsibility she is responsible for damages done by guests allowed on the property. But tenant B did break it and should have offered to cover some if not all of it. I didnít know if it was old or corroded at all and maybe broke more easily because it needed to be replaced or not. But I got a a new faucet so felt I benefitted. Thought it was a win-win. They were still angry about it and felt that wasnít fair. But they paid up. Sometimes you just canít win. --216.186.xxx.xx




How to communicate here? (by Orit [MI]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2020 12:29 PM
Message:

I understand your frustration. I will call the plumber as soon as we hang up and he will be thes ASAP. In the meantime avoid this and that... Other explanations when/if she calls again --98.250.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by mike [CA]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2020 12:38 PM
Message:

for stuff like that you say "i'm on it" and then you get on it by promptly calling your drain guy and then you GO TO THE HOUSE IMMEDIATELY to assess the situation. in the meantime tell them DO NOT USE ANY WATER UNTIL YOU GET THERE AND TO STAY OUT OF THE BATHROOM. then you go there to lay eyes on the deal. if there are baby wipes on the back of the toilet take a picture. plumbing sometimes does need a service rooting...it's part of owning a pipe that carries doody from the house to the septic or sewer. like painting or a roof. MYOB [GA] is right...know where the clean out cover is and remove it so the broth and solids stay outside (presuming the blockage is past that point). in these cases you are equally as concerned with keeping your house clean and poopfree as you are with their comfort. my experiance says they are a 50% chance of being the cause...so that means they are not guilty and are rightfully scared of the sewage in their shower. Pro-Tip...there should never be sewage in a shower unless that's where they put it

if you determine that the stoppage was their fault they get tagged with the costs, it's a lease term in my agreements. i have a whole page about those baby wipes --76.176.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by mike [CA]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2020 1:01 PM
Message:

another thought, tenants are mostly dumb as labradors (but rarely as pleasant) so YES, loss of toilets for 24 hours IS an emergency. every state requires heat, water and plumbing so be ready to deliver that as a minimum. leaving the tenant to their own means they will continue using water in OTHER fixtures and adding to the back-up causing more damage to YOUR house. we can discuss the "communications" and "feels" of the tenant but landlord experience shows us that we need to assume they will not behave in a way that mitigates or lessens the damage and if we don't fix it they WILL make it worse. like it or not these things are never convenient, and often caused by the dummies we rent to, so i simply accept that they will be a PITA sooner or later...even the smart ones.

Robert [ca}, i LOVE your posts. they parallel my own. i had partners twice and decided they were only about 10% needed, none had my ability to solve problems and ALL were too stupid to know that a $100 badger 5 does not cost $450 installed. that plumber hosing needs to come out of the share of the dope that called him after hours friday when he/she knew about the failure on a tuesday.

i often told my kids that their failure to plan did not make my emergency, my tenants get that too if they are deserving. rant over --76.176.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by cheri woods [CA]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2020 1:38 PM
Message:

Just another reason to communicate with tenants via email rather than phone, which also provides documented evidence of conversations. --104.33.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Mike, PA [PA]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2020 3:11 PM
Message:

The important thing is you responded promptly and had the situation resolved. There are no words you could have said that would have alleviated her nastiness. I have owned and managed properties for 21 years now and I have found there is a vast difference between the then tenant versus today's tenant. Then, the tenant would have understood your dilemma and appreciated your prompt attention. However,the now tenant is more demanding and difficult to deal with and as a result causing me to question my desire to stay in this business. So, in a nutshell THERE WAS NOTHING YOU COULD HAVE SAID OR DONE. --76.124.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2020 3:45 PM
Message:

I think Brad and Sid would say that all calls go to voice mail.

I always like RobertJ's responses. I think he explained it very well.

Myself personally, I would have went over and personally inspected it and called the plumber right in front of the new tenant who is having a major and unsanitary problem. I believe this would have calmed her down. --73.120.xx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by KALeg [CA]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2020 4:20 PM
Message:

Here in California the new rent control laws have villainized every landlord and dramatically emboldened the rogue tenants who think they are going to tell you how to run your property. Other landlords are saying the courts are calling out anything we do or say as potentially being deemed harassment or retaliation. My attorney says nothing verbal and everything in writing only, from the minute they move in, no matter how nice they may seem. so sad as 99-plus % of my families are good people and partners, but that less-than 1% set the tone for all business in 2020.

--67.174.xxx.xx




How to communicate here? (by Sue [IN]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2020 4:52 PM
Message:

The way I've been dealing with unhappy tenants is to offer to let them out of their lease. I explain that I want my tenants to be happy they are living in one of my properties, all of which were built before 1926 and therefor have old house quirks. And if they aren't happy living there, I understand, and will allow them to break their lease and move out. I also do things like have window AC Units I put in if the central air quits working, so they have some relief from the heat while waiting for their's to be fixed. I have electric heaters for when we have a furnace problem. I also have a great HVAC guy and a list of ones not to ever call. I have good relationships with the neighbors in case I need to run an extension cord or two to keep refrigerator and lights on until repairs can be made. It's been a busy winter and only one tenant moved because her apartment wouldn't heat up to 80 so she could run around dressed for summer. --71.46.xxx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Dan [OR]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2020 7:13 PM
Message:

Your tenant honestly have the right to be upset.

Carefully read your agreement and see if you had any kind of a clause that talks about plugged plumbing.

I certainly don't want you to misunderstand my message. I am a landlord's rent through, but I write my contracts very defensively and very carefully.

I tell them in my addendums that any plugs that happen after 30 days of occupancy by the residents are and will be the issue of the tenant and their cost for the remedy and they will be liable for those costs when they are determined by your or my contractor to be found at the fall of the residents..

(If it was unplugged before, and were no complaints and 30 days, What plugged it?)

That's the real question -that's what I have in my contracts and I have further language that enable me to charge back to the resident any and all costs due to the plug not being reported sooner if it's found that any sequential damage is caused by their nonreporting. Of any incidents in writing, they will be liable.

One thing to be very careful of I've experienced and have rental properties on septic systems and on sewer systems.

Something as simple as a diaper going down a 4 inch or even a 3 inch pipe will plug it giving you the indication that the entire line is clogged.

If the home has a clean out outside, you'll be able to open the plug and see if it is clear or clogged.

A simple cloth flushed down the toilet can cause this type of symptom. Unfortunately the same symptom comes from a failing cesspool or septic tank.

I have had rentals for more than 40 years and when you think you've seen everything, brace yourself, your find something new.

Use the process of elimination, have a professional drain cleaner clear the drain, look up with the city or the County and find out if it is connected to city sewer, contact the city to find out if there are issues. From time to time in my area you see giant pumper trucks coming to areas to clean out feeder sewer lines that are lateral lines, it is the fault of the County and the city that those lines plug. Thus it is their responsibility to maintain those.

Tried to speak amicably with your resident, and if you can stop their rent temporarily put them in a room for up to 5 days and have an agreement signed between the 2 of you giving you unfettered access to the property (as well as countless and endless entries)

until the problem is diagnosed treated completed and the property is fit for occupancy.

Believe me, the last thing you want is the DEQ sniffing around. I've lost thousands of dollars because of them.

Snake the drain, run a camera down the drain, get a video, and by a copy of the video. Get a determination as to whether it was faulty workmanship, whether it was plug because of municipal issues on behalf of the County or the city.

Or if it was done by the occupant.

It's not a fun job but if you let them know that you're on their side and you want to help them attain a desirable result. The best thing to do is to stop their rent!

The Internet is friendly for people like this and the last folks that you want is the DEQ!

Keep your money in your pocket and remember any monies you spend for them and their rent is 100% tax deductible to you as a business expense.

Stay under control of all!

To your success, keep us posted,

Dan

--71.34.xx.xxx




How to communicate here? (by Dan [OR]) Posted on: Feb 10, 2020 7:13 PM
Message:

Your tenant honestly have the right to be upset.

Carefully read your agreement and see if you had any kind of a clause that talks about plugged plumbing.

I certainly don't want you to misunderstand my message. I am a landlord's rent through, but I write my contracts very defensively and very carefully.

I tell them in my addendums that any plugs that happen after 30 days of occupancy by the residents are and will be the issue of the tenant and their cost for the remedy and they will be liable for those costs when they are determined by your or my contractor to be found at the fall of the residents..

(If it was unplugged before, and were no complaints and 30 days, What plugged it?)

That's the real question -that's what I have in my contracts and I have further language that enable me to charge back to the resident any and all costs due to the plug not being reported sooner if it's found that any sequential damage is caused by their nonreporting. Of any incidents in writing, they will be liable.

One thing to be very careful of I've experienced and have rental properties on septic systems and on sewer systems.

Something as simple as a diaper going down a 4 inch or even a 3 inch pipe will plug it giving you the indication that the entire line is clogged.

If the home has a clean out outside, you'll be able to open the plug and see if it is clear or clogged.

A simple cloth flushed down the toilet can cause this type of symptom. Unfortunately the same symptom comes from a failing cesspool or septic tank.

I have had rentals for more than 40 years and when you think you've seen everything, brace yourself, your find something new.

Use the process of elimination, have a professional drain cleaner clear the drain, look up with the city or the County and find out if it is connected to city sewer, contact the city to find out if there are issues. From time to time in my area you see giant pumper trucks coming to areas to clean out feeder sewer lines that are lateral lines, it is the fault of the County and the city that those lines plug. Thus it is their responsibility to maintain those.

Tried to speak amicably with your resident, and if you can stop their rent temporarily put them in a room for up to 5 days and have an agreement signed between the 2 of you giving you unfettered access to the property (as well as countless and endless entries)

until the problem is diagnosed treated completed and the property is fit for occupancy.

Believe me, the last thing you want is the DEQ sniffing around. I've lost thousands of dollars because of them.

Snake the drain, run a camera down the drain, get a video, and by a copy of the video. Get a determination as to whether it was faulty workmanship, whether it was plug because of municipal issues on behalf of the County or the city.

Or if it was done by the occupant.

It's not a fun job but if you let them know that you're on their side and you want to help them attain a desirable result. The best thing to do is to stop their rent!

The Internet is friendly for people like this and the last folks that you want is the DEQ!

Keep your money in your pocket and remember any monies you spend for them and their rent is 100% tax deductible to you as a business expense.

Stay under control of all!

To your success, keep us posted,

Dan

--71.34.xx.xxx





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