No matter how frivolous or unimportant a disagreement may seem, a conflict between tenants can quickly turn messy. While it’s not technically your job to mediate a dispute, it becomes your job if it impacts their quality of life or puts someone in danger. If you’re unsure how to facilitate a fight between tenants, you’ve come to the right place! Read on to learn how to mediate conflict between two or more tenants.
Prevention Is Key
The best way to resolve a dispute is to have safeguards in place to snuff out conflict and disagreements before they become a problem. Typically, tenants will argue with each other over noise, pets, trash, smoking, and other annoyances, not because they don’t get along. The best ally in these situations is your lease agreement and the policies you have in place. Clear and concise guidelines create expectations for how your tenant should act, reducing the chance of conflict and having a dispute mechanism in place.
Know When To Stay Out of It
It may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes, it’s best for you to stay out of the situation and let the tenants sort the issue out themselves; after all, they are adults. Helping every single tenant with every single conflict can cause an issue of reliance and put more unnecessary work on you. People will have disagreements, so if it’s not a quality-of-life issue, a safety issue, or a breach of the lease, it may be best to stay out of it.
Listen to Tenants Separately
Even if you think one tenant is clearly wrong, it’s best to have an open mind and unbiasedly listen to both sides of the story. Shrugging off a tenant’s concerns can make them even angrier and add more fuel to the fire. And when you listen to both sides, you get a better picture of the overall story, making it easier to come to a conclusion. Doing this also increases your credibility as a mediator and puts you in a better position to make decisions if it comes down to that.
Schedule a Meeting
Once you get involved, it’s in your best interest to start documenting everything in case a legal issue arises or someone accuses you of mismanagement. Schedule a meeting with you as the mediator for everyone to air out their grievances calmly and respectfully. If the tenants cannot come to a reasonable conclusion, you may have to make the decision on your own. If this happens, it’s best to prepare yourself for someone to get disappointed or angry, and they may even leave. But if this worst-case scenario occurs, you can rest assured knowing that you did the best you could.
Knowing how to mediate conflict between tenants is a skill every landlord should develop. But if you’ve read this article and you still can’t seem to resolve the issue, Excalibur Homes can help. We’re a rental property management company equipped to deal with awkward issues, like tenant disputes, that you may not have the time or energy to fix. Our goal is to make your life as a landlord easier by using our experience and knowledge to help people like you.