How to Handle Tenant Complaints in Commercial Real Estate

As a commercial real estate property owner or manager, handling tenant complaints is an inevitable part of your job. Tenant complaints, whether big or small, must be addressed promptly and effectively to maintain a positive relationship with your tenants and prevent potential legal disputes. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of addressing tenant complaints in commercial real estate and provide you with a step-by-step process for handling tenant complaints effectively.

Proactively addressing potential issues and meeting the needs of tenants can help prevent complaints from arising in the first place. This includes conducting regular inspections, providing clear communication, developing and enforcing policies, and offering amenities and services that meet the needs of tenants

How to Handle Tenant Complaints in Commercial Real Estate 1

Key Takeaways

  • Preventing tenant complaints is also important, and property managers can do so by conducting regular inspections, providing clear communication, developing and enforcing policies, and offering amenities and services that meet the needs of tenants.
  • Common tenant complaints in commercial real estate include issues with maintenance, parking, security, noise, and cleanliness.
  • Prioritizing tenant satisfaction is essential for maintaining a positive relationship with tenants and reducing the likelihood of complaints.

Common tenant complaints in commercial real estate

Here are some of the most common tenant complaints in commercial real estate:

Maintenance and Repair Issues – Maintenance and repair issues are by far the most common complaint among tenants in commercial real estate. If you’re not taking care of small problems before they become big ones, you’re probably going to have a hard time keeping your tenants happy.

Security Concerns – Security concerns are a common tenant complaint in commercial real estate. In the case of warehouse and office space, security is often a major concern for tenants. For example, if there is no security guard or other visible security presence at the property, it can be intimidating to tenants who are looking for safe and secure places to work.

Noise Complaints – Noise is a common complaint in commercial real estate, and it can be an incredibly difficult issue to tackle. It can be difficult to determine whether or not noise issues are actually happening, and if they are, what causes them. For example, if tenants claim that the building’s heating system is too loud and they can hear it even when they’re not in their office, you may have to install soundproofing materials to get rid of the noise.

But if there is no soundproofing material available and the tenants continue to complain about the noise, then you may have to replace your heating system altogether. If they complain about the noise coming from other businesses on your property, then you’ll need to work with those businesses’ managers to find a solution for both parties involved. If not quickly resolved, this can affect the productivity of workers and can even be a violation of noise control act.

Parking Issues – Parking issues are a common complaint among commercial tenants, as well as landlords and property managers. Parking can be a tricky topic because it’s often a deal breaker for tenants who are looking for space in an area where there is limited parking for employees and visitors. But the problem isn’t just about finding enough spaces—it’s also about making sure those spaces are safe, accessible and available to both employees and visitors.

For landlords who own or manage commercial real estate, it’s important to understand that parking is an issue that can affect your bottom line in a big way: not only will you lose out on potential tenants, but you could also have a bad reputation if your current tenant leaves because they can’t find adequate parking near their business location.

Communication Issues – In commercial real estate, tenants are often not being listened to and are being treated as a commodity rather than a valued client. One of the most common complaints is that landlords will not respond to phone calls or emails in a timely manner. In addition, many tenants have found it difficult to get their landlords on the phone when they need them. This leads to an overall feeling of frustration among tenants in commercial real estate.

All of these complaints can have serious negative impacts on tenant satisfaction, and therefore on the overall success of a commercial real estate property. It’s the Property manager’s job and the owners to address these concerns promptly and effectively to prevent tenant turnover and maintain a positive relationship with tenants.

If concerns are fixed immediately, the better.

How to handle tenant complaints effectively

Handling tenant complaints effectively is essential for maintaining a positive relationship with tenants and ensuring the success of a commercial real estate property. Here are some steps to follow to handle tenant complaints effectively:

Active Listening and Empathy: As a landlord, you may experience complaints from your tenants. Complaints can be about anything, but they all have one thing in common: they’re not fun to deal with. And while there’s no way to completely avoid them, there are some steps you can take to make sure that when they do come up, they don’t cause any lasting damage. When you’re talking to a tenant who is complaining about something (or someone), the best thing you can do is listen attentively and try to understand where the tenant is coming from.

You might think that this will only make things worse for you—after all, it seems like if someone is complaining about something, that means it’s your fault—but often times when people complain about something or someone else, what they’re really trying to say is “I’m frustrated.” And if you can help them understand why they are frustrated in a way that makes them feel heard and understood, then the rest of the conversation will go much smoother.

Receiving the Complaint and Acknowledging it: As a landlord, it can be difficult to know how to receive a tenant complaint. In fact, you may feel that you are doing something wrong if you are receiving tenant complaints. However, the truth is that tenants have every right to complain about their working conditions and to seek out solutions for those issues. While it may be uncomfortable for you to hear about problems with commercial rental properties or a rental property, it is important that you listen attentively and respond positively in order to maintain good relations with your tenants.

When receiving a complaint from a tenant, it is important that you respond quickly and with courtesy. When responding to a tenant’s concerns, keep in mind that they are likely frustrated and looking for answers. You should acknowledge this by saying “Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention” or “Thank you for letting me know about this issue so we can address it quickly.”

This shows the tenant that their concerns are taken seriously by management and will help them feel more comfortable about being honest when discussing issues further with other members of management staff who may need more information before making any changes and addressing any other issues at the same time.

Gathering Information and Investigating the Issue: After acknowledging the complaint, gather as much information as possible about the issue. This may involve inspecting the property, reviewing relevant documents, or speaking with other tenants or service providers. Investigating the issue helps to determine the root cause and identify potential solutions.

Providing a Solution or Proposing a Plan of Action: Once you’ve gathered all the information, it’s time to provide a solution or propose a plan of action. It’s important to discuss the proposed solution with the tenant and ensure that they are satisfied with it. If the solution is not feasible, it’s crucial to work with the tenant to find an alternative that meets their needs.

Following up with the Tenant: Finally, when you’ve addressed the complaint and the tenant’s concerns, it’s important to follow up with them. This is a great chance to remind the tenant that you’re always there for them if they have any issues or concerns. If you’ve done everything right and handled their complaint professionally and appropriately, then chances are, this will keep tenants happy with your response as well!

Are you curious about your responsibilities as a tenant or landlord? Get informed with my article! From start to finish, it’s designed to provide the answers and guidance you need. Check it out now for more information.

Strategies for preventing tenant complaints

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. The same holds for tenant complaints in commercial real estate. By implementing some proactive measures, property managers can reduce the likelihood of tenant complaints. Here are some strategies for preventing tenant complaints:

Regular Inspections and Maintenance: One of the most crucial factors in maintaining tenant satisfaction and reducing the likelihood of complaints is regular inspections and maintenance of the property. As a property manager, it’s important to conduct regular inspections to identify potential issues and address them before they become major problems. This includes fixing broken fixtures, repairing damaged walls, and addressing any issues with HVAC systems or plumbing.

Regular inspections and maintenance also demonstrate to tenants that you are committed to the upkeep of the property and their well-being. Neglecting maintenance issues can lead to a decline in the quality of the property, which can lead to complaints and potential tenant turnover. A well-maintained property, on the other hand, can attract and retain tenants, ultimately leading to increased occupancy rates and revenue.

When conducting inspections, it’s important to be thorough and pay attention to detail. Look for any signs of wear and tear, damage, or potential hazards. For example, if you notice a crack in a wall, it’s important to address it promptly before it becomes a more significant issue. Similarly, if you notice a leaky faucet, it’s important to fix it right away to prevent water damage and mold growth.

In addition to conducting regular inspections, property managers should also prioritize preventative maintenance. This includes tasks such as changing air filters, cleaning gutters, and servicing HVAC systems. By taking preventative measures, property managers can identify and address potential issues before they become major problems, which can save time and money in the long run.

Clear and Timely Communication: Maintaining effective communication is essential for building and maintaining positive relationships with tenants in commercial real estate. Property managers must provide clear and timely communication regarding any issues or changes in the property. This includes regularly sending newsletters or emails, hosting town hall meetings, and providing tenants with a point of contact for inquiries or concerns. Last but not least, a responsive and approachable point of contact can make tenants feel heard and valued, contributing to a positive tenant experience. In short, clear and timely communication can go a long way in preventing tenant complaints and building strong relationships with tenants.

Develop and Enforce Policies: This is the best way to avoid tenant complaints is to develop and enforce policies that promote the health, safety, and welfare of tenants. A good policy should address issues that tenants complain such as fire safety, cleanliness, and pest control. Make sure your tenants understand that they are responsible for keeping their units in good condition and cleaning up after themselves.

Your next step is to make sure all employees know what the policy is and how it should be enforced. This includes management staff, maintenance workers, janitors, building managers, etc. Ideally, these individuals will receive training on how to deal with tenant issues so they can respond appropriately when a complaint arises.

Last but not least, you should make sure that you have a system in place for dealing with complaints as quickly as possible so that your tenants feel like their concerns are being addressed promptly and fairly. The longer you take to respond to complaints or fix problems that arise, the more likely it is that your tenants will become unhappy with their situations and consider moving out early on their lease agreement rather than sticking around until their lease expires.

Offer Amenities and Services:

In commercial real estate, offering amenities and services can also be a great way to prevent tenant complaints and improve overall satisfaction. Here are some strategies for doing so:

  1. Provide high-speed internet: To stay competitive, businesses need the fuel of fast and reliable internet. That’s why offering secure high-speed connections in your leases are key to keeping tenants happy with their rental experience.
  2. Offer cleaning services: Maintaining a spotless environment in communal areas and restrooms can be difficult for businesses to uphold. However, investing in regular professional cleaning services will ensure that employees, customers, or visitors never have an unhygienic experience – protecting the business’s reputation.
  3. Provide parking: When it comes to commercial real estate, parking can often become a problem. To keep tenants happy and avoid any potential disputes, landlords should consider providing designated parking spaces or investing in building an accompanying garage – both are surefire ways of taking the stress out of finding somewhere to park.
  4. Offer 24/7 access: Businesses that are open all day, every day can ensure their customers’ complete satisfaction no matter when they need to use the space. Around-the-clock access provides convenience and peace of mind for everyone involved.
  5. Have a maintenance team: Having a maintenance crew that responds quickly to issues can result in satisfied customers and prevent any potential frustration with repair matters. A proactive approach is key when it comes to providing top-notch service.
  6. Offer meeting rooms: Offering meeting rooms as part of the lease agreement can be a great way for businesses to ensure their presentations and client meetings are successful. Having an easy option for reserving spaces helps avoid potential headaches associated with limited space or availability — making sure everyone has somewhere productive to meet.
  7. Provide on-site amenities: For businesses looking to get ahead, having on-site amenities like a coffee shop or fitness center can be the extra edge they need. Not only will workers appreciate being able to enjoy these conveniences while working, but it also prevents any complaints about limited options in the area.

Preventing tenant complaints in commercial real estate requires a proactive approach from property managers. By regularly inspecting the property, providing clear communication, developing and enforcing policies, and offering amenities and services, property managers can reduce the likelihood of tenant complaints and maintain a positive relationship with tenants.

How to Handle Tenant Complaints in Commercial Real Estate FAQs

Why is it important to address tenant complaints in commercial real estate?

Addressing tenant complaints in commercial real estate is crucial for maintaining a positive relationship with tenants and ensuring the success of the property. By addressing complaints promptly and satisfactorily, property managers can prevent tenant turnover, maintain occupancy rates, and protect the reputation of the property. dismissing

What are some common tenant complaints in commercial real estate?

Some common tenant complaints in commercial real estate include issues with HVAC systems, plumbing, maintenance, parking, security, noise, and cleanliness. These complaints can be problematic as they can disrupt tenant satisfaction and lead to negative reviews, decreased occupancy rates, and lower rents.

How can property managers effectively handle tenant complaints?

Property managers can effectively handle tenant complaints by actively listening and empathizing with the tenant’s concerns, with genuine concern, acknowledging the complaint, gathering information, providing a solution or proposing a plan of action, and following up with the tenant to ensure that the issue has been resolved to their satisfaction.

What steps should be taken when receiving a tenant complaint?

When receiving a tenant complaint, property managers should actively listen and show empathy, acknowledge the complaint, gather information and investigate the issue immediately, provide a solution or propose a plan of action, and follow up with the tenant to ensure that the issue has been resolved to their satisfaction.

How can property managers prevent tenant complaints from occurring in the first place?

Property management, especially Property managers can prevent tenant complaints from occurring in the first place by conducting regular inspections and addressing maintenance issues, providing clear and a timely manner of communicating with tenants, developing and enforcing policies that promote a positive tenant experience, and offering amenities and services that meet the needs of tenants.


As we’ve seen, tenant satisfaction is key to creating a positive experience in commercial real estate. Property managers and property owners can improve tenant satisfaction by regularly conducting inspections, providing clear and concise communication of policies, adding features that appeal to tenants, and addressing, building maintenance issues quickly and effectively. Now that you have all the information from this post, the next step is to take action. Show your tenants you’re serious about keeping them happy by putting these strategies into practice. If you still have questions or need professional advice specific to your situation, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. 

Let us help you create and sustain your successful real estate business—call or schedule a free consultation today! At toljcommercial, we provide all the information on commercial real estate trends and solutions you need to ensure your success—we can’t wait to hear from you!

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