It is a fact of life that people do not always get along. When neighboring apartment dwellers are disagreeing, things can get complicated quickly. Landlords cannot afford for the tranquility of their properties to be disrupted, so the landlord may find themselves squarely in the middle of tenant conflicts. The middle is a difficult place to be and there are pitfalls to avoid while working to resolve those conflicts.
Neutrality is one of the most important things for a landlord to retain when tenants are in conflict with each other. Both sides of the disagreement must be treated fairly to avoid any potential claims of discrimination or bias. In order to do this, the landlord must openly listen to both sides of the conflict and consider the perspectives of each tenant. Depending on the nature of the disagreement, it may even be necessary for the landlord to perform some type of investigation into the matter. Hasty decisions in the conflict resolution could put the landlord in a difficult position in the long run and appear to be biased. Taking time to gather all of the facts prior to making decisions will be well worth the landlord’s effort, because it will lead to the best compromise between the two sides.
Once the situation is completely investigated and all the facts gathered, the landlord has to offer reasonable solutions to both sides. These solutions need to take into account the perspectives of both sides and may include options for both sides. Obviously, the extent of the conflict will dictate the complexity of the resolution. Some solutions may be simple, like asking a tenant to keep the noise level down between certain hours. If no other resolution is possible, the landlord may have to offer to move one of the tenants to a different unit.
When tenants are in a disagreement, it is a difficult situation for everyone involved. It becomes the landlord’s responsibility to resolve the conflict in a manner that is respectful of both sides, yet eliminates the problem. The landlord has to remain neutral and avoid becoming accusatory of either side, while taking the time to fully investigate the situation. The final solution to any tenant conflict should offer something to both sides. Recognizing the fine line that separates the perceptions of both sides and remaining unbiased in the resolution will restore peace and tranquility between the neighbors.