When you reach out to your landlord, the most likely way to hear back from them is to be courteous and professional. If you want to hear back from them promptly, be nice. Whether it’s a maintenance issue in your apartment, a noise complaint from a nearby tenant, or just a general question about your lease, landlords should be accessible and receptive to their tenants’ calls, texts, emails or other communications. More likely if you're nice, they will be too.
Here are some ways to act so your landlord will be more responsive to you.
1. Give Them the Benefit of the Doubt
Landlords are busy people, so it may take them a bit to get back to you, especially if they own or manage several properties. They have jobs, responsibilities and administrative tasks they handle on a daily basis. You are only one tenant so don’t let your temper flare if it takes a day or two to get back to you. You’re not the only one calling so patience is important.
2. Be Pleasant When you Reach Out
No one likes to receive a nasty voicemail, accusatory text or an attacking email. If you preface your comments with a kind tone, that may be the best way to get a prompt response. When you establish contact, identify yourself, provide a kind greeting of some sort, and then identify the issue clearly and without melodrama.
3. Clearly Explain What you Need from Them
If the dishwasher isn’t working, or if the air conditioner is making a clicking noise, or if you don’t have any hot water, clearly explain what you need serviced. Simply lay out what the issues are and when you can make yourself available to have a service provider in your unit. Don’t go on and on about how this is the tenth time the dishwasher has broken and you’re going to have a fit. Be mature and straightforward. It’s understandable that you may be upset if the appliance keeps malfunctioning.
Remember, there is a person on the other side of your text, email or phone call who has the power to help. If you get nasty, mean or overly-accusatory they won’t be in a rush to help. No one likes conflict.
4. Keep Correspondence Brief and to the Point
If your landlord picks up your voicemail and it says it’s a 7-minute rambling message, more likely than not, he or she isn’t going to listen to it. Keep it brief and to the point. Don’t get overly emotional. Explain why you’re calling, what you need and that you appreciate hearing back. The landlord or property manager has a lot on their plates; call or contact them with your name, issue and how to reach you.
5. Clearly Provide your Contact Information, and Provide it Again
Don’t assume that your landlord has all your contact information. When you contact them, clearly leave your phone number twice as well as your email. Some people may prefer to text your or email instead of call. Make sure they have all the information to reach you so that they aren’t scrambling to find a way to get back in touch.
6. After 24 hours, Follow-Up Again
A reasonable amount of time to hear from your landlord is 24-48 hours. Don’t bug them unless it’s a safety emergency. After 24 hours, try and call them again. If you called them in the morning, perhaps a late afternoon call the following day may be a better time. You can also follow-up with a text and an email.
7. Ask your Landlord Their Preferred Method of Contact
After you resolve the issue, it may be a good time to ask your landlord about their preferred way to communicate. You can act like you are accommodating their schedule and they will appreciate that you care.
Keeping the Conversation Open
You may not be your landlord’s only tenant so be patient if you are waiting to hear back. Remain courteous and calm because if you appear nasty or accusatory, this may prolong hearing back from your landlord.
Typically, it can take up to 24 hours for your landlord to get back in touch.
Always try and remember that you get more bees with honey. Being nice goes a long way. You may want to ask your landlord the preferred method of contacting them should there be an issue. Ask if they prefer to be contacted by calling, via text or email.
Erica Lamberg is a freelance business and personal finance writer.
*Contributions are solely guest opinions and don’t reflect the opinions of or are endorsed by WYL, our staff, clients or other interested parties.