Filing Complaints: A Property Management Go-To Guide

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Over 80% of property managers think they communicate well with their renters, but fewer than 40% of residents agree. This shows that, if you have complaints about what a property manager is doing, you are neither alone nor should you hold your tongue.

But, how do you go about presenting a concern to your property manager, or if they ignore it how do you escalate the issue?

Below, this article will illuminate how to file a complaint against a property management company. Through reading this post, you should be able to plan how to handle any issues that come up through your dealings with property managers. So, if that is an issue you are dealing with, read on.

How to File a Complaint Against a Property Management Company

The complaint filing process is not complex, although it may take some time.

There are many different steps that you can take to make a complaint against such a company. You do not need to perform them in the following order, but we recommend that you contact the company involved first. This will show that you intend to resolve the issue amicably should it go any further.

  1. Write a letter of complaint to the property manager in question
  2. Contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  3. Contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  4. Contact your local city
  5. In extreme cases, file a lawsuit

Any company in residential real estate should consider any complaint that you send them. After this, at the very least, they should respond with a message in some form or another.

There is a chance that you are not comfortable with contacting the property management company themselves. Reasons for this may include legal issues or personal safety. If this is the case, you can of course escalate faster.

You can find more information on each of the above steps to file a complaint below.

How to Write a Complaint Letter to Property Management

The first thing that we suggest you do in most cases is to write a direct letter to the property management company. If you have not done this and there is no impediment, you should do so. You may find that their failure is not due to malicious action but a lack of communication between you and them.

This may not always guarantee that they act fast after this. After all, you are one tenant of many who may all have issues that need resolution. Although, they should at least confirm receipt of any complaint that you send them before they move forward with it at a future time.

Any good complaint letter will not only detail the situation as it is currently but will provide useful context and remove extra fluff. We would suggest that you break down every step you wish to communicate in bullet point form.

If the company then ignores your complaint, then you might start to consider it to be negligence. You should take the issue further.

Contacting the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

The HUD acts as oversight for any issues related to housing, house ownership, and property renting. This includes a complaint about property management that you might have. They act as arbitrators when necessary and can resolve issues brought to them.

If you file a report with them, they will do their best to investigate the issue in question. Should they deem it worth investigating, they will do so and you may hear of the results. Although, circumstances may dictate that you do not receive a full report from them.

Issues that the Department of Housing and Urban Development handles include:

  • A property manager not paying out security deposits
  • Dangers to a tenant’s health
  • Discrimination based on protected statuses
  • Fraud
  • Ongoing maintenance issues
  • Problems with professional management
  • Safety concerns

Contacting the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

The BBB is an independent organization that assesses and rates businesses across the country. If anyone has an issue with a business, including a property manager, they are likely to want to hear about it.

Many companies care a great deal about their BBB rating, as it affects how both competitors and partners view them. For this reason, they are likely to pay attention if a complaint is made about them to this organization.

Contacting the City

Washington DC is a city comprised of many departments. Many of these could help you with investigating any issue that your property manager is creating. 

The city’s website has many links to report issues with how your property manager is handling your home. Examples include:

  • Reporting unlawful actions by your landlord
  • Reporting that your living conditions are not safe for habitation
  • Reporting that you are being discriminated against

Discrimination includes if a landlord doesn’t accept housing vouchers. It is also discriminatory if they restrict access to specific services or programs.

The city takes a property manager’s responsibilities very seriously. They will start an investigation if you raise concerns with them.

Filing a Lawsuit

If you report a property manager, there is a chance that the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction. If that is the case, you can always consider filing a lawsuit with your property manager or anyone else involved.

We cannot offer you advice on how to do this and instead would recommend that you contact a competent attorney. They should be able to run you through the filing process as well as discuss how they can help you and what that would cost.

What Next?

You should now have a much better idea of how to file a complaint against a property management company without a hassle. Wouldn’t it be better if you had a property manager you never needed to complain about, who would act with professional candor? Lucky for you, Nomadic Real Estate provides just that.

Our people can talk to you about what we can offer to provide you with a professional property management service. All you need to do is contact us. So, give us a call today and we can discuss what we can do for you.

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