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Keeping The Peace in Subsidized Housing

Let’s face it, affordable housing property management can be a rewarding yet a tough job 😉 Property managers have so many “fires” to put out on a daily basis! Mondays being the toughest days of the week where you have to get caught up on the work that you weren’t able to complete on Friday and then all of the incident reports from the weekend. Some of the incidents may involve the occasional maintenance issue, perhaps the reports are about a tenant who was upset about the tenant above them making excessive noise, or it could be they feel that management isn’t doing their job (to the tenant’s satisfaction). It’s one of those Mondays which seem to have no end.

To top off the day you have a despondent tenant does not want to comply with the income reporting requirements during a recertification or doesn’t want to sign a the EIV repayment agreement when they owe money to HUD for under-reporting or un-reporting their income.

The best way to handle latter situations is to explain (without raising your voice) that it is okay if they do not want to comply but they will have to pay market rent and/or you may have to terminate their tenancy. Their simple choices are to comply or face the ramifications of not complying. The responsibility lies with the tenant to fix the problem that has been created by being non-compliant.

There are many reasons that a tenant may not comply with the rules. Whatever the issue it is important to deescalate the situation. Conflict resolution is a must! In some situations I use levity to make the conversation smoother…sometimes that is not always the right solution. Listen to what the tenant has to say without interrupting. Then work with them to help get to a resolution. If you stay calm and reassure the tenant that you are working with them, the process of getting the correct information and working out repayment may be easier. Don’t get caught up in a shouting match and watch your body language. The best way to deal with most situations is to always be professional.