My last Tuesday Savvy Tenant Post was snarky because I had spent hours cleaning a stove, refrigerator, a shower, mini-blinds, windows, and base and case in a place that was deemed “very dirty” by someone who wasn’t even there in person to see it and seemed determined to nit pick until we let them out of the lease they had signed.
I was upset.
They were upset. My husband was upset. Everyone was upset.
Today, we are getting along just great. Fabulously, in fact. Mr. moved in happy and satisfied and relieved, or so it appeared.
So what changed?
We did get an e-mail from the couple. It was snarky, too. There were demands. There were complaints. There were accusations.
The reason things didn’t go downhill from there: we began taking out the emotion.
I copied the text of the e-mail and pasted it onto a blank text document and then removed the statements that were laced with mistrust or anger or that were downright rude. Then I printed it out so that we could see the real issues.
Their real issues were few and relatively simple. They basically were worried about high electricity bills, bugs, and a lack of respect.
So we addressed those issues. At first our email was chock full of all the stuff that we wanted to tell them loudly and clearly about what their responsibilites and options were and why. Again, we printed out the draft and started taking out the emotions and
We sent an email that opened the way for us to meet the young man at the house on a Saturday morning. We went above and beyond caring for their concerns and had a frank discussion about mutual respect and you know what?
Everyone was happy again!
Things have continued to stay on a smooth path. The Mrs. isn’t here yet, so there is still an element of the unknown yet to face. However, I think we have demonstrated that will we act in good faith, and I have every reason to think they will continue to do so as well. Mr. was a day early with this month’s rent, and delivered with a smile. I asked if everything was okay over there, and he said it was wonderful.
So, if you are dealing with issues with your landlord, (and obviously this applies equally to landlords having issues with tenants; we are only human after all) try being Spock-like. Take out the emotion. Take out the blame and the accusations and get rid of that ball in the pit of your stomach or the steam rolling out of your ears.
Then look at the facts. Deal with them calmly and in a business-like fashion. Look for win-win solutions.
You may have to be the one to step up to the plate and put the dialog on a different plane. Which might not be easy. But it is easier than a legal battle and/or moving, isn’t it?