Property Management – dealing with emotions and issues of tenants.
We have had numerous occasions when our tenants have experienced mental health issues. For example, tenants hearing voices when no one was there, acting paranoid by accusing neighbors of hacking their Wi-Fi, stealing their electricity, calling police, & plotting against them. We even had a tenant chase another with a broom because they were being to loud. The list goes on and on, but what can you do as the property manager? What should you do? The tenants are convinced that the issues are real. So, how do you handle this and still keep your own sanity?
First, document, document, and document. Take notes and photos if applicable. For example, “Bob complained that Larry is spying on him. I inspected and reviewed the disturbance and found no proof.” Write it down with dates and times. Once you have a few situations documented and you know the complaints are unsubstantiated, you can review your notes with Bob and request that he provide proof of his complaints. Requiring the tenant to take the effort to provide proof, can be therapeutic for them and hopefully helps them realize the issue might not be an issue at all.
Secondly, do not hesitate to involve the police, in fact encourage the tenants to call the police themselves. If there is indeed a safety concern, tenants need to understand that you, the property manager is not responsible for their safety or security.
Thirdly, each community has a vast assortment of social services to assist and help with all people. Look up some numbers, talk to some friends and pass on the information on to the tenants.
Forth, as a landlord and property owner, the tenant’s mental health ultimately is not your responsibility. We can do what we can but remember, it is not your problem, you are not a case worker. We do not want to incriminate anyone, but it is important they know that you are proactive and willing to strive to work out a solution. They need to know that you are following the letter of the law and doing your best to represent the owner, the resident, and the legal system.