nuisances property management guideIt’s always going to happen to some degree when you have a mixed group of people together in a building. Each one has their own way of doing things which is bound to irritate others in some fashion.

Whether that’s using a workspace for their business, or being at home at a residential property, these niggly nuisances have a habit of cropping up everywhere. In this modern era of busy lives and properties often cramming more people into smaller places, they are often right at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

And not only are they a pain in themselves for others, but you tend to find that people get easily wound-up by these and begin wanting to prove a point rather than keeping things amicable.

Not an easy situation for those managing properties, particularly more communal-occupation developments. But even those simpler properties with just one occupier can still cause issues with neighbours and other property interests.

The 5 Crackers

Before we look at how to deal with these, here are 5 top nuisances which you tend to find in communal living or working premises. Your bread-and-butter issues that you’ll come across day-to-day within property management, and therefore certainly worth knowing about even before they’re happening.

1. Smoking

For non-smokers this can be a deal-breaker, not only within any shared internal areas, but even outside where it’s still near the building or a gust-of-wind away.

And in addition to the actual smoke, the cigarette butts littered away and then even the appearance of smokers huddled around an entrance way can be intimidating.

2. Car Parking

This is becoming a worse problem over time, with people more reliant upon cars and there simply not being enough spaces. This can lead to people parking where they shouldn’t, both people within a development and complete outsiders, and an escalation of frustrations.

Dealing with it can be difficult and time-consuming, with a long process from first identifying the culprits, to then warning them, to then being able to legally act to resolve.

3. Noise Levels

These can range from a one-off gathering, to continuous noise and talking levels. People will tend to tolerate a reasonable amount of this, but once it reaches a certain point, things can turn sour.

It’s also one of those more ambiguous issues to try and quantify what is ‘loud’, with everyone having their own interpretation of this. So in a small development of flats close together, a naturally-noisy person working unusual hours may well argue they’re being perfectly reasonable.

4. Deliveries

No longer is it just the Royal Mail delivering the post every day, but all kinds of other parcel and post deliveries at every hour of day and night, whether businesses ordering supplies there-and-then, or people ordering shopping to be delivered at home.

On one side you may need to arrange easy access or someone being available to receive these, but on the other side not compromising security to the property and taking advantage of people being based there.

5. Rubbish

This is a classic, particularly within communal bin store areas where everyone can make the assumption that someone else has a magic wand to clear this up.

Bring into this any recycling items, and removing larger move-in items, and you can soon have an expensive and frustrating problem brewing.

The 5 Solutions

As you look to dealing with these nuisances, here are 5 different tools and methods at your disposal to help:

1. Letters

It may sound a bit old fashioned now, but it’s still important. Not only is it helpful to have a piece of paper to read, but it looks official and is an important method of communication to prove in any disputes afterwards.

Just watch out for who they go to, whether owners based off site or occupiers on site, and even whether hand-delivery on site is quickest and easiest, maybe even through contractors on site.

2. Notices

Whether it’s a fancy flyer or more formal notice, they can help communicate things short and sweet. They can be on notice boards on site, and even online websites and methods of communication.

It can also be through more quick updates, and separate ones alongside the above letters through people’s doors, maybe a periodic newsletter every, say, quarter.

3. Leases

This is always the bottom-line; what is stated in the lease or other legal documentation. Whether people like it or not is not relevant, it’s what they’ve signed up to.

For those grey areas, you may need legal help to see what is implied, and often ancillary building guides and communication can shape what the day-to-day basis of property management is.

4. Other People

Don’t forget who’s involved, not only those directly affected or who complain the most, but any other representatives and related parties. They may have a right to be involved, as well as it being the fair thing to do.

Having a slick method of communicating with these is also important, on these sometimes more menial management matters. It needs to be helpful and flexible, including everyone, but appreciating Data Protection issues and restrictions.

5. Good Cop Bad Cop

A final point is the way in which you resolve these issues. Because people’s frustrations and emotions are often involved, tempers can raise and irrational conclusions arrived at.

Therefore a two-pronged approach may help, one person giving the bad news straight, the other coming in more friendly and conversational trying to arrive at a sensible decision. Planning this before it kicks off can help steer things in the right direction afterwards.

Stamping Out the Property Nuisances

Don’t underestimate how these nuisances can cause issues at a property in multiple ways. Not only with the direct disturbance, but the knock-on effect to property managers spending time to resolve, or landlords having delayed lets and sales from such basic occupation issues.

So have a reality check and spot what these are, not only full-blown issues now but potential ones that could soon develop. Get speaking with people, mainly occupiers at grass-roots level of course, but also others like regular contractors who tend to spot things, and even a good risk assessor who will also think along these lines.

Then form a proactive plan to deal with, all in the right way of course, as you may well have the best solution in the world but if it comes across as too brash and unsympathetic then it can unfortunately just add fuel to the fire.

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