How to defuse an emotional situation with a tenant

When a tenant reacts inappropriately to a stressful interaction- how do you, as a landlord, handle the situation?

Emotionally volatile situations can occur in any life context.

Even the best intentioned landlord or tenant may have limits to their patience when life’s twists and turns, get the better of us.

So what do you do?

Here are some vital tips from the team at RealRenta- number 5 is the MOST IMPORTANT:

• Always remain calm and professional. Your overly emotional tenant may choose to follow your lead

• Terminate any toxic communication. Don’t say things like "just relax” or "calm down”, take actual steps to de-escalate the argument. Calmly state your purpose and let the tenant know that you want to help and address the issues.

• Take your tenant on a brief walk. Get your tenant to step out of the fog of their anger by giving them different stimuli. Our moods can be altered by the simplest of sensual cues ie, a bird chirping, some sunlight etc. Use your environment to your advantage

• Don’t relinquish your power. The goal is not to be right but to address your tenant’s grievance and restore sanity and productivity to your relationship. Your opinion is low priority right now and objectivity is your greatest resource

• Harness the power of listening and empathy. Your tenant may be in fight or flight mode: their adrenaline and pulse may be sky high. Allow your tenant to speak their piece and no matter how unreasonable they may sound, just listen. Let the tenant know that you truly hear them and just LISTEN.


By enacting these five tips, you may be able to help your tenant calm down and de-escalate a tense situation.

Engaging in a white-knuckle argument will not help accomplish any goals and neither should you just agree to everything, for the sake of peace.

Every successful relationship needs to be WIN-WIN and employing these tactics, will help you set an example of cool-headedness for any challenging life situation.

Marlene Liontis
Saturday, 1 December 2018

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