Haunted by Negative Ratings and Reviews: Revealing the Top 10 Complaints in Multifamily Housing

Oct 31, 2023 by Chelsea Kneeland

It’s almost Spooky season, and nothing brings a chill to the spine of multifamily operators quite like negative ratings and reviews.

Ever wonder what spooks residents the most? We analyzed 1,521,905 reviews to determine the top ten complaint categories in online ratings and reviews.

We’ve got the data and it’s as delicious as a full-sized Snickers being handed out on Halloween.

Top Ten Complaint Categories for Apartments

  1. Customer service - Customer service is the most common complaint category in online reviews for apartments accounting for mentions in 55% of one and two-star reviews. The customer service category includes complaints about rude or unhelpful staff, difficulty getting in touch with management, and slow response times to requests.
  2. Maintenance service - Maintenance service is another all-too-common complaint category for apartments and includes complaints about slow response times to maintenance requests, shoddy workmanship, and difficulty getting maintenance issues resolved.
  3. Communication – Rounding out the top three is communication including complaints about difficulty getting in touch with management, lack of transparency about policies and procedures, and unexpected fees or charges.
  4. Financial- Financial complaints can include things like rent increases, unexpected fees or charges, and difficulty getting security deposits back.
  5. Condition of the unit - Condition of the unit complaints can include dirty or damaged apartments, apartments not ready for move-in, worn-out flooring and fixtures, and broken appliances.
  6. Noise - Noise complaints list things like noisy neighbors, thin walls, and traffic noise.
  7. Security - Security complaints often mention break-ins, car break-ins, and poor lighting.
  8. Maintenance timeliness - Maintenance timeliness complaints are often centered around how long it takes for maintenance requests to be addressed or the length of time for follow-up after an initial request.
  9. Condition & availability of the amenities/common areas - This category was especially a hot topic during the pandemic but is continuing to show up in the top ten. This complaint category includes things like dirty or damaged common areas, broken amenities, and lack of availability of amenities.
  10. General cleanliness – The last of the top ten brings us to general cleanliness complaints which can include things like dirty apartments, overflowing trash in dumpster areas, dirty common areas, and pest problems.

So, what’s the TRICK to TREATING residents in a way that will increase your online reputation and positively impact your ORA score?

Provide excellent customer service and address issues promptly. Customer service and transparent communication still reign supreme when overcoming challenges.

Focusing on these basics will ensure your teams don’t have to fear bad reviews.

Knowing Your ORA® Score Leads To A More Brilliant Online Reputation Strategy.

Request your ORA® score today to see where you stand.