Cropped shot of young couple with big cardboard boxes moving to new place. Man and woman carrying big boxes and moving into new house.

What Causes Rental Turnover


Rental turnover is a normal part of property management. But, unusually high rates of turnover can wreak havoc on your bottom line and cause negative relationships with property owners. The longer a unit sits vacant, the more money is lost.

While some turnover is inevitable, there are steps you can take to reduce rental turnover, and keep your renters longer. Before you can figure out how to avoid turnover, you will need  to have a good understanding of what causes it.

There are two different kinds of factors that affect rental turnover. Factors that are inside your business that you can influence, and outside factors that you can’t control. Understanding all the factors that impact resident turnover can help you retain your residents and keep owners happy.

Outside Factors

Unfortunately, some of the reasons residents decide to move out are out of your control. But it is still imperative to understand these reasons so you can anticipate them. One reason a resident may decide to move out of their rental property is because they have decided to buy a house. If interest rates and property costs are down, more people may be considering buying as opposed to renting. On the other hand, if interest rates are high and housing costs are trending upwards you may see more people interested in renting, much like we are seeing now in the real estate market.

Another reason residents may have to move out is because of high living costs or unemployment. If a resident loses their job and is unable to pay the rent, they may have to find a cheaper place to live. In fact, employment trends are showing less remote work and more hybrid options.

Sometimes, residents will decide to leave a property because they don’t like their neighbors. Maybe they are too loud or they make other people feel uncomfortable. While this is not always in your control, there are steps you can take to avoid this. Conducting thorough background checks and vetting potential residents will ensure that you choose people who will fit in well with the community and other residents.

Internal Factors

31% of residents said the reason they decided to leave a residence was because of poor maintenance practices. As a property manager, making sure your residents feel taken care of is one of the most important aspects of the job. If a resident submits a maintenance request and they don’t hear from anyone for an extended period of time, they may feel like their concerns aren’t being taken seriously. Even worse, if the maintenance issue takes weeks to be resolved, your resident will grow increasingly unhappy with their living situation. When a maintenance request is received make sure you have a system in place for accepting the work order, and replying to your resident. Keeping residents in the loop about their property maintenance will make them feel like they are being cared for. Whether it is maintenance, leasing, rent collection, or general inquiries, making sure you are communicating and being transparent with residents will help you retain them longer.

How to Improve Rental Turnover

If you are looking for a way to improve communication with your residents, we recommend looking into property maintenance software. With maintenance software, you can keep track of all work orders to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. You can even set up automatic messaging that is sent to your residents after a work order has been submitted. By troubleshooting problems when a resident submits a work order you can eliminate unnecessary trips and improve your repair speed.With designated maintenance software all parties have eyes on what is happening with a repair. Your resident has the ability to schedule work when it works for them and everything is documented. Having this documentation can save you time and money in disputes as you can provide a record of all work orders that were submitted by a resident and how they were handled.

If you’re interested in taking control of your process, and improving resident satisfaction, schedule a demo with one of our team members to learn how our software can help you retain residents!