Why Do Tenants Leave Good Units?
Updated: Sep 4
In your career as a landlord, it can be perplexing when tenants choose to leave well-maintained and desirable rental units. Understanding the reasons behind tenant turnover is crucial for addressing potential issues and improving tenant retention in the future. While it's natural for some tenants to move due to life changes, there are common factors that can contribute to tenants leaving even when the unit itself is considered good.
Let’s explore together some of the main reasons why tenants choose to move out of seemingly good rental units.
Affordability And Financial Circumstances
One of the primary reasons tenants leave perfect units is affordability. Changes in financial circumstances, such as job loss, reduced income, or increased expenses, can make it challenging for tenants to sustain rental costs in the long run. Even if the unit is well-maintained and offers desirable features, tenants may opt to search for more affordable housing options that better align with their current financial situation.
In this case, if you really don’t want the tenant to vacate, you can offer a temporary rent reduction until they get back on their feet. Discuss with your tenant and see if there’s anything you can do about it.
Lack Of Flexibility Or Customization Options
While a unit may be considered good overall, tenants may still feel limited in terms of personalization and customization. Some renters may prefer the flexibility to make minor modifications to their living space, such as painting walls or installing shelves.
If a property they are currently renting has strict restrictions on alterations or lacks opportunities for personalization, tenants may choose to leave in search of a unit that better aligns with their desire for a personalized living environment. As many people want their space to reflect their personality and feel at home.
Changes In Lifestyle
Tenants' lifestyles or housing needs may evolve over time, prompting them to seek alternative housing options. For example, a prospect who originally rented a unit as a single individual may eventually start a family and require more space for other people to live in. According to this property management company, changes in employment or educational opportunities may necessitate a move to a different location which will force them to vacate your property. Life changes and evolving needs can lead tenants to leave even when the current unit is considered good, as they prioritize finding a housing situation that is more on the same page with their new requirements.
While some of these factors are beyond a landlord's control, maintaining positive relationships with tenants and providing support during the transition can leave a lasting impression and encourage them to speak positively about their rental experience.
Maintenance and Repair Issues
Don’t think that just because the property is in good condition, there’s never going to be problems that affect it. Even in good rental units, maintenance and repair issues can arise, in cases in which tenants expect prompt and efficient resolution of any problems that take place during their tenancy.
If maintenance requests are consistently delayed or repairs are not completed to their satisfaction, the prospects may feel frustrated and opt to leave the unit. Proactive maintenance and responsive communication are vital to addressing tenant concerns and ensuring their satisfaction, reducing the likelihood of them seeking alternative housing options.
Problem With The Neighbors
Some tenants will move due to issues and disputes with neighbors or other tenants. They may have noise complaints, feel unsafe around a neighbor, or constantly butt heads with other individuals that live nearby. It’s safe to say that every tenant wants to be able to enjoy their home in peace and will leave if they are uncomfortable.
While you cannot control the next-door neighbors, you can control the type of tenant you put into your property. It’s key to remember how much putting quality tenants in your rentals can matter at the end of the day. One bad tenant could quickly cause good tenants to move out of your property, leaving you hanging dry.
Desire For Upgrades And Better Amenities
Even if a unit is considered nice, tenants may have a desire for upgrades or access to better amenities that your property might not offer. As their needs or preferences evolve, tenants may seek features like updated appliances, modern finishes, or additional community facilities like pools, gyms, or parks. If a rental property does not meet their changing expectations, they might choose to move to a property that suits their desired lifestyle or offers improved amenities.
To mitigate this, landlords can consider periodic updates or renovations to keep their units competitive in the market and address evolving tenant expectations.
Opportunity For Homeownership
Some tenants may leave good rental units when they feel financially ready or find an opportunity to finally purchase their own homes. The desire for homeownership and the prospect of building equity can motivate tenants to transition from renting to owning, even if they are content with their current living situation.
Owning a home provides a sense of stability and long-term investment that renting cannot always offer. It allows individuals to personalize their living space, make renovations according to their preferences, and build equity as the property appreciates in value.
Tenant turnover in good units can be attributed to various factors as we’ve listed above, but by understanding these reasons, landlords can take proactive measures to address potential concerns and improve tenant retention.
A property manager who is striving for a balance between meeting tenant expectations and providing a positive living environment can help minimize tenant turnover and create a stable and thriving rental community.
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