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Turnovers and Vacancies – Tenants Blaming Landlords

August 30, 2021

Tenants Looking for Better Landlords!

Are more of your tenants venting on you and deciding to terminate their leases? Are they complaining more about a number of issues and blaming you directly?

The most recent National Multifamily Housing Council tenant survey revealed further changes in tenant’s rental needs, attitudes and preferences. An earlier survey this year of Canadian renters added more insight into what renters want.

Why are Tenants Ending their Leases?

As the pandemic recedes, there will be more costly turnover for landlords to contend with. Tenants who have been pent-up, frustrated or couldn’t generate satisfaction with you, will likely be moving to greener pastures in the coming year.

The latest NMHC data may be indicating that tenants are leaving their leases due to the landlord’s manner of managing them. As if landlords don’t have enough to handle with eviction moratoriums, late rents, managing maintenance costs, and collecting overdue rent, and trying to keep their businesses running, it seems tenants are disappointed with them directly.

Good Landlord, Bad Landlord?

We do know there are good landlords and bad landlords, but this matter may not even be about that. It could be tenant expectations keep evolving and landlords aren’t maintaining an expected relationship with tenants. And with rents rising, stagnant wages, rising inflation, insecure employment they may feel the need to make a decision about who they’re renting from.

The NMHC report suggests tenants want more for their money, but they also want to complain and vent emotionally and perhaps landlords aren’t managing this aspect well enough. Add on disappointment with the apartments/houses themselves and you can see things might be souring as we head toward 2022.

It might be time for landlords to optimize how they manage tenants (easing emotional bottlenecks) and perhaps re-examine their rental properties and how they deliver service.

The NMHC Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences Report

The NMHC’s last survey report itself (372,000 renters surveyed) is available on their website for $5995 for non members of the organization. It covers many topics we discuss right here on the ManageCasa blog such as rental experiences, decision to rent factors, rent pricing expectations, apartment search behavior, popular neighborhoods, demographics breakdowns, amenities, services and more. The NMHC report however offers insights for up to 104 individual US MSA’s.

For a new mid-sized landlord or property management startup, this type of information is valuable for service development, UVP development, and understanding target markets.

The report purportedly reveals that one third of the respondents chose not to re-up a lease because they could find a better landlord somewhere else!

And this year in 2021, are tenants unfairly taking out pandemic frustration on their current landlords? Probably, however tenant expectations have changed and many landlords haven’t been able to upgrade to serve better. Should landlords have tools to deflect, decrease and manage tenant frustrations? Is that reasonable?

Actually, property management software does serve to manage these tenant relationship issues for the betterment of both parties. Learn more about how to improve tenant relations.

ManageCasa team setting up at Apartmentalize 2021!

ManageCasa team setting up at Apartmentalize 2021!

What Did the Survey Say?

The survey revealed that wanting lower rent was the top reason for leaving. Yet that’s understandable given rents are high, tenants are not earning enough, inflation is mounting, unemployment remains high, and work at home arrangements are flourishing.

25% of survey respondents wanted more amenities.

Losing tenants is a costly matter for landlords and property management companies, perhaps as much as $4000 per lost lease.

The other side of that coin too, is that landlords are often not skilled at vacancy advertising, acquiring good tenants, tenant screening, on boarding, and tenant relationship management.

A lack of video tours for showing vacant apartments was mentioned as a big negative. It’s yet one more part of the digital revolution overtaking property management — from acquiring tenants to keeping them happy.

What Do These Tenants Want?

According to this latest NMHC survey, tenants want better digital communications services, mobile connectivity, smart home services, more flexible, short term leases, a business center in building, and an improved work/life balance.

It seems exercise machines and yoga classes are considered very important too. Previous surveys showed tenants wanted reliable cellular connections, central air conditioning, swimming pools, soundproof walls, fully furnished apartments, and in-suite laundry and were willing to pay more for those amenities.

Tenants Demanding better bandwidth for digital media, which they feel is essential.  Screenshot courtesy of NMHC.

Every Year, Tenant’s Wants/Needs Evolve

Each year the survey is conducted, it reveals slight differences.  And coming out of this stressful Covid pandemic, we can expect tenants wants and needs to change. Some of these expectations are entirely reasonable given the technology available.

Tenants Want Attention and a Modern Landlord

If you’re overworked and not paying enough care and attention, then greater work efficiency is needed.  Aside from attention and showing you care about their rental experience, they want modern services, modern amenities, and a modern landlord/tenant relationship.

By not delivering specific amenities and services to them, it can mean a landlord’s units are not in demand and thus increasingly harder to lease. And tenant’s frustrations may increase complaints and turnover further.

If modernizing your rental property business sounds like the way to go, check out ManageCasa as the platform for your venture into modern property management.

By saving time and money with an easy to use, all in one software platform, you’re gaining time and resources to get on your tenant’s good side. Happy tenants equals a success rental property business.


Learn more about ManageCasa and start your Free Trial!


More on the ManageCasa blog:  Property Management Software | Small Landlord Software | Top Landlord Mistakes | Landlord Software Features | Landlord Accounting Software | Landlord Challenges | Tenant Landlord Issues | Mobile Landlord Tools | Landlord Reputation Management | Enjoyable Landlord Software | Simple Landlord Software | Rent Negotiation for Landlords | Landlord Support | Landlord Tax Deductions | Landlord Bookkeeping | Landlord Risk & Liability | Landlord Software Features

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