Understanding the Cost of Tenant Turnover

As a landlord, it’s important for you to understand the cost of tenant turnover. From increased overhead expenses to additional property maintenance, the overall cost of tenant turnover can be high if not managed correctly. Here, we’ll take a look at how to understand the cost of tenant turnover and how to minimize it.

What Is Tenant Turnover?

Tenant turnover is the process of finding a new tenant to occupy a rental property. It starts from the moment a previous tenant vacates and ends when someone else signs the lease. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the situation.

Calculating The Cost of Turnover

When calculating the cost of tenant turnover, it’s important to factor in both hard costs and soft costs.

Hard Costs

  • Advertising costs
  • Cleaning and painting fees
  • Real estate agent commissions
  • Preparation of the property for new tenants
  • Legal fees
  • Rental bond payments
  • Re-letting fees

Soft Costs

  • Lost rental income
  • Time spent interviewing tenants and marketing the property
  • Rent arrears and other unpaid bills
  • Damage to the property
  • Negative reviews

How to Minimize the Cost of Tenant Turnover

Perform a Thorough Screening

Performing a thorough screening of potential tenants gives you peace of mind that you’ll have an ideal tenant who’s likely to stay for the long haul. Screening should include background checks, thorough credit reports, and employment history.

Make Property Repairs

Making repairs to a property helps to improve the appearance. Doing so helps to create a pleasant living environment for tenants, making them more likely to stay longer. Plus, it ensures that the property is a safe and secure place for your tenants to live.

Provide a Great Tenant Experience

Providing great customer service goes a long way when it comes to keeping tenants happy. Appreciation goes a long way in creating loyalty and fostering a sense of community. Make sure that your tenants know that they are appreciated, and that you are willing to work with them when problems arise.

Set Market Rental Rates

Setting the right rental rate is key to minimizing tenant turnover. Too low and you may be leaving money on the table. Too high, and you may be pricing out potential renters, reducing occupancy. Do your research to determine a reasonable market rate for your property and its location.

Understanding the Lease Terms

Understanding the lease terms is essential if you want to minimize tenant turnover. The terms vary widely depending on state law and the landlord’s individual preferences. Most leases spell out the amount of rent due; when rent is due; the tenant’s right to possession and use of the property; the tenant’s responsibility for care and maintenance; and the landlord’s responsibilities, such as repairs and maintenance.


By understanding the cost of tenant turnover and implementing strategies to minimize it, you can save yourself time and money as a landlord. Invest the time to find the right tenants and ensure that they are given the best experience possible. This will help reduce tenant turnover costs and help you maximize your profits. From performing a thorough screening process to setting market-based rental rates, understanding the cost of tenant turnover is essential to keeping your cash flow in positive territory.

Understanding the cost of tenant turnover is an essential part of a being successful as a landlord. Taking the time to invest in finding the right tenants and making sure they have a great experience can help to minimize tenant turnover costs and increase your profits. With the right strategies and understanding, you can ensure that your tenant turnover costs are kept to a minimum.

What impact does tenant turnover have on rental property income?

Tenant turnover can have a variety of impacts on rental property income, depending on a variety of factors. For example, if the turnover is very frequent, it can lower the property’s income due to overhead and administrative costs associated with finding and screening new tenants. Additionally, longer vacancy periods can mean lost time with no rental income coming in. On the other hand, in some cases turnover can increase rental income due to increasing market rents or new tenants willing to pay more for the property.

What are the costs associated with tenant turnover for rental property income?

1. Move-out Cleaning: In order to attract new prospective tenants, rental property owners typically need to hire a professional cleaning service to prepare the residence for its next occupant. This can range from a few hundred dollars to over one thousand dollars depending on the size of the property and the type of cleaning required.

2. Repairs and Maintenance: It is also common for rental property owners to make repairs and carry out maintenance between tenants. This includes items such as painting, installing new appliances, replacing carpets and repairing any structural damage. Costs can vary greatly depending on the condition of the property and the scope of the work involved.

3. Advertising: Lastly, rental property owners need to attract new tenants, which usually requires advertising the property. This can include listing it on websites such as Zillow or Craigslist or purchasing advertising space in local publications. Depending on the size of the property and the desired reach of the advertising, these costs can quickly add up.

What expenses should a landlord include when calculating tenant turnover costs?

1. Cleaning: Depending on the wear and tear of the unit, this could include anything from a deep clean and repainting to basic dusting and floor mopping.

2. Repairs: Any minor quick fixes or major repairs needed to make the unit livable again.

3. Advertising costs: The cost of placing ads in newspapers, online, or in other media outlets to attract new tenants.

4. Nondestructive testing: Inspections to check for mold, pests, asbestos, radon, or any other potential health hazard.

5. Admin fees: Any costs associated with running criminal background checks on new tenants and conducting credit checks.

6. Legal fees: Any costs associated with drawing up new lease agreements or evicting old tenants if necessary.

7. Utility connection charges: Fees for connecting utilities such as water, electricity, and gas to the new tenant’s unit.

8. Move-in costs: Any costs associated with helping tenants move in or out, such as providing locks for the unit or packing and moving supplies.

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