When you’re driving around your city, looking for those bright red “For Lease” or “For Rent” signs, there are probably a lot of factors you consider. Do the buildings look new and modern? Is the neighborhood close to public transportation, a school, or restaurants and shops? But there’s one more thing you should look out for: lots of moving trucks. At first, these may seem like a good thing, because it means that units are opening up. But you should ask yourself why people are leaving at such a rapid rate? Here are the dangers of apartment buildings with frequent turnover.
It could be due to landlord neglect
It’s possible that residents leave a building often due to landlord neglect. Maybe the property owner doesn’t see to issues like termite infestations, poor plumbing, or broken mailboxes, in a timely manner. If a landlord doesn’t make creating a livable environment a top priority for his tenants, then his tenants are bound to leave quickly. Make sure to ask current tenants of buildings you’re interested in how responsive the landlord is.
Crime rate might be the cause
An increase in crime rate could also be the reason people are leaving a neighborhood quickly. Always look up the crime statistics of any neighborhood before filling out rental applications.
General safety concerns might be the cause
Even if there isn’t a high crime rate in the neighborhood, people may leave a building if the building itself doesn’t feel secure. Perhaps there aren’t enough lights on around it at night, or the rear parking garage doesn’t have doors and opens directly into a dark alley. Unit front doors might be thin and weak. All of these factors could lead to an overall feeling of vulnerability amongst tenants.
It’s important to know your neighbors
Another reason to be wary of a building with high turnover is simply that, it improves your safety to know your neighbors well. That’s just not possible when your neighbors are constantly changing. Having a general awareness of the habits, lifestyle, and personalities of your neighbors can improve your safety in your own building.
Insufficient tenant vetting might be the issue
If a landlord is pressed for income, and desperate to fill units quickly, he may not vet tenants very carefully. This is another reason older tenants might move out—the landlord is allowing problematic residents into the building who are disrupting the peace and safety of others.
Rapid rent increase is possible
Your potential landlord probably won’t tell you if he’s been increasing the rent at alarming rates, and if another such increase is just around the corner. But if you notice people leaving the building and neighborhood rapidly, ask around—find out if people are leaving because the neighborhood is no longer affordable. You don’t want to move into a place, only to have to move out the following month due to a rent increase.
Negative changes to the neighborhood
The city might be at fault when it comes to issues in a neighborhood. Maybe a new metro stop, a new business, or a new prison, has changed the regular activity of the neighborhood, making residents feel less safe. Or, perhaps there’s been a notice of construction of massive condos or a mall nearby, which will increase foot traffic, vehicle traffic, noise pollution, and possibly rent prices.
No supervision of disorderly conduct
It’s a landlord’s job to handle behavioral issues within his building—whether he does so personally, or he involves the police. But some landlords can’t be bothered with getting involved in their tenant’s disorderly conduct and leave it to the other tenants to deal with it. This doesn’t make the other tenants feel very cared for and could cause them to leave.
There are a number of reasons that people could be leaving a neighborhood or building quickly, so it’s important to ask questions if you notice plenty of moving boxes on sidewalks.