The Industry

More Americans are renting today for a variety of reasons, including demographic shifts such as an aging population and young adults delaying major life decisions. Some can’t easily get a mortgage, and others, including Baby Boomer and transient Millennials, enjoy the flexibility of not owning a home.

As a result, rental demand is surging.

According to a 2016 report from Green Street Advisors, 3.9 million new renter households will come to market over the next five years.

Our industry offers this growing renter population a superior housing option.

The emergence of the professionally managed single-family rental industry has provided residents a much-improved resident experience. By operating on economies of scale, operations are managed by experienced teams of property managers, vendors and service providers who are backed by a national platform.

The result: residents enjoy better customer service, higher quality homes and access to state of the art technology.

Our members strive to ensure that every home is renovated, leased and maintained to the highest standards.

Technology has enabled NRHC members to offer a seamless, professional leasing experience from the application process on:

  • Residents can visit available homes at their convenience thanks to self-showing lock boxes
  • Applicants can submit rental applications from their cell phones
  • Once moved in, residents can place maintenance requests online, 24 hours a day
  • For military families or others who relocate for work or personal reasons, moving is made easier through relocation services in markets our members serve

Value of Professional Management

Operational Guidelines

In October 2014, the National Rental Home Council released a set of operational guidelines for the professional single-family rental home industry. The guidelines demonstrate the NRHC’s commitment to professionalizing the single-family rental market and establishing standards of quality, safety and service for residents. Each member of the NRHC agrees to uphold these standards, and adoption of the standards is a requirement for NRHC membership.

In the once-fragmented SFR market, residents of single-family rental homes received varying levels of service and care. By establishing and upholding these guidelines, NRHC member companies not only pledge to provide quality homes and customer service to residents, but also set to raise the bar market-wide. With a growing number of Americans choosing the rental market, these high standards are necessary and appropriate for the entire industry.

To read the guidelines, please click here.

NRHC’s operational guidelines cover the following aspects of the industry:

Home Rehabilitation

NRHC members invest well over $10,000 on average per home to renovate often-blighted properties, turning them into habitable, functioning, appealing homes for new residents. The operational guidelines lay out important standards for inspection, repair and disclosure of safety information.

Property Management

With national networks of trained professionals, NRHC members place significant focus on property management and maintenance services. The guidelines provide strong guidance to promote proper licensing and training for staff as well as due-diligence and quality control measures for the property itself.

Resident Relations

NRHC member companies strive to ensure a highly satisfactory experience for residents from the first point of contact through the life of their residency and beyond. The guidelines provide important criteria for companies to ensure communications protocols are in place to inform residents of their responsibilities and address issues as they arise in a prompt and appropriate manner.

Legal Compliance

The guidelines lay out criteria to strengthen businesses’ focus on ensuring compliance with legal requirements, stressing the importance of landlord/tenant, real estate license and foreclosure laws. The guidelines also call on companies to adopt a formal Fair Housing policy.

Rental Payment Reporting

Single-family homes for rent are an important housing option, especially in today’s tight housing market. Our homes are a stepping stone for residents who want to buy but are not quite ready, particularly those who are moving out of apartments and other multifamily units, or those who are new to the area and want to wait to purchase a home. Living in a rental home allows future buyers to “test drive” neighborhoods, amenities, school districts and other features that are important to them.

To help our residents get ready to buy, many of our members report on-time payments to credit agencies. This allows residents to build their credit history while renting, better-positioning them to purchase when they are ready. The NRHC strongly supports these efforts and encourages all the NRHC members to adopt this practice.


The professionally leased and managed single-family rental home sector has made it easier than ever for families to search for, choose and quickly settle into top-quality housing across the nation. The exceptional services and technologies these companies offer provide convenience and peace of mind that single-family house renters simply don’t find when renting from “mom and pop” landlords. Our members work to bring unprecedented levels of ease, sophistication and service to the single-family rental experience.

Renting from a professional-managed SFR company offers many advantages:

  • Residents can easily view available homes throughout the nation from their smartphones and computers, using filters to find the best match for their particular needs and lifestyles.
  • Residents can physically tour homes on their own, on their own schedules, without a leasing agent present. Self-showings have proven to be very popular: one NRHC member company reports that 60% of prospective residents choose the self-show option, which in turn helps leasing consultants increase productivity while demonstrating to customers the benefits of a high-tech rental home.
  • Many companies offer “Smart Home” technology, which enables security and utility systems in the home to be controlled remotely.
  • Most companies offer residents the convenience of making payments online in multiple forms, including by credit card, AutoDraft and other methods.
  • Established SFR companies often help customers acquire renters’ insurance, moving supplies and additional services, sometimes at discounted costs made possible through economies of scale.

Finally, many of these companies have a wide geographic footprint and can often offer relocation benefits when current residents, such as military families, move from one market to another. This capability provides benefits and conveniences for customers that range from waived lease break fees to the transfer of security deposits.

Rent or Buy

NRHC members have played a meaningful role revitalizing communities by:

  • Bringing much needed capital to the ailing housing market
  • Restoring neighborhoods by making needed renovations to blighted homes
  • Stimulating local economies through hiring local workers, buying local supplies and contributing to local tax revenue
  • Providing high-quality housing alternatives to families who may not want or be able to purchase a home

The American Dream of homeownership is what many Americans strive to achieve. And for most Americans, it’s the right choice – but it isn’t always the right choice for everyone and it isn’t always the right choice at certain times in our lives. In fact, renting can often be a more appropriate option.