High rates of tenancy turnover in social rented housing have increasingly been identified as problematic both in the UK and elsewhere. High turnover has been variously associated with management failings, individual vulnerability or (absence of) tenant choice. Drawing on original research into 'prematurely terminated' tenancies in Glasgow, we investigate explanatory factors associated with tenancy sustainment rates. In doing so, we interrogate the (managerialist) rationale which positions such residential mobility as potentially 'excessive' and therefore 'problematic'. The empirical findings demonstrate evidence for all three posited explanations for high tenancy turnover but also suggest that some tenants vacating their homes after only a short time may be making a positive choice. They also emphasise that, in seeking to reduce early tenancy termination, social landlords should recognise the importance of improving mainstream housing management services and the condition of the housing stock, as well as attempting to address individual vulnerability through targeted support. © 2010 Urban Studies Journal Limited.