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Seven in 10 American renters like place, don't like price

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Staff Writer | Wednesday August 10, 2016 9:32AM ET
House for rent
Housing in America   Local rents are too high

In the U.S, 70% of renters believe residential rental prices in their city are too high, according to Avvo.


Despite high rental prices, most American renters feel happy and even lucky to have their rental. Seventy-three percent report feeling satisfied with where they live, even though 61 percent said it's hard to find a good place to rent in their city.

The majority of American renters think their local rents are too high. People living in the West are slightly more likely to feel this way, especially when compared to people in the South and the Midwest.

Seventy-six percent of people in the West don't like how high rent is where they live, compared to 71% of Northeasterners, 66% of Southerners, and 63% of Midwesterners who said the same.

Some renters believe their landlord is to blame for high rents, and others blame the tech industry for causing rental prices to spike. Twenty-four percent of those surveyed believe their landlord is at fault for high rents, claiming that their landlord raises the rent too frequently.

A slightly larger percentage of renters surveyed (28%) believe these rising rents are the fault of the tech industry.

Given the presence of tech hubs in the region, it's not surprising that 38% of people living in the West region of the United States – compared to 26% of people in the Southeast, 25% of people in the Northeast, and 22% of people in the Midwest – say the tech industry has ruined real estate prices in their city.

While the accelerated growth of the tech industry may make some unhappy with rental prices in key tech markets, many renters prefer that their landlords embrace technology to manage their rental agreement.

Sixty-five percent of renters say they like the idea of paying their rent online, and 41% say they'd like to be able to sign their lease online. When it comes to modes of communication, 43% of renters would prefer a landlord or property manager that texts with them.

Renters also expect a landlord to be responsive, to maintain the property well, to provide adequate security, and to be fair with security deposits. Twenty-three percent of renters surveyed said their landlord or property manager has refused to repair something, and 33% of renters said their current property manager is too slow to make repairs (86% believing that this is a serious offense.)

Twenty-eight percent of renters said their current landlord doesn't provide adequate security, while 37% said they'd pay more for a rental with a security system installed.

Nineteen percent of renters said they've had a landlord or property manager who did not provide adequate pest control. And in exiting a rental agreement, 25% of renters said they've had a landlord or property manager unfairly keep their security deposit, which 84% of renters believe to be a serious offense by a landlord.

Landlords and tenants alike need to stick to good behavior in order to stay on good – and legal – terms with each other.

A tenant who violates their rental agreement can quickly impact the safety and quality of life for neighboring tenants. And many renters report interesting or questionable experiences with neighbors.

Forty-one percent of respondents said they'd suspected a neighbor was involved in criminal activity. Renters also admit to their own shady behavior, such as hiding a pet from their property manager (17%), making an extra key to their rental in violation of their rental agreement (14%), and damaging their rental property without telling their manager (12%.)

When asked about subletting their rental (such as renting it out on Airbnb), 16% of renters reported they'd had an extra person living with them without telling their property manager, and nearly one in five (18%) said they'd consider subletting if they had space - though only 4% had done so without their landlord knowing.

For landlords, good behavior includes avoiding any unlawful discrimination, such as preferential treatment between women and men. Of the renters surveyed, 27% of women reported having had a landlord unfairly keep their security deposit, while 22% of men stated the same.

Similarly, 26% of women and 20% of men both reported a landlord refusing to repair something.

However, when asked about whether they'd had a landlord fail to provide adequate pest control, 23% of women said yes – while only 14% of men had had their landlord withhold pest control.

 

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