Buildium’s 2023 Industry Report states that 22% of renters thinking of moving out are looking for a rental with features that are more desirable or that better suit their needs than their current spot. This is particularly true among young adults, followed by middle-aged renters with kids. With only 36% of renters planning to stay in their current housing, landlords should pay attention to what tenants want to ensure that their units remain filled and their properties stay profitable.
So, what do tenants want? In short, amenities. While the particular amenities vary a bit between single-family renters, small multifamily renters, and apartment building tenants, we’ve compiled the top 12 amenities that turn tenant heads across the board.
Everyone is looking for a safe neighborhood. Before making any property purchases, potential landlords should always check crime statistics in the area. Installing a few extra security measures like cameras and motion sensor outdoor lighting is an easy fix to draw in potential tenants.
While states with hot climates legally require landlords to provide working air conditioners, in other places, it’s a major tenant head-turner. A window unit or two in your property is not a bank-breaking expense and can attract more tenants. Just make sure you’re not covering the electricity bill so you don’t have to worry about how often the AC unit is set too high.
Even in cities like New York, tenants are tired of lugging their laundry around. Units with a washer-dryer included are coveted, followed closely by a washer-dryer hook-up option. And if it’s not in your current budget to get a new unit, tenants are perfectly satisfied with an older model, as long as it does the job.
One of the most inconvenient parts of moving is organizing and moving utilities. Landlords can take the hassle of moving an internet subscription to a new location off a tenant’s plate. For landlords, adding a second location for high-speed WiFi to an already existing account can be a money-saving tactic to your advantage. Tenants will be happy to pay a little extra in rent to cover the cost of WiFi, especially if it means they don’t have to lift a finger.
Privacy and a quiet environment are more valued now than ever. With so many people working from home, being able to focus without distractions is paramount. While you can’t control the whole neighborhood vibe, landlords of multifamily units may consider putting up signs around the property reminding tenants to respect silence between 10 pm and 6 am.
The verdict is in: People love their pets. Tenants are happy to pay extra to keep their furry friends at their side. This can be a sticky subject for landlords as, yes, pets can be messy. One way to minimize damage, and ensure a quick transition between tenants, is to pull up the carpet so pet stains are easier to remove or avoid altogether.
Speaking of pulling up the carpets, most tenants prefer properties with hardwood floors. While putting in new hardwood floors is a pricey expense, the good news is that even fake hardwood floors look great—and they don’t break the bank. Or give the hardwood floors your property already has a quick and easy glow-up.
Tenants want ample parking, not only for themselves but also for guests. Being able to throw a housewarming or birthday party in their own space, without complicated parking instructions on the invitation, is a real draw for potential tenants. When you can easily host family and friends for holidays and special occasions, a rental really feels like home. Consider assigning parking spaces in a multi-family unit to guarantee consistent parking for all residents or widening the driveway for single-family homes as a way to accommodate more guests.
Automated tenant services make things easier not only for renters but for landlords as well. Paying rent or requesting a non-emergency repair should be as easy as staying on top of a Netflix subscription. Tenants prefer not to think about it at all. They just want to enjoy their home. From rental collection to maintenance and repair requests, the savvy landlord will set up automated systems that do the bulk of the labor. With this in place, landlords can focus on collecting rent and fulfilling requests, instead of fielding them.
Multifamily and apartment building renters in particular look for proximity to stores, restaurants, and public transportation. While walkable is preferable, within a few miles is a must. Being close to the essentials means tenants without cars of their own can still easily manage necessities like grocery shopping, without having to coordinate a ride or rely on public transport.
The COVID-19 pandemic certainly cemented this coveted amenity. Having a private outdoor space—even a small one—is a major plus in a rental unit. This often couples with a renter’s desire to keep a pet, maintain a garden, or give young children a place to play outside.
In particular, millennials love energy-efficient upgrades and will choose properties for this reason. See how easy it is in your state to get solar panels on your roof. In Texas, for example, you can have panels installed for $0 down and a small monthly payment that can be easily covered by a small rent increase.
While it’s unlikely you’ll be able to fulfill all 12 of tenants’ top requests, catering to tenant amenity preferences can make your property easier to keep occupied and, of course, more profitable. Many landlords find that partnering with a property management company makes investing and maintaining amenities and tending to tenant requests almost effortless.