About 34 percent of U.S. adults still rent apartments, according to research from the National Multifamily Housing Council. That’s a big swath of the country, and explains why the multifamily sector remains so strong.
But here’s an important question: Are these renters happy with their apartment units? That’s the question Rent.com ponders in its 2019 Apartment Review Analysis. And the answer? Mostly.
Rent.com studied online apartment reviews from cities across the country to discover what renters are saying about their apartment buildings Rent.com ranked these online reviews on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1s being extremely negative and 5s being extremely positive.
The company found that there is surprisingly little middle ground when it comes to online apartment reviews, with renters either hating their apartments and buildings or loving them. Rent.com found that 72 percent of online reviews were either a 1 or a 5. When analyzing all these online reviews, though, Rent.com found that the average score on its 1-to-5 scale came in at 3.2.
That number, of course, is just slightly better than average.
Not all states fared equally in this online review, though. Rent.com found that apartments in Idaho, New York and Delaware earned the highest scores. Renters rated their apartments in these states with more than four stars on average on Rent.com’s 1-to-5 scoring scale.
Renters in the states of Washington and Oregon, though, gave their units the lowest average scores, with Rent.com reporting that the average apartment in Washington received a score of 2.1 and the average unit in Oregon 2.3.
Rent.com said that negative comments centered on the topics of management and maintenance, with renters citing slow response times for needed repairs as a particularly big negative.
What do renters in the Midwest think? Apartment units in Illinois scored an average of 2.7 on Rent.com’s scale, fairly low. Apartments in Minnesota and Missouri scored the same average. But in Wisconsin, the average apartment received a score of 3.9, while in Indiana, it received a rating of 3.6.
Nebraska earned the highest average apartment score in the Midwest, 3.9
Renters tend to focus on certain key issues when rating their apartments online. Rent.com pointed to the work turned in by building staffers, parking issues and management concerns as three of the most common.
According to the research, the people working at an apartment building are the biggest factor in determining whether an online review is positive or negative, with half of all online reviews mentioning them. Parking ranks second, with 14 percent of all online reviews mentioning parking in either a positive or negative way.