Eight in 10 Seattle renters believe rental prices too high; more than half blame tech industry for spiking rents, Avvo study finds

Survey explores the Seattle rental market and the impact of high rent, technology, and economic growth on both local and national landlords and tenants

Seattle, Wash — Online legal services provider Avvo today released the results of a study on the experiences and attitudes of renters in Seattle, finding that more than eight in ten (83%) Seattle area renters believe rental prices are too high. When surveyed, the average tenant in Seattle pays $1,251 per month, as compared to the national average of $1,051 per month.

Seattle renters are feeling the pressure as prices continue to rise, and many are wishing they were out of the rental game altogether. When asked about the process for finding their home, nearly three-quarters (72%) said that it was tough to find a good place to rent. More than two in three (68%) renters would like to own their own home instead of renting in general. Some blame the growing local tech industry for causing rents to spike. Over half (58%) of renters surveyed think the tech industry is to blame for rising home and rental prices.

Although Seattleites generally like their landlords or property managers – 77% of renters surveyed believe them to be “generally good people” – many Seattle residents believe that their landlords aren’t helping with the high rent problem. One in three (33%) said their landlord has raised their rent too high. One in four (24%) said their landlord doesn’t provide adequate security, and 37% of renters surveyed reported that they’d be willing to pay more if their rental had a security system installed.

Taking action against bad neighbors and misbehaving landlords

Known as the “Seattle freeze,” Seattleites have a reputation for sticking to their established friends and habits in lieu of bringing new people into their circle, and don’t care to make friends with neighbors. But there’s hope – only fifteen percent of Seattle renters dislike most of their neighbors, although one in three (33%) have had an argument or fight with a neighbor. Nearly half of Seattle area renters (45%) have suspected a neighbor of criminal activity at some point.

When Seattle renters aren’t happy with a situation, they expect their landlord to help out, and aren’t afraid to pursue legal action if necessary. One in five (20%) said their landlords haven’t helped them resolve issues with neighbors, and think lawsuits are the best way to solve problems with property managers. Twenty-two percent think property managers are generally unethical people.

For additional resources about residential or commercial lease agreements, tenant rights, or to find a lawyer who specializes in landlord-tenant or real estate law in your area, visit www.avvo.com.

About this study

Avvo conducts periodic studies of topics at the intersection of lifestyle and the law to better understand the issues facing individuals engaging with attorneys and the legal system. Given that nearly every working adult pays rent and/or taxes on property, and that real estate law represents one of the largest and most routine needs for legal help in the United States, understanding the tensions in the current rental/real estate market between is beneficial to the landlords, renters, property owners, and real estate industry professionals and attorneys whom Avvo serves.

“Avvo is committed to understanding American social and cultural experiences so that we can better understand the people we seek to help,” said Nika Kabiri, Director of Strategic Insights at Avvo. “Millions of consumers seek legal help on Avvo every day and we want to interact with them in meaningful ways. We conduct several consumer studies every year to learn more about what matters to them.”

Avvo offers consumers legal help on-demand with fixed-fee, limited scope legal services from a local, experienced attorney of their choice, such as an advice session with an attorney specializing in landlord-tenant or real estate law, legal review of an eviction notice, or legal counsel in creating a residential lease agreement. Avvo lawyers additionally answer questions about residential or commercial property, lease agreements, landlord-tenant and real estate law in the company’s Q&A forum for free every day, and are featured in the Avvo directory, which includes consumer reviews and detailed profiles for 97% of licensed attorneys in the United States.


These are findings from a Research Now poll conducted in June 2016. For the survey, a sample of over 1,000 U.S. renters age 18 and over was interviewed online, with boosts to reach 500 respondents in Seattle, 501 in San Francisco, 504 in Boston, and 389 in Austin. The precision of Research Now is measured using a nonprobability sampling. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for all respondents.

About Avvo, Inc.

Avvo helps people find and connect with the right lawyer through industry leading content, tools and services. Founded in 2006 in Seattle, Avvo provides transparent information about attorneys, with Avvo-rated profiles for 97% of practicing lawyers in the United States. A free Q&A forum with more than 8 million questions and answers and on-demand legal services that provide professional counsel for a fixed cost, make legal faster and easier. For more information on how Avvo helps people through legal issues from research to resolution, visit www.avvo.com.