Avvo study: San Francisco renters weary of high costs, tech boom

Real estate, Money, News

This article was created out of a study conducted by Avvo, to better understand how the law intersects with people’s lives, and the issues they face when 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 tensions in the current rental/real estate market is beneficial to the landlords, renters, property owners, real estate industry professionals, and attorneys whom Avvo serves. Go here for more details on the study, and check the links at the bottom of this article to learn more about the results.

According to a recent study by Avvo on the experiences and attitudes of renters in San Francisco, a whopping nine out of ten (90%) San Francisco-area renters believe rental prices are too high. That near-unanimous disapproval level is, as you might suspect, driven by the Bay area’s notoriously high costs: of those renting, the local average is $1,573 a month in rent, and nearly one in four pay over $2,000 a month in rent—an amount nearly double the national average of $1,051 per month.

Local demand for rentals

As residential rental prices in San Francisco continue to rise, local renters are feeling the pressure, and many are wishing they were out of the rental game altogether. When asked about the process for finding their home, four in five people (83%) said that it was tough to find a good place to rent, and most renters (74%) would like to own their own home instead of renting in general.

The majority of renters blame the huge local tech industry for rising rent prices, with three quarters (76%) of those surveyed pointing fingers at tech to explain high rental costs. Still, despite that animosity, many San Francisco renters enjoy using tech-oriented solutions for managing their rent payments. Sixty-nine percent of San Francisco renters, for instance, want to pay their rent online, while 41% want the option to sign a virtual lease.

Taking action when landlords behave badly

The high costs appear to be translating into shorter tempers and quicker legal actions: San Francisco-area renters tend to be the most litigious in the country. One in five (20%) think lawsuits are the best way to solve problems with property managers, and 10% have actually sued or tried to sue (vs. 4% nationally.)

Despite a tendency to take action when things go wrong, most San Francisco-area renters would be willing to re-think that course if they had more control over their rent. When surveyed, 26% of renters in San Francisco said they currently live in rent-controlled units. Of those renting without rent control, half of renters (50%) said that they would consider not taking legal action if they had rent control. Forty-eight percent said they would reconsider taking action if their rent was “fairly priced,” with 52% saying the same if they felt their landlord or property manager was fair in general.

Need help dealing with a landlord/tenant issue? Learn about residential or commercial lease agreements, tenant rights, or find a lawyer who specializes in landlord-tenant or real estate law right over here.

More articles on Avvo’s landlord/tenant research study:

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