Avvo survey finds Boston renters value lower rent, better security

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.

A recent survey by Avvo looking at the experiences and attitudes of renters in Boston, found that more than four out of five (81%) Boston-area renters believe rental prices are too high. Finding a place to live in general is a tough climb, with two out of three (69%) reporting difficulty locating a good rental.

Interestingly, although renters in other areas of the country with a growing tech industry blame the industry for causing rents to spike – 76% of renters in San Francisco, 57% in Austin and 58% in Seattle said this was true – less than one third of Boston area renters (29%) said the same.

Instead, many simply believe their landlord is to blame for rising rent and rental maintenance costs. One in four (27%) said their current landlord has raised their rent too high, and one in five (22%) also said their landlord raises their rent too often. Similarly, one in five (19%) have had a landlord unfairly keep their security deposit. One quarter (27%) of renters surveyed have had a landlord refuse to repair something, and 23% have had issues with adequate pest control. These findings may contribute to the fact that one in five (19%) renters believe landlords are generally unethical people.

Renters demand privacy and safety, and take action when rental issues arise

When asked what they expected from their landlord, the majority of Boston renters surveyed mentioned privacy and safety. More than two in five (43%) renters surveyed said they’d be generally willing to pay more rent if a security system was installed in their rental. Furthermore, they wish to be left alone once they’re settled into a lease, except when there is a problem with their rental or their rent is raised—and they aren’t afraid to take legal action if their landlord fails to meet their expectations. Nearly nine in ten (89%) reported that disrespecting a tenant’s right to privacy is a serious problem.

When surveyed, 89% of Boston renters also said that they would “take it seriously” if their landlord unexpectedly increased their rent; however, half of renters (53%) said they’d reconsider taking action against a landlord who upset them if the price of rent was decent, and 53% also stated that they’d reconsider taking action if their landlord was quick to respond to emails and calls about issues with their rental.

Understanding their role in a positive rental experience, Boston renters are generally good tenants. Only one in ten (11%) have damaged property without telling a landlord, and similarly, only ten percent have hidden a pet from a landlord. Fifteen percent of renters report having had an extra person living with them without their landlord or property managers’ knowledge. Less than one in five (17%) renters have had an extra key made for their rental property in violation of their rental agreement.

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:

Image courtesy of f11photo / shutterstock.com