What Millennials are Looking for in Rental Properties

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What Millennials are Looking for in Rental Properties


We are the young 20 somethings all the way through to the very early 30 somethings. We are the tech-savvy, young urban professionals stricken with wanderlust and independence.

It’s been a noticeable trend that a lot of millennials are choosing to live with their parents for much longer than past generations have, but we can’t bum off mom and dad forever.  But, we may come home to raid the fridge from time to time.

There are 83.1 million of millennials out there in the US, and the majority of us are opting to rent than to buy.


While, a close friend of mine moved to Nashville, Tennessee with her boyfriend and opted to purchase a home than to rent, most of my friends are renters. For example, two of my close friends decided to take the renting route instead and just moved into a beautiful two bedroom apartment together.

These two friends, let’s name them Alicia and Kelly, had a list of requirements for their new home that had similarly lined up with the results of J Turner Research’s renter survey, A New Lease On Millennials. A survey about what Generation Y, the millennials, are looking for in a rental property.


According to A New Lease On Millennials, 33% of the surveyed renters said that location was one of the top most important factors in choosing a rental property.  Like many other renters out there, Alicia and Kelly were looking for a place that was located reasonably per everyone’s needs.  As Alicia and Kelly both work at the same company, they wanted to find a home that was as close to the middle point between work and their families.

Kelly’s family is located in two different parts of town, both about 15-20 minutes away, while Alicia’s family is in a different city that’s about 40-50 minutes away. The compromise? Finding a place near a highway.

Price Point

Based on the A New Lease on Millennials survey, 22% of the surveyed renters considered price point as one of the most important factors considered while apartment hunting.

While some millennials are making moves for their prospective professional careers, we aren’t all necessarily making exuberants amount of money. So, price point was definitely one of the top issues that needed to be take in consideration.  

Based on Expatistan’s updated cost of living index for Portland, Oregon in March 216, the average rent for a furnished one bedroom apartment in a “normal” location cost was $1,445/mo. The average yearly income for millennial women in Oregon is about $30K.

Seperately renting a one bedroom apartment that would run around $1,000 a month while still being able to afford food just was not an option for Alicia and Kelly. However, they were able to afford a two bedroom with their combined income.


While Alicia and Kelly really focused in on location and price, amenities was another huge issue they took into consideration.  Alicia had spent several years living in apartments and townhomes that did not have an in unit washer and dryer. As a lady that enjoys her clothes shopping, this became a huge and expensive hassle very quickly. So, in unit washer and dryer was a must.

Did I mention my generation has an affinity for all things cats? Alicia has two.  We ran into several apartment complexes that fit all of their other requirements except for allowing pets. Alicia is just not the type that would let go of her cats for a move.

There’s almost a preference to rent amongst millennials because of the simple convenience of amenities. For example:

  • Garbage Pick-Up

    • How many of you parents out there have had to badger your kids about taking the garbage out? Now imagine those same kids, all grown up in their own new apartments with the option of a garbage pick up service right at their door. Finally, they have no excuse but to take the garbage out all the way out to their front door.

  • On-Site Maintenance

    • After moving in with my significant other in the condo that he owns, one of the re-occuring thoughts I’ve had is, “There’s always something to fix”, “I wish I knew how to fix this.” and “How much is this going to run us?”.  While I can speak for myself, Kelly and Alicia we are aren’t that handy, knowledgeable or willing when it comes to fixing things around the house. So, when you have the option of sending in a call to have someone come and fix whatever issue for free or fixing it yourself and paying for it, it’s a no brainer that millennials would opt for the former than the latter.


With that being said, Alicia and Kelly’s new apartment has a washer/dryer in unit, allowed for Alicia’s two cats, was at a reasonable location per everyone’s needs, offered bonus amenities they didn’t initially take into consideration and was within their price range. How could they pass this up?

There is a projected 80 million millennials that’s projected to start moving out on their own. Now that you’re aware of what they’re looking for, what are you going to do to better prepare your property for them?

Kristin Flores is Media Manager at Rental Housing Journal.

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