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Renters Wish They Chose a Cheaper, Less Noisy Apartment
New survey from HotPads shows more than two thirds of apartment renters have regrets about their apartment choice

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- More than two thirds of renters have regrets about their apartment, according to a new surveyi from HotPads®, an apartment and home search platform for renters in urban areas in the United States. The apartments' monthly cost and noise level are among their top regrets.

In fast-moving housing markets, renters often have to act quickly to sign a lease, and in the process may overlook things they will later regret. Over a quarter (26 percent) of renters cited their monthly rental payment as their biggest regret after moving in, followed by remorse over their apartments' noise level (26 percent), and safety of the unit and neighborhood (21 percent). However, renters admit noise and safety were not even in their top five considerations during the apartment search.

Other common regrets include in-unit laundry (18 percent), a parking garage (15 percent) and air conditioning (12 percent) – elements that can be difficult to assess before moving in. Renter's remorse can set in quickly: 61 percent of renters who have lived in their new rental for less than three months already have at least one regret about their choice. Since most renters opt for a 12-month leaseii, understanding what features matter most before committing to a rental can help prevent some of these common post move-in regrets.

"It's important for renters to think through how an apartment will meet both their financial requirements and day-to-day needs," said Douglas Pope, co-founder and general manager of HotPads. "If you like to go to bed early, you may want to avoid a street-facing apartment on a noisy street, or if you work from home occasionally, you'll want to check that the building and neighborhood are quiet enough during the day. Doing as much research as possible, in advance of a rental tour, may help renters avoid regrets." 

To help renters better understand what it's like to live in a specific unit before signing a lease, HotPads is adding building reviews to its robust Ratings and Reviews feature. Since launching Ratings and Reviews for neighborhoods and units this summer, HotPads has published over 90,000 Ratings and Reviews.

Top 10 Renter Regrets



% of Renters Who Had Regrets About This

% of Renters Who Considered This Extremely Important During Their Apartment Search and Rankingiii

Monthly cost



61.6% (1)




25.7% (6)




21.3% (7)




49.3% (2)

In-unit laundry



30.4% (4)




29.7% (5)

Parking availability



15.2% (8)

Air conditioning



44.9% (3)

Proximity to neighbors



8.0% (10)

Design features



13.7% (9)


HotPads is the most efficient rental search platform for urban areas across the United States, with features designed for competitive markets such as map-based search, real-time notifications and detailed information on landlords and property managers, that help renters spend less time searching and more time feeling excited about their next home.

Launched in 2005, HotPads is based in San Francisco and is owned and operated by Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z and ZG).

HotPads is a registered trademark of Zillow, Inc.

i HotPads worked with Ipsos, a market research company, to conduct this survey. A sample of 409 U.S. renters in buildings with five or more units ("apartment renters") was interviewed online, in English. The survey was fielded September 5 through September 7, 2017. Respondents were a nationally representative sample of renters age 18 and older. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing samples. The source of these population targets is the U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data.
ii Over two-thirds of renters (68 percent) sign a traditional 12-month lease, according to the 2017 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report
iii Percentage of renters who indicated that a consideration was "extremely important" to them when making a decision on an apartment to rent.
iv Condition includes the age and/or quality of unit features such as appliances, flooring, paint, etc.

SOURCE Hotpads, Inc.

For further information: Lauren Thompson, HotPads,