Woman on her apartment patio balcony with her dog

Must-Have Rental Amenities To Make Your Rental Stand Out

Rental amenities often make or break a potential tenant’s decision to sign a lease, so they are a valuable investment for landlords looking to increase their rental income or raise the quality of their tenants. 

As the demand for rental units continues to increase steadily, the number of potential tenants combing through your rental listings is also increasing. One way to beat out the competition is to offer more amenities at your property, but it can be difficult to know which ones are most important.

We pulled the most popular amenities for each region in the country featured in rental listings over the last two years. These findings can help you decide which amenities to highlight in your rental listings or what amenities to add during a remodel.

Our key findings:

  • Range ovens, dishwashers, and washers are the most common rental amenities.
  • The top three amenities in the midwest include hardwood floors, on-site laundry facilities, and dishwashers.
  • The most popular amenities in the northeast include range ovens, hardwood floors, and dishwashers.
  • Range ovens, dishwashers, and central air are top amenities in the southeast.
  • Landlords in the southwest most commonly list central air, range ovens, and dishwashers in their listings.
  • Top rental amenities in the west include range ovens, dishwashers, and garbage disposals.

What Is an Amenity?

An amenity is anything considered nonessential for a rental. They aren’t necessary for day-to-day living, but they make life easier and more enjoyable for your tenant. 

For example, a working kitchen needs appliances that work. But a stainless steel fridge with an indoor water filtration system or a six-burner gas stove is considered an apartment amenity. 

While they aren’t required for daily living and may not initially factor into a potential tenant’s apartment search, the presence of amenities often sways their decision to sign a lease. As a result, it’s crucial for landlords to play up amenities in their properties to attract tenants.

Often, landlords add the cost of amenities to the monthly rent. So, for example, a tenant wouldn’t pay a separate fee for a washer and dryer. Instead, their monthly rent would be higher. In some cases, however, renters who use the amenity may be charged an extra monthly fee to opt in, like in the case of a pet fee or designated parking space.

What Are Common Amenities?

Types of amenities are often categorized into two kinds: in-unit and community amenities. Examples of amenities are listed below.

In-Unit Amenities

In-unit amenities are contained within the apartment itself and are utilized only by the tenant and their guests. 

During the pandemic, in-unit amenities took on a newfound importance with renters who were no longer able to access community amenities like pools or fitness centers. As a result, many are choosing to focus their apartment search on amenities they can enjoy without leaving their home.

List of top 10 amenities in the U.S.

Upgraded Kitchens

If you’re looking for amenities to add to your unit, an upgraded kitchen will always lure potential renters. Stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, gas stoves, plenty of counter space, and an open floor plan into the living space are amenities renters are willing to pay extra for.

Pet Policy

Renters want the ability to bring a pet with them or add one to their family once they get settled. That means they’re looking for easy-to-clean floorings, like hardwood floors, tile, laminate, or stain-resistant carpeting. Easy access to the outdoors to let Fido do his business is also a bonus for pet owners.

Washer and Dryer

No one likes lugging their dirty laundry to the laundromat, so access to a washer and dryer in the unit is an amenity high on many renters’ wishlist. However, if you can’t provide a washer and dryer or the hookups in-unit, having laundry facilities on-site somewhere is often enough.

Smart Home

Eco-conscious and tech-savvy renters count smart home amenities as part of their must-haves. They’re looking for smart thermostats, electric car chargers, automatic lights, and smart locks so they can program their home from their phones.

Air Conditioning

Air conditioning walks the line between must-have and amenity depending on where you live. In Arizona, it’s an essential feature of an apartment — as crucial as a toilet that flushes. In the Pacific Northwest, where temperatures don’t frequently get as warm, air conditioning is a nice-to-have amenity. If you don’t have central air, window units and swamp coolers are great options.

Furniture

Furnished units are an amenity for first-time renters like college students who don’t want hand-me-down furniture from family members or people who come to town often for business and need a place to stay. While tenants seeking furnished units are often short-term renters, they are usually willing to pay extra for not having to purchase their own furniture.

Hardwood Floors

Tenants love the durability and easy-to-clean nature of hardwood floors, especially if they have allergies or pets. While the real thing can be expensive to add to a rental unit, there are countless varieties of natural-looking laminate floors, or you can put the hardwood in key areas, like an entryway or kitchen.

List of best rental amenities by tenant type

Private Outdoor Space

One of the perks of renting is not caring for a lawn, but that doesn’t mean tenants aren’t looking for some outdoor space to call their own. A private balcony or patio adds living space to smaller apartments, and a fenced-in yard for a rental home provides a safe place for kids to play.

Dishwasher

A dishwasher is the ultimate amenity: It makes life easier, more productive, and more enjoyable. Unfortunately, however, not all rentals have them, leaving tenants with chapped hands from washing dishes every day. They are easy to add to an existing home, but if you’re worried about losing precious cabinet space, you can add the portable version that connects to the kitchen tap.

Large Windows and Natural Light

With more people spending time at home for work or limiting their time in crowded spaces, it’s more important than ever for apartments to have large windows and natural light. Potential tenants will be even happier if those windows are energy-efficient.

Community Amenities

Community amenities, or property amenities, refer to features in common spaces throughout the property.

Pool

Perhaps one of the most common community amenities for apartment complexes, a pool is popular with all tenant age groups.

Fitness Center

One of the first expenses to go when someone is trying to cut their budget is a gym membership, so having a fitness center on-site is a big draw. Think beyond the treadmill and a stationary bike, though; today’s tenants are looking for a more expansive set of equipment.

Community Garden

Your eco-friendly and green thumb tenants will love access to a community garden where they can grow their own vegetables, especially in urban areas where green space is rare. It can also make a beautiful site for seating areas for those who prefer not to get their fingers dirty.

Playground

The lack of space in an apartment unit can be a struggle for families with young children. An on-site playground offers kids the chance to run around and burn off energy without disturbing the neighbors. Plus, it adds a great community feel!

Dog Parks

Pet owners aren’t just looking for a pet-friendly unit. They want some outdoor amenities as well. Walking paths, on-site dog parks, and doggy bag stations will woo pet parents into signing a lease. In luxury rentals, dog-grooming or dog-walking services are more unique apartment amenities they may look for.

List of tips for advertising rental amenities

Walkability

Location is often one of a tenant’s make-it-or-break-it points when looking for a place to rent, and they’re willing to pay top dollar for a smaller rental if it’s in a walkable area. If your unit is within walking distance of restaurants, shops, schools, public transportation, or local attractions, be sure to highlight that in your advertisement.

Since this isn’t something that can be added to a rental later, make sure you’re on the lookout for it when purchasing a potential investment property.

Security

These days, many tenants are looking for peace of mind, and they prioritize security amenities over others. Gated access, alarm systems, security cameras, and doormen are popular, and in the age of one-click online ordering, secure package delivery is also a premium amenity. Well-lit parking and walking spaces are also a high priority, especially for people who live alone.

Parking

While parking is an issue at any complex, it’s especially important to have in urban areas. Tenants want to know they and their guests will be able to park close to their rental after a long day. Assigned parking spots, garage parking, and covered parking are popular parking amenities.

Community Gathering Spaces

With COVID-19 continuing to limit indoor gatherings in some areas of the country, outdoor communal spaces are more important than ever. Fire pits, rooftop gardens, outdoor seating areas, water features, and grills make great spots for gathering when the weather is nice.

But tenants may also be looking for spaces to rent out to host parties, like media centers or multi-purpose rooms. These can also be used for complex-sponsored events, like Super Bowl Sunday parties or wine tastings.

Recycling Services

Many people have grown up recycling and take it for granted, so recycling services aren’t often something tenants are actively looking for. Instead, they are surprised when they move in and find there are no recycling services. Adding it to your listing makes your unit look more attractive over comparable units that don’t offer recycling.

Top Rental Amenities Based on Region

TurboTenant’s rental property listings revealed subtle differences in popular amenities based on region. Use these results to help you plan what to include in your property listing or invest in to improve your property’s appeal to potential tenants.

list of top 3 rental amenities in Midwest

Midwest

America’s heartland is simultaneously known for its mix of big cities like Chicago and St. Louis and small-town farm communities. The fact that its top 10 amenities list is a mix of classic features like hardwood floors and updated tech accurately reflects that dichotomy makes perfect sense.

  1. Hardwood floors
  2. On-site laundry
  3. Dishwasher
  4. Range oven
  5. Secure building
  6. Cable ready
  7. Forced air
  8. Near parks
  9. Wired for internet
  10. Intercom
list of top 10 amenities in Northeast

Northeast

The northeast is known for its beautiful fall foliage, so it’s no wonder “near parks” comes in at number 7 on its top 10 amenities list.

  1. Range oven
  2. Hardwood floors
  3. Dishwasher
  4. On-site laundry
  5. Washer
  6. Secure building
  7. Near parks
  8. Dryer
  9. Wired for internet
  10. Off-street parking
List of top rental amenities in the Southeast

Southeast

Featuring beautiful rolling hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the sandy beaches of the Atlantic coast, the southeast’s list of top 10 amenities includes tile, a must for a rainy and humid climate.

  1. Range oven
  2. Dishwasher
  3. Central air
  4. Washer
  5. Dryer
  6. Garbage disposal
  7. Tile
  8. Off-street parking
  9. Forced air
  10. Garage
List of top amenities in the Southwest

Southwest

Home to some of the warmest and driest weather in the country, it makes perfect sense for central air to be at the top of the southwest’s top 10 amenities list.

  1. Central air
  2. Range oven
  3. Dishwasher
  4. Garbage disposal
  5. Washer/dryer hookups
  6. Carpet
  7. Tile
  8. Dryer
  9. Garage
  10. Off-street parking
List of top amenities in the West

West

From the beaches and national parks of California to the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, the west coast is known for its active lifestyle, so a washer and dryer is a must to keep all that activewear looking fresh.

  1. Range oven
  2. Dishwasher
  3. Garbage disposal
  4. Washer
  5. Dryer
  6. Off-street parking
  7. Garage
  8. Forced air
  9. On-site laundry
  10. Central air

Remember that no rental property can have every amenity on every tenant’s wish list. Investigate the comparable properties in your area to see what makes you unique or where you need to step up your game with some easy renovations. Some amenities are easy to implement, like being able to pay rent online.

Once you’ve identified your property’s amenities, call them out in your online listing and show them off with pictures! 

Most Popular Posts

Interested in streamlining your rental process?

TurboTenant makes managing your property simple with features like one-click rental marketing, extensive online applications, and free credit & background checks for landlords.

NEWSLETTER SIGN UP

TheKey is the weekly newsletter for landlords, by landlords.

Subscribe to get tips, news, and hacks for even the most seasoned landlords.

TURBOTENANT BLOG

Read Our Latest Articles

Join the 450,000+ independent landlords who rely on TurboTenant to create welcoming rental experiences.

No tricks or trials to worry about. So what’s the harm? Try it today!