What does a person consider when selecting a state or city for renting a home?
Is it the cost of living? Or the safety? Maybe the climate and weather. On top of all, it might be a state that is more rental-friendly in terms of its laws.
Well, it can be anything. From affordable rent options to a better living place to easily accessible amenities.
However, finding the best states and cities for renters is not that easy. Because it involves plenty of analysis based on various metrics such as median rent, home price rent ratio, cost of living, rental vacancy rate, and many others.
To save you valuable time, we have done all of that analysis and made a list of the top 4 states and top 4 cities that offer the most ideal living conditions for renters in 2023.
Let’s start with the list of states first.
Top 4 Best States for Renters in 2023
1. Delaware (Best in Terms of Laws Benefitting Renters)
Delaware is located in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It shares borders with Maryland to the south and west, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.
The state is named after the nearby Delaware River, and as of July 1, 2019, it had a population of approximately 973,764 people, which is an increase of about 8.4% since 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The cost of living in Delaware is slightly higher than that of the average American state. The prices of goods and services in Delaware may be slightly higher than in other states.
Despite this, Delaware is still a highly sought-after location for people to live and work.
One of the reasons for this is that Delaware does not have a sales tax, which means that consumers do not have to pay an additional percentage on top of the price of goods and services purchased within the state.
It can make living and working in Delaware more affordable and attractive to many people. As a result, Delaware has seen an influx of new residents who are drawn to the state’s lack of sales tax.
Reasons Why Delaware is the Best State for Renters
Delaware is relatively affordable compared to other states on the East Coast, such as New York or Massachusetts. According to Zillow’s data, the median rent for all property types in Delaware is $1,950 per month, while the national average is $2,165. The cost of living in Delaware is also lower than in many neighboring states, which makes it an attractive option for renters.
No Sales Tax
As mentioned earlier, Delaware is one of the few states in the US that does not have a sales tax. It means that consumers do not have to pay additional fees on top of the purchase price of goods and services. It can make a living in Delaware more affordable for renters, as they do not have to factor in sales tax when budgeting for expenses.
Strong Tenant Protection Laws
Delaware has some of the strongest tenant protection laws in the country. For example, landlords are required to provide a habitable living space for their tenants and make necessary repairs promptly. Tenants also have the right to withhold rent if the landlord fails to make necessary repairs. Additionally, Delaware law prohibits landlords from retaliating against tenants who exercise their rights.
Good Quality of Life
Delaware is known for its high quality of life. The state has a relatively low crime rate, good schools, and plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities. It also has a strong sense of community, with many small towns and tight-knit neighborhoods. These factors can make Delaware an attractive place for renters to live and raise a family.
Proximity to Major Cities
Although Delaware is a relatively small state, it is located close to several major East Coast cities, including Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC. It can be a big draw for renters who want to live in a more affordable area while still being within commuting distance of these larger metropolitan areas.
2. Montana (Best in Terms of Rent Prices)
Montana has a highly affordable rental market, even in its most densely populated cities.
The average rent prices for five of Montana’s most populated cities, i.e., Great Falls, Butte-Silver Bow, Billings, Bozeman, and Missoula, range from $625 (Billings) to $1800 (Bozeman).
Renters in Montana can expect to pay lower housing costs than renters in other states, even in cities with higher populations.
If you are considering housing costs when planning a move, Montana’s affordable rental market can save you money on housing expenses.
Reasons Why Montana is the Best State for Renters
Low Rent Prices
Montana has a relatively low cost of living compared to other US states, including affordable housing costs. According to Zillow’s data, the median rent for all property types in Montana is $1,850 per month, which is lower than the national average of $2,165. Additionally, the state does not have a sales tax, which can make a living in Montana more affordable overall.
Plenty of Outdoor Recreational Opportunities
Montana is known for its stunning natural beauty and abundant outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking, camping, fishing, and skiing. Many renters in Montana are drawn to the state because they can enjoy these activities without traveling far from their homes.
Strong Sense of Community
Montana has a relatively small population compared to many other states, which can foster a strong sense of community and belonging among residents. Many renters in Montana appreciate the close-knit communities and friendly neighbors they encounter while living there.
Good Quality of Life
Montana has a relatively low crime rate and good schools, which can contribute to a high quality of life for renters. Additionally, the state has a thriving arts and culture scene, with many museums, theaters, and galleries to explore.
Affordable Rental Market in Major Cities
Despite having some of the most populated cities in the state, Montana still offers affordable rental prices. For example, according to data from Apartment List, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Billings is $625 per month, while in Missoula, it is $1,295 per month. These prices are lower than the national average for rent in similarly sized cities.
3. New Mexico (Best in Terms of Eviction Rate)
New Mexico is known for its stunning desert landscapes, snow-capped mountains, and sprawling national parks.
For renters who enjoy spending time outdoors, New Mexico offers a variety of recreational opportunities and beautiful scenery to explore.
Reasons Why New Mexico is the Best State for Renters
Lowest Eviction Rates
According to the latest available data from the Eviction Lab, New Mexico had one of the lowest eviction rates in the US in the last few years. This indicates that renters in New Mexico are relatively protected from eviction compared to renters in other states.
Rich History and Culture
New Mexico has a rich history and vibrant culture that is reflected in its art, architecture, and cuisine. Many renters are drawn to the state because of its unique blend of Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo cultures.
Compared to other states in the US, New Mexico offers relatively affordable living, including housing costs. According to Zillow’s data, the median rent for all property types in New Mexico is $1,625 per month, which is lower than the national average of $2,165.
New Mexico has a warm, sunny climate that can be appealing to renters who enjoy spending time outdoors. The state averages over 300 days of sunshine per year, making it an ideal destination for those who love outdoor activities.
4. Wyoming (Best in Terms of Rental Availability)
Wyoming is a state with breathtaking natural beauty, including wide-open spaces and gorgeous scenery. The state is home to many popular outdoor activities and national parks, making it an ideal location for nature lovers.
Additionally, Wyoming is recognized as one of the most affordable states to live in the United States. The cost of living is relatively low, and the state offers affordable home prices, above-average incomes, and lower-than-average unemployment rates, making it an attractive option for those seeking a less expensive lifestyle.
Reasons Why Wyoming is the Best State for Renters
Wyoming is known for its stunning natural beauty, including breathtaking mountains, lush wilderness, and unique rock formations. Renters who enjoy spending time outdoors can take advantage of the state’s many hiking trails, national parks, and scenic drives.
Low Cost of Living
Compared to many other states in the US, Wyoming offers a relatively low cost of living. This includes housing costs, which can be more affordable than in other states. According to Zillow’s data, the median rent for all property types in Wyoming is $ 1,200 per month, which is lower than the national average of $2,165.
Wyoming has a rich history that is reflected in its name, which comes from a Native American word that translates to “at the immense plain.” The state was also home to some of the earliest American explorers, including the famous Lewis and Clark expedition. Renters interested in history can explore many historical sites and museums throughout the state.
Top 4 Best Cities for Renters in 2023
1. Lincoln, Nebraska
Lincoln, Nebraska, is a fantastic city for renters, as many of its features make it an attractive option.
Renters who enjoy spending time outdoors would have a great time there, as many parks are within walking distance of most residential places. It makes it the best city for park accessibility among the top 4 best cities for renters.
Lincoln has a low average rent compared to other cities on the list, making it an affordable option for renters. In addition, apartments in Lincoln tend to be spacious, which is another advantage for renters.
However, not all renters will find Lincoln ideal if they have pets since the percentage of rentals that allow pets is lower than the national average.
Overall, Lincoln is a city that offers an outstanding balance of affordability, outdoor recreation, and spacious apartments for renters.
2. Virginia Beach, Virginia
The average size of two-bedroom apartments in Virginia Beach is ranked 31st out of 93 cities evaluated. However, renters in Virginia Beach can expect to pay a relatively low percentage of their income on rent.
Renters in Virginia Beach can find apartments with amenities such as gyms, pools, and dryers. However, finding a new or renovated kitchen with stainless steel appliances may be more challenging since only about 13% of rentals offer this feature.
Renters in Virginia Beach who have pets will be pleased to know that most rentals (91%) allow pets.
Some of the attractions in Virginia Beach are wildlife preserves, ocean views, and hiking trails. However, renters should be prepared for the possibility of hurricanes and flooding. Virginia Beach experienced a record-breaking hurricane season in 2020; the 2021 season was also above average. The city is taking steps to mitigate the impact of flooding by widening its beaches.
Overall, it is a city that offers a balance of affordability, natural attractions, and the best amenities for renters, but with the caveat of the possibility of hurricanes and flooding.
3. Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh is a great place to find an apartment with amenities at a reasonable monthly rent. Raleigh apartments are known for their ample space; many come with pools (47%) and gyms (76%). It is an ideal location for renters who prioritize a comfortable living experience.
Raleigh’s median household income of $67,266 helps make rent affordable. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Raleigh consumes about 27% of the median household income. It is a relatively low percentage compared to other cities, which makes Raleigh a good option for renters who want to live comfortably without breaking the bank.
Overall, Raleigh is a city that offers a lot to renters in terms of affordability, amenities, and low crime rates, with the added benefit of access to top-tier universities in the area.
4. Scottsdale, Arizona
The city of Scottsdale in Arizona has been experiencing a significant increase in rental units since 2017. This building boom has led to new construction projects, which represent 12% of the existing rental units in the city. Despite being a growing city, Scottsdale is still relatively affordable compared to other cities, with a median household income of $88,213, and renters can expect to spend about 30% of their income on a two-bedroom apartment.
When it comes to amenities, Scottsdale does not disappoint. Most apartment buildings in the city come equipped with gyms (86%) and in-unit washers and dryers (81%). Additionally, 93% of rental units in Scottsdale allow pets, making it an excellent option for animal lovers.
Scottsdale’s weather can be challenging, with hot summers and the potential for floods and wildfires. However, the city’s crime rate is average compared to other cities. Although only 40% of Scottsdale’s residents are within a 10-minute walk of a park, there is plenty to do in Old Town Scottsdale.
This pedestrian-friendly area is filled with shops, restaurants, and art galleries, and there are bike and walking trails for outdoor enthusiasts. For a unique way to explore the city, hop onto one of the four trolley routes and enjoy the sights.
On What Basis Did We Select the Top Best States and Cities for Renters in 2023?
Our list of top best states and cities for renters is based on the following factors:
- Average Monthly Rent Costs (The data was taken from Zillow Observed Rent Index (ZORI))
- Average Annual Income (The data was taken from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- Rental Vacancy Rate (The data was taken from S. Census. Housing Vacancies and Homeownership)
- Cost Of Living (The data was taken from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA))
- Unemployment Rate (The data was taken from S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Local Area Unemployment Statistics)
- State And Local Laws for Renters (The data was taken from State Landlord-Tenant Laws
The Bottom Line
There are many factors that renters may consider when choosing a place to live, such as affordability, amenities, and access to parks and outdoor activities.
While each individual’s priorities may differ, it is essential to carefully evaluate the options and weigh the pros and cons before deciding.
With proper research and consideration, renters can find a place that meets their needs and provides a comfortable and enjoyable living experience.