Property Management, Tenant Selection, Real Estate News & Tips

Should I Rent a House or an Apartment – Tips for Tenants

By on March 10, 2016 in Education with 3 Comments

House or apartmentDepending on the housing market in your area, picking your dream rental property can be a even balance between price and property perks.  In other instances, when rental availability is tight, renters may find themselves in a “I’ll take what I can get”  situation.  

In an ideal situation, every renter will have the luxury of being picky when it comes to selecting their next rental home.  For renters who have this option, one of the biggest decisions to make is whether to rent a house or an apartment.  

Each building type comes with their own benefits or drawbacks.  Price, privacy, amenities, space and location are all factors in which housing type a renter will decide is best for him.  

To help renters make an informed decision between renting a house or renting an apartment, here are the pros and cons of each style.

Renting a House   

The Washington Post notes that the detached, single-family home is the most popular housing type across the country, but renters will be hard pressed to find them available in big cities.   Houses give renters the option for more square footage, more bedrooms, outdoor space and a suburban type of neighborhood.  Single-family homes also provide  tenants the best option for privacy, as there are no shared walls and outdoor space is private.  Single-family rental homes located near city centers or in popular neighborhoods will be more expensive and harder to find. But if you are willing to live on the outskirts of town or are moving to a smaller town, they can be more affordable and available.

Rental houses are often managed by the property owner, so renters will work directly with a landlord instead of a property management company.  Renting directly from an owner, or landlord, can sometimes give a tenant the option to develop a personal relationship with management.  Some landlords will manage their property exactly like a property management company, with firm processes and strictly enforced rental rules, other landlords may be more relaxed when it comes to decorating or maintenance in exchange for rent reductions.  It depends on their involvement and commitment to their investment property.  When renting from a landlord you also have a direct line of communication to the owner when any maintenance emergencies pops up, a landlord will respond in kind because it is his property (and expense) that is at risk of damage.

Pros: More space, more privacy, no shared walls, parking, personal management experience

Cons: More expensive in town, limited availability.

Renting an Apartment

Apartment rentals are often categorized by multiple units in one building.  Residents have lots of neighbors living in close proximity with the potential for a strong community.  Another benefit with apartments includes onsite management that typically responds to maintenance or emergencies quickly.  Apartments tend to be located closer to city centers or convenient transportation options.  Apartment complexes are more likely to have luxury community amenities like business centers, pools, rooftop terraces, etc.  

A con associated with apartments are shared walls and lack of outdoor space, which can be a challenge for pet owners.  Due to the high volume of tenants that live in an apartment, parking may be limited or require an additional monthly fee to factor into your rental budget.

Pros: Strong community, on site management, location, amenities, low maintenance.

Cons: Shared walls, limited outdoor space, parking not included.

Other types of rental properties can include duplexes or triplexes, small apartments with a few units, or a single room for rent in a home.  In general, the bigger rental unit types will have more tenants under the same management and will mean less space or privacy in community areas.  


For landlords and property managers these are items you can consider when marketing your properties to qualified renters.  Pointing out the benefits of a certain housing style can make the option more appealing to attracting tenants and turning any vacancy into a lease.

Rentec Direct’s Tips for Tenants gives property managers and landlords useful advice to pass along to their renters.  Feel free to share these ideas in a tenant newsletter or in your marketing materials to help your potential tenants make informed decisions about renting from you.  If you would like to republish any article on your website or blog just contact Kaycee at kwegener@rentecdirect.com.    

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About the Author

About the Author: Kaycee manages marketing and media relations for Rentec Direct, bringing a unique perspective to the world of property management and proudly shares industry news, products, and trends within the community. .

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  1. House vs. Apt.: Which Rental is Right For You - Infographic | October 14, 2016
  1. My fiance and I are trying to decide whether rent a house or apartment. Based off our busy lives and tight schedules, we probably won’t have time to deal with a lot of maintenance. Apartments are probably the way for us to go. Thanks for sharing the pros and cons!

    • Kaycee says:

      Happy to help Jacie. I love the amenities and the community that comes along with apartment living. Hope you have an awesome experience.

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