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 12 Comments

rent a house or apartment


Depending on the housing market in your area, picking your dream rental property can be an even balance between price and property perks.  In other instances, when rental availability is tight, renters may find themselves in an “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 pop 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 of 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    

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About the Author

About the Author: Kaycee (Wegener) Miller 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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There Are 12 Brilliant Comments

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  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.

  2. Fabian says:

    Nice work Kaycee Apartments give an opportunity to socialize. I can say that the apartment is right choice for a family having kids.

  3. Jade Brunet says:

    It is good to know that renting a house allows you more space and privacy than an apartment. I also like what was said about the benefit of parking. It would be nice not to have to share. My sister says that a good thing to do while renting a house is to clean it up and make it better than it was when you moved in.

  4. My husband and I are recently married and looking to rent a place for us. Renting a home seems like a great way to find privacy and the feel of having a home without having to buy a home yet. As you said, it is also nice that you can work directly with the landlord instead of a property manager. These are great things to think about. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Alice Jones says:

    I think this question would depend on what your familial situation is. For myself, I think I would choose to rent a home since I have a family that needs space to live. But I believe it you’re single or just living with your significant other, renting an apartment would be fine–unless you weren’t a fan of sharing a wall with your neighbor.

  6. Kyle Winters says:

    I do like that you go over the several benefits of renting a house instead of buying one. After all, no should feel bad for renting a house. As the article points out, renting gives a chance to befriend the landlord and make the rental period a bit easier.

  7. Jane Ambrose says:

    One of my good friends is trying to decide if she should rent an apartment or not. It’s a great point that having people live so close together can create a great community to live in. I had no idea that they are more likely to have luxury amenities for the people living there. This is great information for me to share with her!

  8. Scott Adams says:

    I appreciate that you talked about how apartments are often located closer to city centers. I have been looking for a place to live next year. I can see how it would be nice to rent an apartment because it would be closer to where all of my friends live.

  9. Thanks for going into detail about renting a house or an apartment. I actually didn’t know that one benefit of apartments is that there are usually onsite management. This seems very beneficial, especially if you want to make sure any issues are fixed quickly and correctly.

  10. Marlo Catalano says:

    Check out Rello
    It’s dedicated to people who rent.
    Worth a look !

  11. These are some great tips! There is a lot that you need to keep in mind if you are going to rent a house or an apartment. Thank you so much for sharing this post.

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