When the rent is too damn high, there are a lot of resourceful things people will do and sacrifices they’ll make in order to make ends meet, from a diet of boxed mac n’ cheese for the perfect 2/2, to compromising on location. But would you go an entire year without sex?
For 14 percent of renters surveyed in a new study on rising renter stress by the team at Hunt, that’s exactly the kind of sacrifice they’d be willing to make in order to get some relief from the mounting pressures of being a renter in America. (No word on exactly how that tradeoff would happen, but we’re guessing by breaking up with your steady action in order to get a smaller place, or something…)
Any way you slice it, the struggle is all too real: there are more than 110 million Americans who rent their places instead of owning. Of the apartment-hunting challenges facing renters today, high prices, lengthy searches, and pet policies were the top three. In fact, 29 percent of those surveyed said that they were unable to find a pet-friendly building, and housing issues are the main reason that renters choose to surrender their animals to rescues or shelters, where many end up euthanized. (Cue the waterworks.)
The Hunt survey found that 55 percent of the 1,300-person sample selection of renters they surveyed are so stressed out about the rent every month that they’d be willing to make major lifestyle changes — including those 14 percent who’d stop getting busy for cheaper rent.
Why so drastic? The stress is overwhelming for renters: It took 86 percent of respondents an average of three months to find a place; and once moved in, 41 percent of responders said that they would start their hunt all over again if the rent was increased by even $50 per month. Others — 89 percent of respondents — said that eviction was the reason for their apartment hunt, no doubt the overwhelming result of landlords putting the rental up for sale in this hot real estate market (something my husband and I personally experienced so many times that it forced our hand on deciding to buy a home instead of rent).
Additional stresses from renters surveyed included going over budget for apartment features (the most likely of which were open-plan kitchens, proximity to good school districts, and being able to keep their pets), the challenges of avoiding scammers — something that now seriously affects 1 in 4 apartment hunters — difficult landlords and inaccurate property listings.