Renters Willing to Pay an Extra $30 a Month for Additional Security Features

Renters Willing to Pay an Extra $30 a Month for Additional Security Features

Survey shows safety is important for tenants, but amenities are even more important
A building security camera

Many renters are willing to pay extra for important features, including security enhancements, according to a new survey on tenants’ priorities.

Safety technology review website SafeHome.org said its April survey showed, for example, that the average tenant would accept paying an additional $30 a month for a gated parking garage. Likewise, security cameras and keyed entrances to residential complexes were also among the most sought-after security features.

Renters want the sense of safety that security features provide

Although pandemic-related financial strains prompted many renters to move in with their parents, SafeHome.org reported that money wasn’t the only reason for such a change.

The survey showed that 2 in 5 renters had considered moving in the past year because of safety concerns. Women appeared to be more concerned with safety than men were, as 90% of women said that safety was "very or extremely important," compared to 82% of men.

And although some landlords require tenants to purchase insurance before moving in, these policies don't always provide the peace of mind that on-site security features may offer.

According to the SafeHome.org survey, renters said they'd feel more safe if they had the following safety features:

  • Alarm systems (81%)
  • Smart doorbells (70%)
  • Security cameras (67%)
  • Gated parking garage (65%)

However, some rental agreements don’t allow tenants to purchase or install many of these security items on their own. Perhaps as a result, respondents reported window locks as the most common safety feature in their homes — a feature that’s generally permitted in many rentals, but that only 56% of respondents said would make them feel more safe.

Beyond safety, many tenants would rather have convenience

SafeHome.org also asked respondents to compare safety features to other amenities they would want in their home. The survey results showed that the following features were "very important" ones to respondents:

  • In-unit laundry (58%)
  • Updated kitchen (55%)
  • Window locks (53%)
  • Bolt or chain locks on exterior doors (49%)
  • Keyed entrance to complex (47%)

Overall, though, Gen X respondents placed higher value on amenities than millennials or Gen Zers did — with one exception: Respondents across all generations saw an updated kitchen as an important amenity to have in a rental home.

Methodology: SafeHome.org surveyed 1,007 renters between the ages of 18 and 88, with 57% of respondents identifying as male, 41.9% identifying as female and 1.1% identifying as nonbinary or nonconforming. The survey was conducted in March 2021 and published April 2021.

The generational breakdown for the survey sample is as follows:

  • Baby boomer (born 1946-1964): 56 respondents (5.5%)
  • Generation X (born 1965-1980): 136 respondents (14%)
  • Millennial (born 1981-1997): 602 respondents (60%)
  • Generation Z (born 1998-2017): 213 respondents (21%)

Feli Oliveros is a finance and business writer with experience covering personal finance, small business finance, and payment processing. In 2015 she graduated from UCLA, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English and minored in Anthropology.