Renters' Choice: Technology Wish List

MHN finds out what features apartment residents value most.

By Erika Schnitzer, Managing Editor

Renters’ Choice is a new department where MHN will share resident comments about a particular apartment feature. This month, we partnered with San Francisco-based research and consulting services firm Kingsley Associates, which surveys over 1 million residents each year, to find out what renters like about the tech offerings in their apartment communities—and what they would like to see added.

WiFi and resident portals are now considered basic services. Renters also like the ability to pay rent online—and have come to expect it. Those who are unable to do this have vented their frustrations. Above all, renters prefer having options—one resident said he’d like to be able to choose his cable provider.

While the comments below reflect desired features, the renters surveyed would not have chosen to rent elsewhere—except in the case of the resident who is unable to receive cell phone reception in his apartment. This preference reflects an overall shift away from landlines for a growing demographic that is constantly mobile.

Resident feedback from Kingsley Associates

“They want to be ‘green,’ but we get paper notices and have to pay rent by check, lest we incur a fee online.” 

—College Park, Md.

“I’m a TV person. I would like cable outlets in all my rooms.” 


“I would like to pay my rent online without the $15 fee.” 

—Beaumont, Texas

“To still have to physically write a check for rent and hand it to someone in 2011 is beyond woeful.” 


“I recommend a walk-through upon signing the lease to ensure the apartment is ready for cable/Internet services and that the key to the garage works.” 

—San Diego

“When will we be able to pay rent online?” 

—Yardley, Pa.

“Make the online payment portal easier to use. It is difficult to set up recurring payments, so I am going through my online banking service to handle it. Also add a maintenance request section to the online portal.” 

—Alexandria, Va.

“There should be an option to pay your rent online as well as see your monthly statement online that includes any miscellaneous charges (like parking).” 


“If we had known about the inability to get cell phone reception in our apartment, we would not have made the decision to move in.” 


“More cable outlets.” 


“The facility provides what I need, though it would be nice to have free WiFi access throughout the community and not just surrounding the office.” 

—Austin, Texas

“I like the online system for maintenance and how it lets me check on the status of my requests.” 

—San Antonio, Texas

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