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Did COVID Change the Features Renters Look for in a Rental Property?


The COVID-19 pandemic has changed and shaped everyone’s lives in one way or another–including renters, landlords, and property managers. In fact, the pandemic has changed several aspects of the rental market throughout the past few years. For example, renters are looking for certain amenities and landlords need to keep up with the changing wants and needs of renters. Let’s go over how COVID has changed the features renters look for in a rental unit. 

How Did COVID Change the Rental Market?

The rental market has endured some extreme changes within the past few years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the height of the pandemic, people were encouraged to stay at home, and many people moved out of cities to get away from COVID hotspots. 


With rentals available in inner cities, landlords were able to increase monthly rent prices. As a result, many people found it difficult to get into an affordable rental unit. Unfortunately, many people still struggle with this affordable housing crisis issue. 

Landlords and other homebuyers were also affected by the COVID-19 pandemic since the market price of homes skyrocketed. Many landlords found it hard to expand rental businesses since homes were so expensive to purchase. 

Additionally, with the eviction moratorium in place, landlords couldn’t evict tenants for nonpayment of rent, which caused some to lose out on major profits. However, with rising inflation, landlords can benefit by raising monthly rental rates. 

How Have Renter’s Needs Changed Post-Pandemic? 

Although it’s been difficult to find affordable housing during the pandemic, the features renters look for in a rental home have changed drastically. For example, many tenants moved out of cities and into more rural areas, since work-from-home jobs were extremely prevalent. At the time, there was no need to live in big cities where rent was higher and COVID hotspots were rising. 

That said, many people have stayed working from home and look for rentals that will accommodate the work-from-home lifestyle. For this reason, landlords can think about providing wifi, office spaces, and other useful amenities for remote workers. Here are a few of the ways renter’s needs changed post-pandemic

  • Virtual Property Tours
  • Use of Smart Technology
  • Shorter-term Rental Agreements
  • Outdoor Spaces Are a Must
  • More Space to Work From Home

Virtual Property Tours


During the height of the pandemic, nobody was getting together, especially strangers. As a result, showing rental properties was difficult for landlords and property managers in Baltimore. However, modern technology makes it possible to meet virtually. So, landlords started showing properties through pictures, videos, and 3D virtual tours. 

Although some people weren’t able to see rental properties in person, virtual tour technology has majorly improved, making it realistic even through a screen. Luckily, landlords can create a virtual tour for their properties, and potential tenants can see a realistic property view at any time with a smart device.

Use of Smart Technology

Many renters these days are looking for smart features in a rental home. For example, many younger renters are drawn to smart technology such as:

  • Smart thermostats
  • Water-saving devices
  • Smart lighting
  • Security features

After all, smart technology can improve the quality of life, make daily tasks easier, and they can save you money in utility costs. If you take the extra time and money to install some of these features in your rental home, you’ll appeal to more renters across the United States. 

Shorter-term Rental Agreements

Since COVID-19 struck the United States quickly and semi-unexpectedly, many people who wanted to move from their current living situations were unable to. For some, it was because they couldn’t afford to move. But for some, it was because their rental agreement didn’t allow them to move without penalties. 

As a result, renters these days are looking for month-to-month rental agreements or shorter-term leases. Signing a year-long rental agreement locks you into a rental property for at least a year. Unfortunately, your rental lease typically doesn’t account for pandemic emergencies or other personal preferences, so it’s important to plan ahead. 

Outdoor Spaces Are a Must


During the height of the pandemic, many people were stuck working indoors, local parks were closed, and there wasn’t much to do in the community. As a result, more people started adventuring outside, whether it was outside their homes or exploring new pieces of land nearby. 

Now, when people look for new places to live, outdoor elements are huge factor renters look for. After all, nobody wants to be stuck inside an apartment with no space to explore or entertain outside. Additionally, if you’re renting out a single-family home, consider sprucing up the yard and creating an inviting backyard oasis so that renters can enjoy the outdoors with family and friends. 

More Space to Work From Home

With many people switching from office jobs to work-from-home positions, much more time is spent at home. That said, if there isn’t enough space to work and live at home, it creates an issue for renters. So, landlords should consider renting properties that include rooms for office space and additional storage space for renters. 

After all, working from home can be extremely stressful, especially if you have a family and kids at home with you. Renters that work from home will appreciate the extra space and you may even attract a wider pool of potential tenants if you have extra space in your rental. 


Attracting New Tenants After COVID

Although the features renters look for have changed, that doesn’t mean you can’t attract new tenants for your rental home. For example, if you highlight your property’s features and make sure to communicate effectively with new tenants, you can make sure your renters are getting the features they want. 

Highlight Your Property’s Best Amenities

Aside from the rent price, the first thing that most renters look for in a home is desirable amenities. For example, onsite parking, new appliances, and a washer and drier are all great amenities to add to your rental listing, if you have them. 

Communicate Effectively With New Tenants

Another thing that is important for a good landlord-tenant relationship is an effective communication. Make sure you are responding quickly to tenant needs and communicating frequently to ensure your tenants are satisfied. 

Utilize Property Management Services

The features renters look for in a rental home have inevitably changed since the start of the pandemic. However, it can be hard for landlords with several properties to make changes and manage each one. Luckily, property owners don’t have to take on these tasks alone. Bay Property Management Group has the knowledge and professionalism to help your rental business succeed. 

If you need services such as tenant screening, maintenance, rent collection, eviction services, and more, BMG can help! Contact us today if you need rental property management assistance in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Northern Virginia, Washington DC, or other surrounding counties.