Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

July 10, 2024

Best & Worst Places to Rent in America

By David Reiss

I was interviewed as part of WalletHub’s Best & Worst Places to Rent in America, 2024 edition. The interview reads,

What tips do you have for a person looking to get the best value in an apartment?

The smartest thing to do is do your homework. Start online to get a sense of the broad range of options. Then visit as many as you have the time for. Not only does it give you a sense of the surroundings (neighbors, neighborhood, shopping, etc.), but it also gives you a sense of the quality of the apartment. Do the appliances look well-maintained? Is there any water damage that may be a harbinger of bad things to come?

What are the most common mistakes that renters make when searching for a new apartment?

It is also smart to ask existing tenants about the landlord. Is it (or he or she) responsive to concerns? You should also search them on the internet to see what others have to say about them.

How can local policymakers make housing more affordable for renters without upsetting homeowners?

Local policymakers need to focus on expanding the supply of new housing. Restrictive zoning (for example, zoning that only allows the construction of single-family homes) keeps housing expensive in many communities. Various forms of restrictive zoning are a big problem in hot markets like the Bay Area in California and the New York Metropolitan Area. Housing takes too long to build, we do not build enough of it, and it costs too much. Local, State, and Federal policymakers all have to work together to increase the supply of housing so that costs go down across the board.

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