Naughty or Nice: Nicest Cities for Renters

Is your city naughty or nice? Here are the Top 10 Nicest Cities for Renters, where every day makes you feel like kissing someone under the mistletoe.

10.  Cleveland, OH

With its wide range of diversified districts and fairly low cost of living, Cleveland is one of the nicest cities in the country for renters. If you’re comfortable with snow, and you have to be to live in Cleveland, it’s a great city for someone looking for a job in the sciences, manufacturing or IT fields. Young professionals love the city’s emerging towns, trendy neighborhoods and emphasis on good craft beer.

  • Rental Vacancy Rate: 10.1%
  • Median Rent: $868
  • Median Household Income: $26,556

9. Birmingham, AL

Birmingham has transformed itself into a medical research, banking and service-based economy, making it one of the nation’s most livable cities in the nation. A day’s drive to the Gulf Coast, New Orleans, Savannah, the Mississippi Delta (and more!), Birmingham is located in the heart of a culturally-rich region known for its beauty and barbecue. Avid football fans fit right in; no matter the time of year, you can find someone who is ready to “Roll Tide” or “War Eagle.”

  • Rental Vacancy Rate: 10.8%
  • Median Rent: $895
  • Median Household Income: $31,467

8. Akron, OH

Located in northeast Ohio, Akron is known for being a city with a small town feel, while still remaining an extremely affordable place to live. The expanding University of Akron is positively affecting the entire downtown area, leading to an influx of new restaurants and entertainment options. When you factor in the 6,600 acres of green space from Metropolitan Parks, it’s no wonder renting in Akron feels like waking up to a Christmas Miracle.

  • Rental Vacancy Rate: 10%
  • Median Rent: $667
  • Median Household Income: $33,598

7. Kansas City, MO

Food, sports, beer, culture and musicKansas City can do it all with Midwestern flair and cost of living that’s about 3.1% lower than the national average. Kansas City has jobs too, with a booming tech industry and the fastest bandwidth in the country thanks to Google Fiber.

  • Rental Vacancy Rate: 11.2%
  • Median Rent: $798
  • Median Household Income: $45,150

6. Jacksonville, FL

The most populous city in Florida, Jacksonville is home to the largest urban park system in the nation and an endless supply of outdoor activities, whether you’re waterskiing, boating or exploring nature. It may not have the same kind of music notoriety of a city like New Orleans or Memphis, but Jacksonville is home to musicians all across the spectrum, from Ray Charles to The Allman Brothers Band and punk/rock acts like Yellowcard and Limp Bizkit. For the sports fans, you can’t ignore the annual Florida-George college football game, the great options for golf enthusiasts and the reputation for being a fantastic fishing destination.

  • Rental Vacancy Rate: 11.7%
  • Median Rent: $808
  • Median Household Income: $48,143

 5. Indianapolis, IN

Indianapolis is more than just people driving around a track at breakneck speeds. The city offers a diversified economy in education, finance and healthcare,  while still maintaining a cost of that’s extremely affordable, falling about 6.7% below the national average. A great fit for sports fans and festival goers alike, Indianapolis is filled to the brim with great restaurants and an abundance of craft breweries. We’ll cheers to that!

  • Rental Vacancy Rate: 11.1%
  • Median Rent: $732
  • Median Household Income: $42,144

4. Las Vegas, NV

Sin City is known for more than just gambling, high-profile clubs and celebrity shows. A growing retirement and family city, Las Vegas is surprisingly an affordable place to live with a relatively low cost of living. Nevada doesn’t have an income tax, sales tax is around 8.1% and rent is pretty cheap compared to California and New York. If you’re interested in working in the tourism industry, Las Vegas is a no-brainer for renters.

  • Rental Vacancy Rate: 12.8%
  • Median Rent: $791
  • Median Household Income: $52,601

3. Memphis, TN

What do reindeer need to eat after traveling around the country? Memphis barbecue. Known for live music and rich history, this southern town is a prime location for an exciting life. Since rent is affordable, you’ll have money left over to visit all of the must-see, must-listen and must-eat attractions in Memphis.

  • Rental Vacancy Rate: 14.9%
  • Median Rent: $734
  • Median Household Income: $36,817

2. Tucson, AZ

Tucson is not only home to the University of Arizona, but is also the second-largest populated city in Arizona–and for good reason. With 350 days of sunshine each year, it’s no wonder residents have a smile on their faces season to season. A great vacation home for Santa’s elves, Tucson is filled with beautiful state parks, botanical gardens and great stargazing.

  • Rental Vacancy Rate: 14.3%
  • Median Rent: $594
  • Median Household Income: $36,939

1. Dayton, OH

Dayton is a community rich in both talent and history, emerging today as a global technology hub. This Midwestern city tops our nice list because of its offering of high-quality services, neighborhoods and businesses to its residents, all while helping Dayton citizens save on housing expenses.

  • Rental Vacancy Rate: 16.5%
  • Median Rent: $565
  • Median Household Income: $28,595

Which cities have been naughty? Check out the Top 10!

Methodology: Rent. has assembled the Top 10 Naughty/Nice Cities for Renters based on the top 75 metropolitan areas as deemed by the U.S. Census. Cities with exceptionally low rental vacancy rates (lower than the national average of 7.4%) and high median rental rates were considered “naughty.” Median household income was also taken into consideration. The Top 10 Nice Cities were ranked based on high rental inventory (greater than the national average) and low median rental rates. Rental vacancy was given a weight of 5 points and median rental rates were given a weight of 3 during the ranking process. Household income (2012) and rental vacancy rates (2013 estimate) were provided by the U.S. Census (2012). Median rental rates were provided by Rent. (2014). 

Rent. Editorial Team At Rent., our goal is to be the most efficient digital resource to help people find and live in a place they love. We strive to help renters make informed decisions by providing them with valuable information and advice, including money-saving tips, local guides, HD photos and certified ratings and reviews from actual residents.

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