A new survey finds that the features the modern renter wants in an apartment have changed quite a bit over the last 10 to 15 years.

Pedestrians stroll between gleaming luxury apartment buildings along the High Line in New York, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. Photo/Kathy Willens)

More than 120,000 apartment residents responded to the National Multifamily Housing Council/Kingsley Associates 2015 Renter Preferences Survey.

Rick Haughey, vice president of Industry Technology Initiatives, said the group wanted to find out what renters wanted in both their apartments, communities, and neighborhoods.
They discovered growing expectations for amenities and service.

"They would like to have an apartment that's walkable to a grocery store," Haughey said. "That clearly came through as the most desirable location to be walk-able to."

The walkability preference also existed for public transportation.

"However, they are okay if they have to drive to work or to school," he said. "They don't necessarily want to be within walking distance of either of those."

The No. 1 amenity among respondents, though, was having access to parking, followed by a swimming pool, fitness center, secure access to a community and recycling.

Technology is also very vital for the modern renter, with 91 percent actually testing out cell phone service during their initial walk-through.

"Ninety-four percent say that they want fast and reliable Internet service," Haughey said.

Renters in the New Jersey area still place high value on having connectivity to cable television, despite a rising trend nationwide of cutting the cable cord.

There is also a growing emphasis on having features, such as walk-in closets, patios, balconies, laundry machines, sound-proof walls, and smart thermostats.

"People are really looking to rent for a lifestyle and I think that's coming through," Haughey said.

More and more renters, they found, also place more stock in using online review sites to learn more about an apartment and research it, based on feedback.

Check out the full report here.