Skip to Content

Renters’ Guide to Gentrification: What You Need to Know

Two Buildings, One Exterior is Renovated and the Other in DisrepairIf you’re a renter, there’s a good chance you’ve heard something about gentrification and the ways it can affect your life. But what is gentrification? What do renters need to know about it? In this blog post, we will talk about the basics of gentrification and how it affects renters differently from homeowners. We’ll equally grant effective advice for renters fighting against rising rents or being displaced by gentrification.

Gentrification Defined

Gentrification is the process of renovating and improving a neighborhood, most commonly one that has been in decline, and making it desirable to higher-income residents. Gentrification can happen right away or slowly, though it almost often raises complex social issues. This is because the gentrification of a neighborhood can generate rising property values and rents, as well as an influx of new businesses and amenities. Even though these changes can be positive, various troubles go along with them.

Particularly, gentrification’s benefits include reducing crime and increasing investment in neglected areas. Homeowners may happily see increased property values and new or a bunch of different people moving into the area. For renters, moving into a newly gentrified area could see benefits from being part of a community undergoing rapid change and growth, which can feel engaging. Renters can even find prime deals on newly renovated rentals, particularly if the area is just at the very start of gentrification.

Having said that, gentrification can also displace long-time residents who can no longer afford the increased rent. Renters may also find that rising rents have priced them out of an area they’ve lived in for years, which can be a headache to overcome. Other potential drawbacks of gentrification include the loss of community character and the feeling that outsiders are taking over a neighborhood.

How Gentrification Affects Renters Differently from Homeowners

Renters are particularly affected by displacement from gentrification because they don’t have the same protections as homeowners. For illustration, landlords can raise rents to what the current market will dictate; these increases can be notably significant if the market is lucrative. And if you’re renting from a landlord who wants to sell the property, you could, on top of that, be coerced to move. In contrast, gentrification has a very minimal effect on homeowners, who are less likely to move out of gentrifying areas. Property owners generally stand to benefit the most from the gentrification process.

Tips for Renters Facing Gentrification

If you’re a renter in a neighborhood that is gentrifying, there are a bunch of things you can put into effect to try to stay in your home. First off, get to know your rights as a tenant, and check that you’re aware and knowledgeable of all the latest laws and regulations. You should also certainly try to build relationships with your landlord or West Allis property manager, so they are more likely to work with you if rent increases become a huge problem. One final thing, be ready to advocate for yourself and other tenants in your neighborhood if you certainly find any signs of displacement (such as evictions or rent hikes).

Gentrification is a complex issue, and it’s one that renters need to understand. If you’re battling against rising rents or the threat of displacement, take note that you’re not alone, and several people and organizations can help you.


Are you in the market for a new rental home? Real Property Management Greater Milwaukee has very nice and quality rental listings in West Allis and the surrounding areas!

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details