The 10 Best Cities for Renters in 2024

When RentCafe came up with its ranking of the best cities for renters in 2024, the company’s data team considered about 20 different factors, from cost of living to the share of new apartments to even air quality. But looking at how the list shaped up, we assume Southern hospitality must have been weighing on their minds, because for the second year in a row, Charleston, South Carolina, was dubbed the best city for renters, followed by Atlanta and Sarasota, Florida.

The Top 10 Cities for Renters in 2024

  1. Charleston, South Carolina
  2. Atlanta
  3. Sarasota, Florida
  4. McKinney, Texas
  5. Scottsdale, Arizona
  6. Round Rock, Texas
  7. Austin, Texas
  8. Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  9. Gilbert, Arizona
  10. Miami

According to RentCafe, Charleston was deserving of the top title thanks to its strong local economy (its tourism industry provides plenty of job opportunities) and affordability (its cost of living is lower than the national average).

For us, Charleston is a reminder of artist Raven Roxanne’s 1875 home with its sweeping rooms and 13-foot-high ceilings. No, she’s not a renter, but much of what she had to share with us was about her experience living in the city. “We have such fun people on our block,” she told us, recalling the time a crowd gathered outside her house just to watch a crew remove the fireplace from her kitchen. 

As we reminisced over the many more charming Charleston homes we’ve come across at Domino, we pulled together a few design lessons from the locals—and they’re applicable to renters and owners alike.

Bring Everyone Into the Kitchen

Photography by Nicole Franzen

Barstool seating at an island is useful, but having a cozy love seat to lounge on in a kitchen feels like a true Southern welcome. In this 1830s home, the designers at Basic Projects found room for both. 

Don’t Crowd a Narrow Living Room

green sofa
Photography By Peter Frank Edwards; Styling By Gregory Blake Sams

While Charleston has a wide variety of architectural styles—Colonial, Georgian, Federal, Victorian—one thing a lot of houses have in common is narrow spaces. Roxanne’s walk-through living area is just that, but she kept the furniture arrangement pared down to a small three-seater sofa and two armchairs so you don’t feel like you’re tripping over anything when you stroll through. 

Create Division Within Closets

suitcase in closet
Photography by Anne Rhett

Take inspiration from the closet in this space-savvy Charleston vacation rental by putting Yamazaki Home’s new expandable suitcase rack to similar use. The product eliminates any dead space by providing much needed storage above your bags.

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