What Is an Amenity?

Real estate agent shows home to potential homebuyers
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DEFINITION

An amenity is a feature of residential or commercial property that enhances the appeal to the inhabitants.

An amenity is a feature of residential or commercial property that enhances the appeal to the inhabitants. The term “amenity” can refer to features built into the property and those that are part of the community. Amenities are generally very desirable for residents and increase the value of a property.

Learn more about what an amenity is, typical examples, and what kind of value they can add.

Definition and Examples of an Amenity

The term "amenity" refers to the desirable features in a home, residential community, or commercial property that enhance its appeal to potential inhabitants or tenants. Amenities include features both inside the unit and as part of the community. Amenities help make a residence or neighborhood more comfortable and convenient.

Housing units with more desirable amenities can attract new residents, cost more, or have higher rents. Amenities tend to lead to higher resident satisfaction, occupancy, and property values.

For example, amenities frequently offered by apartments or condominium complexes are swimming pools, fitness facilities, park areas, pet spaces, and playgrounds.

Many apartment complexes also try to align their amenities with the tenants they hope to attract. If an apartment complex consists mainly of one-bedroom units catering to young professionals, they may offer amenities such as co-working spaces or fitness but fewer child-friendly spaces.

How Do Amenities Work?

Amenities are used to create market appeal and generate more value. However, for renters and owners, amenities mean higher costs.

Market Appeal

In an email interview with The Balance, Andrew Meditz, president of Elite Amenity Management based in New York, revealed some of the most desirable amenities. These include access to a private gym, fitness studio, and swimming pool. He also noted that work-from-home amenities, such as co-working spaces or common areas, have become very desirable.

In an email interview with The Balance, Andrew Meditz, president of Elite Amenity Management based in New York, revealed some of the most desirable amenities. These include access to a private gym, fitness studio, and swimming pool. He also noted that work-from-home amenities, such as co-working spaces or common areas, have become very desirable.

Smart technology is also becoming more attractive. In an email interview with The Balance, real estate broker Michael Dean said, “From state-of-the-art, highly efficient HVAC to integrated lighting systems and app-driven security systems, the more technologically adept your home is, the better your market appeal.”

Add Value

Amenities add value for owners and those living in the community. According to Alex Peña of RentHop in an email to The Balance, “A good rule of thumb is that anything that adds on to the amount of usable space (like a storage unit, parking spot, or balcony) or creates more efficiency (like washer and dryer in unit, dishwasher, or elevator) will be a sought-after amenity and increase the value of the apartment.”

Increase Upkeep Costs

Because many community amenities are shared among the housing complex or neighborhood, they may need professional management and maintenance. In an apartment complex, the upkeep of these facilities is often managed in-house. Residents have no role in the maintenance but pay for it through increased rent.

Some apartment complexes may have an amenity fee on top of rent; often, renters who don't pay the fees do not have access to the amenities.

However, in a condominium complex or planned community, owners are generally required to become members of a homeowners association (HOA) and agree to abide by the conditions, covenants, and restrictions (CC&Rs) upon purchasing the property. As a part of the CC&Rs, the homeowner agrees to pay fees for the HOA to hire management and maintain the amenities. Board members are elected for the HOA and then govern neighborhood decisions, amenities, common area maintenance, neighborhood appearance, and more.

Types of Amenities

Amenities generally can be classified into two categories: in-unit amenities and community amenities.

In-Unit Amenities

In-unit amenities are found within the residential unit itself. Some common examples of in-unit amenities include:

  • Washers and dryers
  • Central air conditioning
  • Forced air heating
  • Balconies
  • Smart-home features
  • Wi-Fi
  • High-speed internet
  • Security
  • High-end fixtures and finishes
  • Renovated spaces
  • Open floor plans
  • Pet-friendly spaces
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Closets or storage space
  • Large windows and natural light

Community Amenities

Community amenities are shared by the residents of the apartment building, condominium complex, or HOA-governed neighborhood. Some examples include:

  • Swimming pools
  • Clubhouses
  • Tennis courts
  • Fitness facilities
  • Parking
  • Covered parking
  • Parks
  • Common areas
  • Pet areas
  • Security
  • Package lockers
  • Bike storage
  • Co-working spaces
  • Electric car charging stations
  • Kids’ play areas
  • Barbeque areas
  • Picnic tables
  • Community garden spaces
  • Green spaces
  • Elevators

In a study by the National Multifamily Housing Council and Grace Hill, residents are willing to pay more for units that feature in-unit washers and dryers, air conditioning, soundproof walls, high-speed internet, and walk-in closets—because home, now more than ever, is considered to be a safe space.

How Much Do Amenities Cost?

Here are a few examples of typical amenity fees when they’re not included in rent:

  • One-time: anywhere from $100 to $500 upon moving in
  • Monthly: $30 per month
  • Swimming pool: $30 to $50 for the season
  • Bike storage: $10 to $20 per bike per month
  • Outdoor parking spaces: $10 to $400 per month
  • Covered parking spot: $50 to $600 per month
  • Storage: $50 to $200, depending on the size of the unit
  • Fitness centers: often included with rent, but some complexes where space is a premium can charge a fee
  • Package lockers or management: $3 to $5 per month, sometimes with an activation fee of around $30

Charges and expectations for amenities vary widely in different parts of the country. In some areas, it is typical for amenities to be included in the price of rent, and tenants do not need to pay an additional fee. Some apartment complexes charge a one-time amenity fee, while others may charge them monthly.

Key Takeaways

  • An amenity can increase the desirability and value of a property to owners and tenants.
  • Amenities can be included in rent, although this is not always the case.
  • Some amenities are offered inside the unit; others are offered as part of the community. 
  • Popular amenities include yards, smart home technology, security, and co-working spaces.

Article Sources

  1. National Multifamily Housing Council. "2022 NMHC-Grace Hill Renter Preferences Survey Report."

  2. Fidelity Management. "Are Apartment Amenities Free?"