While renting at a by the room community may save money, it can lead to some awkward situations if your roommates hog the bathroom, refuse to do the dishes and don't pay their bills on time. Each situation has pros and cons to consider before you start packing.
Make sure pets are allowed at the home where you are renting a room. Here at Steel Management we welcome all sorts of breeds. Also, clarify what rights the pet will have within the rest of the home. Some people will require that your pet stay only in your room, if not on his way outside. Some may say that the pet only gets house privileges with your supervision. With your own apartment, you say where you pet can and can not go.
Check out the price for 1-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments in the area where you are moving. People renting out a room sometimes list rooms for more than the going rate for one’s own apartment, as they hope to entice renters unfamiliar with the area who think they are getting a good deal. Stay clear of this trap by making sure you are getting a good rate. If you can get your private apartment at Steel Management for the same amount of money or cheaper, you may just want to do that.
When you rent an apartment, the entire place is yours. Even if you opt for a small apartment to save money, the space is yours from wall to wall. If you rent only a room, however, you'll have to share common areas like the bathroom and kitchen.
If your utilities are part of your room rent, you won't have to pay extra if you use more electricity watching TV or spending extra time on the computer. If you pay a percentage of the bill, however, you could find yourself subsidizing someone else's rampant air conditioner use or habit of leaving lights on.
A bigger problem, however, may come if you discover your landlord has financial problems. If you can't pay your apartment rent, you'll know that eviction and tough times may come your way. You won't necessarily see trouble coming in a room rental. If you rent a room in someone's home and they stop paying the mortgage, you might not know they're about to face foreclosure. If you haven't paid your electric bill, you know the power will eventually get shut off. In a room rental, you may not know there's an issue until you find yourself sitting in the dark. When renting a room, recognize that you're relying on strangers.
No matter where you rent, consider whether or not the unit has the amenities you want. Apartment complexes often have pools, hot tubs, gyms and other bonus spaces that tenants may use. You could give that up if you rent a room.
In your own apartment, you have a lock on your front door and control over who visits your home. Although your landlord can come in for repairs or problems, your privacy and security generally remain in your control. If you're renting a bedroom in a private home, however, locking your door and securing your space becomes more of a challenge. A home safe or safety deposit box at the local bank will keep your valuables safe, but you may find you have much less control over who's given access to the home.