Private or Shared?

Private or Shared? How to Choose the Right Rental Space

Renting your own place can be exciting, but at the same time, stressful. We may rent spaces to live closer to where we work or study, or to have a space that’s exclusively ours. The kind of space you choose will determine how much you’ll be able to enjoy the time you spend there.

For instance, you may have rented a bed space in a dorm near your university, but will you be able to study in the space if you have a lot of roommates? Maybe you rented an apartment for you to be able to live on your own, but will you be allowed to bring your pet dog or cat with you? And maybe you decided to rent in order to save money in the long-term? Is it worth it to rent a private room, or would a shared room be more cost-effective?

The space you choose will determine how well you’ll be able to customize your lifestyle, based on your own personal needs and goals.

So before you commit to the listing, ask yourself these questions:

  • How much privacy do I want to have?
  • Where do I want to live?
  • Are there accommodations specifically rented for people like me?
  • What amenities do I really need?

1. How much privacy do I want to have?

Do you want a private room, a shared room, or an entire place? The primary difference is how much privacy you will be able to have for yourself.

Shared Room – You will have to share a room with one or more people. This might mean having one roommate in a bedroom of a house, or staying in a dormitory-style set-up with numerous bunk beds in a single room. Bathroom and kitchen facilities are shared.

Private Room – You have a room to yourself. This may be a single bedroom in an apartment, or a bedroom in a house, but you’ll certainly have a bed for yourself and a private area to stash your belongings. You may have to share bathroom or kitchen space if these are not part of the room.

Entire Place – You have an entire space to yourself. This may be an entire apartment, or even an entire house. You have sole access to kitchen and bathroom facilities.

Sharing a room is cost-efficient, but it also means you’ll have to deal with the habits of your roommates, even if some might be your pet peeves. On the other hand, living alone means you can be as messy as you want without bothering other people, but it will certainly cost more. Consider what you’re willing to compromise, before you make your decision.

2. Where do I want to live?

Shared rooms, private rooms, and entire places, can be classified into different types of properties. They may be apartments, dormitories, condominiums, or houses.

Apartment – A large building where individual rooms are rented out. The landlord in this case is the apartment building’s owner. Residents may have access to common amenities like a swimming pool, events areas, or a gym.

Condominium – Similar to an apartment, but individual rooms are purchased. The landlord in this case is the unit’s owner. Residents may have access to common amenities like a swimming pool, events areas, or a gym.

Dormitories – A residential space optimized for housing many renters. A single room in a dormitory may have several beds. There may be common areas where people can gather. Bathroom and kitchen facilities are shared.

House – The sizes and locations vary widely, but a house for rent may be a single unit along the streets of a city, or a townhouse inside a gated community. Houses typically include a kitchen, a bathroom, as well as living and bedroom facilities. 

Your primary consideration is the location of the building, and how much you need the other amenities. For instance, it may not be important for you to have access to a swimming pool, but you may need the events area to hold meetings for your start-up company.

Residential buildings will also have round-the-clock security as opposed to a house.

3. Are there accommodations specifically for people like me?

Some landlords are looking for specific renters; for instance, some spaces look for female-only, or male-only renters due to safety concerns.

Some spaces are advertised for people working in a particular business district, or studying in a particular area, because of the location of the residential building.

If you have pets, you may need to check if the space you’re renting will allow it. Similarly, some spaces are up for rent for single or couple renters, while others are more optimal for families with small children.

Part of narrowing your search for the perfect space to rent includes making sure that you’re “The One” — that you match the kind of renter your landlord is looking for.

4. What amenities do I really need?

Does the place you want to rent have WiFi? Is it close to a 7/11 Convenience Store or Ministop? Is it difficult to commute to work or school, and from during rush hour?

What may seem like small, seemingly unimportant details have a big effect on your everyday life. Take even the littlest, minor amenities into consideration—such as if the space has a working electric kettle and furniture like chairs and tables. This will determine whether or not you’ll need to bring your own materials, or buy new ones. This means that your budget will have to be tweaked, depending on the circumstances.

Make sure to have a very good idea of what you need to be comfortable, and don’t take their absence from a listing for granted.

Fortunately, we have good news for you! The system acknowledges your answers to all of these questions, and makes it easier for you to filter through the many rental listings in any given location. All you have to do now is to ask yourself, “What do I really need from a rented space?