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Renting an apartment or a room? Which one fits students best?


No matter which rental option you choose, deciding to rent an apartment or a room can be a dilemma for students.

You would want to watch a Premier League match in the early hour and invite your friends over, but it could interrupt your housemates’ good night sleep. You like having visitors and having a pet at home but not everyone is comfortable with your cuddly furry friend.  It could be a bit frustrating but above all, you want a place that is warm, cozy and happy. There are some key points that students should keep in mind before renting an apartment or a room.

We will walk you through the pros and cons of both housing options.

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Pros: Apartment

Living solo in an apartment offers more freedom

Renting an apartment could be a huge incentive, especially if you are a student who really values your me time. From wall to wall, the whole space is yours. You will not annoy anybody but yourself. In other words, it means no house rules. You can spend the whole day and night playing video games with friends, inviting friends over for group assignments, or watching football matches without having to cause discomfort to other housemates. On top of that, you will not have restrictions about quiet hours, having overnight visitors, shared living spaces and bills. An apartment rental fee is certainly far from cheap. But it is worth it, especially if you find it difficult to share space with others. Everyone has a potentially irritating habit, and this includes you!

Apartments have amenities and extras

Apartments are often furnished, or semi-furnished. This means you don’t have to lug over a full living room set and all the furniture you need for a complete home. Besides, apartment complexes often have gyms, pools, maintenance team and other facilities that tenants may use. In addition to that, apartments are usually in prime areas, right in the downtown where public transportations are convenient.

Cons: Apartment

It’s too pricey for a student wage!

To be completely honest, renting an apartment is probably too expensive for a student.  This is also not the best option if you are only planning to stay for a short period of time. Always explore your options when you are choosing an apartment or a private room.  Nevertheless, you can opt to be a master tenant and rent out the rooms to your friends.  You can accommodate four to five friends, depending on the size of the apartment. This is a big advantage for you as you can choose the people who, you want to live in with. It could bring down the rental cost by splitting all the expenditures. There are a few affordable student hotspots such as Setapak, Cyberjaya, Subang, and Sunway. The rental fee is ranging from RM 1, 200 to RM 2,500. You will find renting it out to friends a lot cheaper rather than having it all alone.

No pets allowed

No, not even the little ones. Many apartment complexes forbid tenants from having furry friends at home. This is usually for hygiene purposes. Check with the management if you are planning to have your pets with you. Be clear on this matter before you sign on the dotted line to prevent disputes later.

READ: 7 most affordable duplexes/ studios for rent in Klang Valley


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Pros: Room

Cheaper rental fee. Ka-ching!

Renting a room is budget friendly compared to having a whole apartment of your own. Even the whole place is not entirely yours, you still have the necessities like a bathroom, a kitchen, white goods, and a common area. From a financial standpoint, this is the most ideal for students as splitting bills and other utilities can save you a lot of money.

Making new friends and learning new things

This arrangement can work quite well with a little bit of respect for others. Besides being cost effective, having housemates offer you a whole new experience that is certainly out of textbooks, laboratories, and lectures.  You and your housemates can take turns making meals or maybe pick up on a new culture if you came from different backgrounds.  For international students, renting a room in a shared house could give you a glimpse of a better cultural experience.

Cons: Room

You need to follow house rules

Listen up students, you may need to follow a few additional rules to be respectful of other tenants when you live in a shared house. This might mean having to keep noise at a minimum level, overnight guests are not allowed to be over, and strictly no pets allowed. Sometimes, things can go south if one of you leaves the house in a mess. This could even be you! Make sure you can tolerate and to give and take if you decided to rent a room in a shared house.

The problem gets real when it involves a commitment

The bigger problem may arise when a housemate couldn’t pay his rent, bills and other expenses. Obviously, you don’t want to find yourself subsidizing someone else’s habit of leaving the television on or excessive usage of the air conditioner.  Rentals often go smoothly when everyone takes part in rent and utility payments. Do share house chores like taking out the garbage, tidying up the common room as everyone has an equal share of the space. Decide if you are renting a room because you wanted to save money. Maybe you are looking for extras that only an apartment can offer.

ALSO READ: 5 students ought to know before deciding to rent a house

It is important to know exactly what you expect from a rental property. Make sure it accommodates all your expectations from your budget to white goods, storage space and most importantly your privacy. Do a balance check when deciding to rent an apartment or a room. If you wanted to cut down the cost, keep the price in mind but if you have the money to spend on a personal space, why not? Decide what’s worth for you!

Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. Malaysia Sdn Bhd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

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