Is Rent-by-Bedroom the Wave of the Future?
By Randa Griffin
Rents continue to grow — 2.9 percent through the first three quarters of 2019, according to a recent Yardi report — and demand for apartments remains high, with occupancy rates staying above 90 percent across the state. New renters entering the market may find that the price of even a one-bedroom apartment is too steep.
One answer could be renting by bedroom, which has begun to show up in more places than just student housing. The option to rent by bedroom takes the hassle of finding roommates off the resident and helps the community ensure that roommates are all qualified and separately responsible for their leases, while also reducing the cost of rent for individual residents.
X Miami is a 646-unit community located in the heart of downtown Miami that opened in summer 2018. The community is taking the lead when it comes to renting by bedroom, rather than units.
"The design narrative for the project is 'downtown hustle,' and the goal was to create attainably priced homes with the most fun and useful amenities," said Brian Koles, PMG brand and marketing director.
Koles said from a management perspective, the concept of renting by bedroom has many benefits, mainly because roommates have their own separate leases, which makes billing and renewals much easier than typical roommate arrangements. Turning units is also much simpler.
"The fully furnished units make move ins and move outs very easy," he said.
Rather than arriving with moving trucks and large pieces of furniture, residents normally show up with just a few suitcases and boxes.
Koles said the biggest challenge to having individual bedrooms as a "unit type" is that it doesn't easily integrate with some property management software, but as the trend grows, software capabilities will likely grow with it.
Given the housing affordability crisis that is especially acute in urban Florida, Koles thinks renting by bedroom will become a typical feature in most successful apartment communities. As for X Miami, the concept has been so successful, there's no going back, he said.
"It’s been a phenomenal success that PMG is replicating in new projects across the country," he said. "People are renting longer, paying off huge student loans, valuing experience over stuff, and craving authentic, real-world connections."
Like many services in the sharing economy, the concept can seem difficult at first, but Koles said with clear expectations and consistent accountability for renters, it can yield huge benefits for the community and residents.