Renting a Room Vs. Whole Apartment? Which Suits You?

So, you decided to move out of your parents’ house? Good job in taking the first step to adulthood! You are filled with the excitement of youth, finally having the freedom that you have longed for all this while. But, what do you do now? Where do you go? Where should you stay? These are the type of questions that overwhelm if not all most young adult once we realize that we are not able to depend on anyone but ourselves. These are the few major factors that you should be considering:

  • Rental Cost
  • Privacy
  • Utility Bill
  • Amenities and Extras

Don’t worry. SPEEDHOME is the best property platform to get affordable house rental! We’re here to help you make an informed decision when choosing between these two. But let’s be real, each rental option has its own perks and drawbacks. We will see the pros and cons of both housing options in advance.

Before you start talking to landlords about the rental option that you have chosen, first you have to decide what exactly you are looking for. You have to determine which factor is most important to you because honestly, there will be some things that you have to overlook. Let’s see what they are:

Rental Cost

Renting a room is usually significantly cheaper than getting an apartment especially in expensive areas like Klang Valley. As of May 2020, renting a furnished private room in Klang Valley costs about RM800 monthly. Whereas, a fully-furnished 500 sqft studio apartment in Kuala Lumpur costs from RM2,000 per month. But beware, experts have advised not to exceed a certain percentage of income when spending on rent. Remember that you have to spend your income on other necessities as well. So don’t blow all your money just because you want to live in an apartment.

To be completely honest, from a financial standpoint, if you are a student or a fresh graduate, renting a room is the most ideal option. Alternatively, if you really like the apartment unit until makan tak kenyang and tidur tak lena, what you can do is you can opt out to be a master tenant and rent out the other rooms or space to some of your trusted friends. But make sure that the landlord knows about it, though!


When you rent an apartment, the entire place is yours from wall to wall. This is important especially if you are someone who really values privacy and personal space. You are able to play music as loud as you want at any time of the day without annoying anyone. You also will be able to decorate the house according to your whim. You could put a bookshelf, your musical instruments, or your own paintings in the living room. Basically, there are no house rules to follow.

On the other hand, if you rent a room, you will have to share common areas like the living room and kitchen. Or, if you rent a room without a private bathroom attached, you even have to share the same bathroom with strangers. Basically, the only space where you can put all your stuff freely is in your bedroom. However, that space alone is usually not nearly enough. Let’s just say that things between you and your housemates can go south very easily. The problem could even be you. In truth, everyone has one or two annoying habits that not everyone can tolerate. Before deciding to rent a room, be honest with yourself about your ability to tolerate others and even change your behaviours.

Utility Bills

Usually, when you rent a room, your landlord will ask for rental that includes utility bills. This is because there is no way for your landlord to know how much portion of the utility bill belongs to you. What this means is that you don’t have to pay extra if you spend more time playing on your laptop. You could even play that Lofi hip hop mix on YouTube non-stop while you’re asleep, working, or studying.

On the other hand, it is pretty straight forward if you rent an apartment by yourselves. Normally, if you rent a whole apartment, the utility bill is separate to your rental in which you have to pay for every month. That means you pay for whatever you use. But, problems may arise if you rent an apartment with a couple of friends. You may divide the utility bill by percentage between your housemates. What’s worst is that you might end up paying for or subsidizing someone else’s excessive air conditioner use or any other bad habits.

Amenities and Extras

What is more important than the type of building that you want to rent in is that the amenities that the property building provides. Apartment complexes often have a lot of amenities that a landed house doesn’t provide. If you rent a room in a landed house, you might have to forego these facilities, but these are not the things that are super important. What is important, though, is the accessibility that these buildings offer. For one, apartment buildings oftentimes are located near public transportation hubs like bus stops or LRT/MRT stations. This might not be a problem to someone who has their own transportation, but it might be inconvenient and a waste of money if you have to take a Grab everywhere you go.

Yet, if you rent an unfurnished apartment unit (which costs way less than furnished units), you have to buy all these furniture and stock up your kitchen. And that would be adding to the cost of the whole apartment. A room rental usually already come with a bed, a dresser, and a study table. Plus the kitchen is stocked with all that you need to prepare a meal.

In summary…

Bottom line is, you have to decide whether you want to rent a room or apartment based on these factors above. To make it even simpler, we will make a short comparison and also a list on why you should rent an apartment or a room:

More privacyRent is cheaper
No house rulesAble to learn to tolerate others
Utility bill is dependent on yourselfRoom is move-in ready
Better amenitiesShare common areas
Better accessibilityMight subsidize other people’s bills
Quite expensiveTransportation hubs are far

Apartments are great because:

  • You will have your own personal space.
  • There are no house rules to follow.
  • You only have to pay for the utility bill based on how much you personally use.
  • Better amenities.
  • Better accessibility to transportation hubs.

But, the downside is:

  • They are hella expensive for a student or a fresh graduate!

On the other hand, room rental should be your number one choice because:

  • The rent is significantly cheaper.
  • You’re able to learn how to tolerate other people.
  • Your room is move-in ready. Furniture is there and kitchen is stocked!

But, it’s bad because:

  • You have to share common areas.
  • You might have to subsidize your housemate’s share of bill.
  • If you’re in a landed house, transportation hubs are far.

Do you agree with this article? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!


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