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Explained: Renting By The Bed Vs. By The Apartment

Whether to rent “by the bed” or “by the apartment” is a key question many students must consider while searching for apartments in Allendale. Each of the different types of student housing has its own set of pros and cons, but the best approach ultimately depends upon the individual's specific situation and living-style preferences. In case you’re not well-versed in the “by the bed” versus “by the apartment” debate, 48 West offers an overview of the two housing contract options.

Renting Methods Explained

In years past, the traditional form of renting (by the apartment) comprised one housing contract signed by multiple tenants who lived together. But today, GVSU off campus housing — like 48 West — uses individual housing contracts to better suit the needs of student renters in Michigan. With this type of housing contract, tenants rent private bedrooms — or by the bed — in their apartments and share common areas with roommates, as they would under a traditional housing contract. To understand which method of renting meets your needs, review the following considerations.

Signing Housing Contract For GVSU Student Apartment

Roommate Liability

When it comes down to the actual monthly installments tenants, it costs about the same to rent an entire apartment or only one room. Yet the levels of financial risk are very different, and that can serve to impact students’ roommate decisions. When renting by the apartment, your roommate or roommates must be trusted to pay their share of the installment payments throughout the full contract term. Otherwise, renters could end up spending more money than bargained for. When renting by the bed, whether your roommates are financially responsible has no bearing on your financial situation. So, you can relax and worry only about your affairs.

Apartments Traits

When they’re looking for off campus housing, GVSU students note several distinctions between communities that offer by the apartment Vs. by the bed living spaces. Off campus housing rented by the apartment tends to be traditional in a number of different senses. Usually, the apartments aren’t furnished, the culture isn’t student-oriented, and the location isn’t necessarily near GVSU campus. On the other hand, student communities that offer apartments by the bed often include furnished apartments, student-friendly amenities, and a location close to campus as well as other popular destinations.

Cost Considerations

Whether they’re buying groceries or gasoline, smart consumers know to pay attention to the price of items — which leads to the question: between renting by the bed and by the apartment, which is the cheaper way to rent? There’s no ready answer, but rather the cost considerations depend on the factors you review.  

Price Per Room

The monthly installment prices that are listed for GVSU housing vary depending on which of the two housing contract options are utilized. When renting by the apartment, the number of bedrooms typically determines the price of the monthly payments. For example, one-bedroom apartments, on paper, cost less than two-bedroom units. These, in turn, cost less than four-bedroom residences. In contrast, renting by the room doesn’t have aggregated monthly installment prices for the entire unit. Because students pay for individual bedrooms, the installment payment costs are comparable to apartments with different numbers of bedrooms.

Reliance On Roommates

In Allendale apartments rented by the bed, the monthly payment prices listed on paper or website reflect the amounts of monthly payments that tenants actually pay every month. But this isn’t necessarily the case for tenants who rent by the apartment — or those who split the cost of the apartment by combining payments and submitting one check for the apartment each month. In two-bedroom units, for example, roommates often split the monthly payments. But, if one roommate vacates early, the other roommate is responsible for paying the full price. reliance on roommates is a significant consideration, especially due to financial liability.