This is a typical question landlords ask themselves when renting their properties. Sometimes it seems better to just rent the unit and some other times it may be worth it to rent the room. The reality is that not all owners and property managers have the same time or resources and those two factors will need to be considered before making the choice.Legislation around each one of this options is different too so consider the differences carefully when deciding what option suits you better.

We will list some of the advantages and disadvantages of each option and we will let you decide what you think it is best.

rental by the unit




  • It is easier to manage tenants’ payments as you only receive one payment a month for the whole unit.
  • You don’t have to worry about replacing tenants that leave one room as the other tenants will look for a replacement to pay their rent.
  • You only worry about overall issues in the house instead of individual issues that may arise per room.
  • Often times the tenants will feel more at home as they will only contact you to manage general maintenance problems, but it will feel more like their home as they will have more control over who comes in the house. Many tenants like this option as they like to choose who they will be living with. So this is something to bear in mind when deciding on one option or the other.
  • You can set a rental fee for the whole property which may reflect more the advantages of the house (like a garden, a big living room, two bathrooms etc.)


  • You may not have as much control on what happens inside the apartment. If that is important to you, then, it may not be the best option.
  • You will not have as much control on who lives in the apartment. You can always screen who gets in, of course, but this would depend on the level of involvement that you want to have.

rental by the room



  • You have more control over your house and the rooms as you will manage each one individually.
  • You can set a fee for each room and reflect the advantages of each room in the rent you ask for. So if a room is bigger and ensuite you can ask for more rent than for a single room.
  • You can be more involved in the general maintenance of the house, new tenants and cleaning. Many landlords prefer this option as it keeps the house in better shape.
  • You can have a more active role deciding who gets each room and even set a different duration for each contract if you prefer. Many landlords like this option as they want to have the room available during the summer for example for family members for example.


  • It will take more time and work to manage the payments from the tenants, to manage bills and the maintenance of the house. It will be more similar to a hotel in the sense that you will have to account for check-outs and each inspection will be done per room and not per unit.
  • You will need to find and screen for prospective tenants for the rooms when the current one leaves the apartment or house. Many landlords do not care about this, but others simply don’t have the time.
  • Market competition with other apartments can be hard and tenants will be looking at price per room, and so they will be focusing only on that. Some landlords feel that the general market price per room does not reflect the quality of the house and rest of benefits and appliances (like a garden, number of bathrooms and size and quality of the kitchen and living room).

So if you are thinking about renting your property have a think about these two options and decide what would work better in your case. The job of a landlord or a property manager is not easy at all since you have to manage so many aspects of the accommodation cycle.

For student housing, many think that renting by the room is better but it all depends on how much time and resources you have at your disposal. We offer software to manage properties and student accommodation that will make your life easier. Try the DEMO for free and decide for yourself!

tcas accommodation software




Share This