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Exploring the differences and similarities between co-living and traditional apartment rentals

December 15, 2022 | By Roomrs


When it comes to the New York City rental market, there are so many options to choose from. And each comes with its own set of added benefits for the price. Some offer money off rent for a longer lease, utilities included in the price of the unit, free wifi, and others even come fully furnished! It’s important to decide which amenities on your checklist are non-negotiable, and weigh the value of the unit to the price attached.


Both co-living and traditional apartment rentals have their own unique perks. Keep reading if you’re interested in comparing the two and learning more about each.

What is Co-Living?

You may be wondering to yourself, well what is co-living? If you’ve never heard the term before, co-living is a form of shared living in which renters have their own private bedroom in a shared apartment. Apartments have a minimum of 2 bedrooms (in some instances, 1 bedroom options are available as well), with some companies offering accommodation for up to five people. It’s appealing for those looking for ease, flexibility, and a sense of community. But more on that later in the article.



Your lease

When it comes to traditional apartment rentals, it’s difficult, if not impossible to find rental properties that will allow you to sign a lease of less than one year. Most have a one-year minimum commitment, and many offer incentives for those willing to sign on longer.


On the other hand, co-living offers very flexible lease terms. The majority allows a minimum commitment of only three months. This is a great option for students, recent residents of the city, or those in-between apartments and looking for a more permanent home. Whatever the reason, flexible leasing is an awesome benefit of co-living.


Unlike traditional rentals, co-living spaces come fully furnished! Having to furnish an entire apartment can be costly and time-consuming. Because pieces are so expensive, it often takes months or even years before homeowners or renters consider their place to be complete.


Co-living guarantees all apartments come with everything you need for comfortable living. Each includes a fully furnished living room, fully furnished bedroom, full-sized smart mattresses, smart tv, fully stocked kitchen, and more! Essentially, all you need to move in is your suitcase.


Utilities are housing expenses that include gas, water, and electricity. Internet access has previously been considered separate from public utilities. But for the purpose of this article, I’m going to consider wifi a utility.


These bills are paid separately, and for the most part, not incorporated into the price of your rent. When budgeting for an apartment, it's likely you’ll need to consider the price of utilities as well.


Luckily, co-living makes budgeting for utilities a thing of the past. When you pay your rent every month, electricity, gas, water, AND wifi, are all included.




Day-to-day cleaning can be exhausting. There's nothing worse than coming home after a long day to a sink full of dishes. This can be further exacerbated by roommates who don’t do their share of chores.


Imagine having a rental company provide monthly cleaning services free of charge?!


This is one of the advantages of renting a co-living space. As part of your rent, you get one complimentary cleaning service a month. However, cleaning only extends to the common areas (kitchen, living room, bathrooms, etc) So, you’ll still be responsible for keeping your bedroom tidy.


Both traditional apartments and co-living units include a variety of different amenities.


Some traditional apartments can comprise of an elevator building, doorman, fitness center, onsite parking, game room, playroom, washer, and dryer in unit and shared or private outdoor space. Of course, luxury buildings that have a long list of amenities, usually boast a much higher price point.


Other apartments, however, may have some or none of the previously listed amenities. Again, examine what on your checklist is non-negotiable, and go from there.


Co-living does provide, at minimum, a washer and dryer in each apartment. Some units have shared outdoor space, and others have multiple private balconies plus additional communal outdoor space. One building even has a lounge area/ workspace where you can come together with other renters to hang out or find some quiet away from your roommates to get work done.


Regardless, similar to traditional housing, no two apartments have the exact same amenities.


In both traditional apartments rentals and co-living, prices vary.


The variations in price for traditional apartments are too vast to break down. However, co-living starts at around $1300.


With that being said, prices may increase depending on the size of the apartment, neighborhood, amenities that are included, outdoor space, etc. Luckily, even the most inexpensive co-living apartment comes fully furnished, with utilities included, a washer and dryer in the unit, a stocked kitchen, oh and did I mention a dishwasher too?!


Choosing Roomrs gives you access to all the amazing perks in this article. They value ease, flexibility, and community, to offer you a seamless living experience from beginning to end.

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