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6 Room Rental Nightmares (For Tenants) - What You Need to Know Before Renting A Room!

Updated: Apr 17, 2021

room rental nightmare
Room Rental Nightmare - What You Need To Know Before Renting a Room

I used to think that I knew what nightmares were. Then everything makes sense when I became a tenant. I’ve seen so many types of nightmares since I began this renting journey, things I did not even know could exist. Hence, I decided to compile some of the Top Room Rental Nightmares you may go through and you need to know about them before renting a room.

For the majority of us, housing is our biggest monthly expense - on average 35% of our incomes. Across the country many renters are forking out huge amounts of money simply to keep a roof over their heads. But what happens when you have a nightmare landlord? Or you are faced with a filthy living environment? Or even a living environment which poses a danger to your health and safety?

If you think renting a room is just about selecting a location, negotiating for good rental rate, and packed your bag once you have made the payment, then you might want to keep on reading. Below are few basic must-know for first-time room renters.

So let's cut to the chase.

6. Hidden Cost!

Hidden Cost of Renting a Room
Hidden Cost of Renting a Room

Renting is not just about paying your rent on time. Hidden fees or expenses can be quite troublesome and it may cause lots of misunderstanding between landlords and the tenants. And worst, you might end up paying twice as much in rental over the long term! Below are a few common hidden costs:

1) Repairs & cleaning

2) Condo-related expenses

3) Air-conditioning related expenses (servicing, leaking, cooling gas etc)

4) Agent fees, contract fees or stamping fee 5) Utilities bill (commonly missed out are cooking gas & Indah Water charges)

6) Wifi fee 7) Before-stay and after-stay cleaning fee 8) Wear & tear, accidental damage

9) Deposit (as well as not getting back your deposit).

If you want to avoid from all these from happening, read through the tenancy agreement, twice. Once you find out that something doesn't make sense, ASK! Make sure you and your landlord are clear on some of the house rules. Also, don't forget to run through potential charges above with your landlords to clear things out before moving in or booking the room.

Furthermore, if you are renting an older room, do expect issues related to plumbing, electrical or malfunctioning of appliances. Speak to your landlord on this before proceeding!

To sum up, hidden fees are not easy to avoid. But make sure you are not in the dark before renting a room.

Overall Stress : 7/10

Frequency : 8/10

Headache : 6/10

5. Housemates Leaving Before the Expiration of Tenancy

Rent a Room together
All are good, until someone decided to leave

Some of us might want to save money by jointly renting a room, or just want to stay with his or her best buddy. But be extra cautious!

As a tenant, you are ‘individually and jointly liable’ for the rent of the entire home. This means that if your housemate leaves and you continue to occupy the rented premises, then you are responsible for all the rent until a new tenant moves in. And even if you find a new tenant, you might need to seek your landlord's approval.

If you are still within the fixed term of your agreement, it’s probably best to try to get a new housemate in as soon as possible, or negotiate an exit penalty with your housemate to hopefully cover the expenses. You can try explaining the situation to your landlord to reduce the rent until you find a new tenant (but trust me, its easier said than done). However, landlords are under no obligation to do this and may try to evict you if you fail to pay the monthly rent.

If you are the master tenant, remember, your other housemate might not even want to bear the cost of the empty room. They might think they are just renting a room from you, and the vacant cost is not their responsibilities.

Solution, have a clear understanding with your housemate before jointly rent a home. Or just rent a room where you are only liable for your own rent. If you are renting in Kuala Lumpur, Utopia do have many rooms where you are only responsible for your own rent.

Overall Stress : 7/10

Frequency : 5/10

Headache : 9/10

4. Unexpected Utilities Bills

shocking utilities bill
Utilities bill dont come cheap.

You open your mailbox and next thing you know: insanely high electric bill. You ask yourself "why is my electric bill so high? What changed from the last month? What could cause such a sudden increase?

The answer probably doesn't involve your own usage - but others.

High utilities bills is also another common nightmares for the tenants. It is not easy regulating utilities or electricity usage when living with other tenants - especially those that are not on the same page. Splitting bills evenly do not solve this problem. Those who use more, will pay less; and those who use less will pay more. It is never fair.

This means that it will be a kind of loss to those who use electric rarely. On the other hand, if the other tenants who always have their AC on 24/7, may them rejoice. And thus, a never ending argument.

The solution: having an individual metering system. This is the best for both landlords and tenants and can greatly reduce the monthly stress level. However, having an individual meter for each room is very rare - and installation cost itself might not justify doing it (oh did we mentioned that most landlords wouldn't care as well).

Therefore before renting a room, have a chat with your housemate to clear the air on the usage, or choose a room that comes with an individual meter. It will save you tons of monthly headache later on.

Overall Stress: 8/10

Frequency : 10/10

Headache : 6/10

3. Landlords Unwilling Do The Repair a.k.a. Irresponsible Landlords

Damages are bound to happen. Most landlord may step up to fix and repair in an immediate fashion. On the other hand, there are also landlords that are irresponsible and will either leave the problem to the tenants and not wanting to bear the cost. Well in short - irresponsible landlords.

If your landlord does not want to make repairs after multiple notification, you may need to consider other options, such as making repairs yourself and deducting the cost from your rent, or working with other tenants to put pressure on the landlord, or the last resort - withholding your rent (do this at your own risk). Bear in mind, two wrong doesn't make one right. Withholding your rent might get you evicted as it is bounded by the legal contract.

All in all, you should avoid this from happening by reading the agreement before move in and to ensure that landlord promises as what is in the agreement. Also, trust your gut instinct. If you feel uncomfortable with your landlord, you are probably right. Nonetheless, if you wish to rent a room with all repairs fees included, check out Utopia here.

Overall Stress : 7/10

Frequency : 7/10

Headache : 7/10

2. Cleanliness, Dirty Toilets, Pests Infestation (i.e. roached & bedbugs)

Most of us will require for a good and clean environment if they rent a room, and it's probably the top most priority. Hygiene always come first. Just imagine if they rent a unit with all year round dirty toilets and kitchen, or pest infiltrated environment. If you ever tried renting a room, you may find yourself in this situation more often than not.

Unwashed Dishes a Common Senario
Unwashed Dishes a Common Senario

True story: room rental with mosquitoes larvae grow in the unwashed maggi bowl. How disgusting it is! If the your landlord does not provide free cleaning for the tenants, and no one wants to adhere to the routine cleaning schedule, try hiring an outside hourly cleaner. Well another extra cost, but it will worth your every dime.

In short, make sure housemate do have a cleaning schedule (and do follow it!), or request for a cleaning services from your landlord. If you just want to sit back and relax, checkout Utopia Room Rental - the team do provide free daily cleaning services. Yes you heard it right, daily.

Overall Stress : 9/10

Frequency : 8/10

Headache : 10/10

1. Dangerous, Weird or Loud Housemates

Housemates related nightmares are the worst as everyone's patience and attitudes are different. The most common scenarios are drunk housemates, chain smokers, drugs addicts, or housemate that doesn't leave you in peace i.e. excessive partying.

The situation can get so complicated as Landlords are unable to just ask them to leave because they are paying for the rental too. Well, advices or strict warnings are the best one could do - and yes you bet, they won't care.

Last but not least, most of them encounter with the issues when it comes to sharing facilities such as cooking utensils and the fridges. If a person who is calculative, an argument will raise up as he or she feels that someone has occupied their usage. There are also housemates who are unhygienic and do not care much of the cleanliness of the home. This causes others to feel bad.

To sum up, housemates are the most important factors to consider before renting a room. One wrong decision and you will end up with a horrible year - until you decided to move at the end of your tenancy. Imagine if you live with someone who always steal your food, making weird noises, or just party non-stop?

Solution? At Utopia tenants are all filtered and new tenants will be brief on all housemates before moving in. And the best part, there is a policy where you can enjoy free switching if ever you feel uncomfortable with your living situation. No question asked. Click here to learn more.

Overall : 9/10

Frequency : 8/10

Headache : 10/10

Conclusion :

If you want to end your nightmare soon, you may check out this website to know about more details. Start your journey here in Kuala Lumpur city area or want a new fresh environment, Utopia Co-Living Room Rental has more than 1000s affordable options for you to choose from. You can follow them at instagram or facebook.



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