What you need to know before renting a Basement Suite
Updated: Jan 20
A basement suite is a secondary suite that is quite literally underground or below ground level. These suites can have shared, semi-private or private entrances. Basement suites must have their own living, cooking, sleeping and sanitary facilities. How do you know if living in a basement suite is for you? Well let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of living here as a student renter.
The advantages of living in a basement suite are:
The rent is cheaper and can give you savings of more than 20% on your rent. Compare this basement room and this main floor room with utilities included to see the difference.
It maintains your privacy because the entire suite is rented by you and has its own private entrance.
It can be more spacious than an apartment. Filter for basement units here to view available off campus basement suites!
Basement suites and rooms will have a cooler temperature because they're quite literally underground, which can be a lead to higher utility bills during the winter months.
Less privacy for you if you've rented a room. This is due to shared areas like the laundry room. Other shared areas include the backyard, parking areas/garage and storage. Extra fees may be added for parking.
Less access to sunlight due to smaller and fewer windows.
Media depiction of unsafe basements may lead you to be more concerned about your security, but this is a sincere concern to have due to the accessibility of basement-level windows.
What should you ask your host before deciding to move into a basement suite?
When viewing the basement unit or room, make sure to ask the host about:
If safety measures such as fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are up to date;
Security of the neighborhood you'll be living in;
If you have access to the thermostat to control the temperature and what temperatures to expect;
How much the shared entrance is used, if there is one;
If you should expect to see any pests and who's responsibility(landlord's or yours) it is to take care of that;
In conclusion, a basement room or suite is ideal for students who:
may have a smaller budget for rent and utilities
have a quieter social life
want to be near people but still maintain their privacy
do their best work at night to take advantage of less access to sunlight
enjoy cooler temperatures