Living with strangers is a common thing in Metro Manila. Professionals from far places share rooms with other people to save time in going to work. This is very convenient (and most of the time, the only option) especially for people who live in faraway provinces.
The cost of living in Metro Manila is high. The prices go even higher in central business districts such as Makati CBD, Ortigas, and BGC. Therefore, you should expect that even the price of a bed space is higher than you might assume.
House / Apartment
|Air-conditioned Room||P2,500-P3,000 (or higher*)||P3,000-P10,000 (or higher*)|
|Non-air-conditioned Room||P1,500-P2,500 (or higher*)||P2,500-P3,500 (or higher*)|
* Prices depend usually on the following amenities/features:
- Wi-Fi Connection
- Rice Cooker
- Living/Dining Room
- Swimming Pool**
- 24/7 Security Guard
- Overall room and bed quality/condition
- Overall condo/apartment quality/condition
** These amenities are usually found in condominiums only.
The price may or may not include the utilities (electricity and water). Make sure to ask these questions:
- Does the price include electricity and water?
- Is there a separate fee if I use clothes iron and/or rice cooker?
- Is there a schedule on using the air-conditioner? (This is important because the electricity bill is equally divided. You can discuss this with your roommates especially if you have common work schedule. For example, you can decide that the air-conditioner shall only be turned on at 9 PM and be turned off at 7 AM.)
Also, ask these questions:
- Is the area flood-free?
- Is the area usually quiet? (If the condo/apartment is along a highway, expect a noisy environment. In this case, you might want to consider an air-conditioned room so that the windows are closed.)
- Do you have lockers? (This is very important. Before going to sleep or leaving the room, make sure to put your valuables inside your locker.)
Payment terms vary. It’s usually 1 month advance and 1 month deposit. Ask this first if you have limited budget.
Minimum Length of Stay
Usually, 6 months is the minimum length of stay. If you leave earlier than 6 months, you will usually not get your deposit.
Before you sign the contract (make sure that there is a contract!), read first all the house rules and make sure that you agree to them. Some of the important rules are the following:
- No visitors. (This is for the safety of everyone.)
- No drinking [of alcoholic drinks].
- No smoking.
- No pets.
- No washing of clothes (except underwear and socks).
There might be tons of rules but strict implementation is more important. Rules are for the benefit of everyone, but if the management fails to implement it, then rules are useless.
You can even rent an entire room depending on your budget. This is the safest but the most expensive. It can range from P7,000 to P15,000, or even higher if the condo unit/apartment is located inside the CBD itself.
Also, if you have friends who are working nearby, it’s best to rent with them than to rent with strangers for safety reasons.
Tips / Dos and Don’ts
- Observe the area if it’s safe. Safety should be your number one priority.
- If possible, choose an area that is close to convenience stores, groceries, malls, and, pharmacies/clinics/hospitals.
- Of course, make sure that it’s close to your work. If it’s walking distance only to your work, the better!
- Make sure that you know that contact number/email address of the owner/management in case of emergencies or complaints.
- Be alert. There are already numerous incidents of theft in bed spaces. Remember, there are no CCTV cameras inside the room.
- Pay your rent on time to maintain a good image to the owner/management.
- If you have roommates who snore loudly, you might want to buy earplugs. 🙂
- Be sensitive to your roommates. A bed space is meant to be a place for resting, not for partying. So take note of the following:
- Don’t sound your alarm too loud. Adjust the volume to a level that you’ll be awake, and not wake the entire room.
- Don’t use the amenities for too long, especially the comfort room, because other people also use those amenities.
- Don’t slam the door. Open and close the door gently especially if there are already people taking their rest.
- Use headphones. If you want to watch a video or listen to music, use headphones. Come on, it’s not your room!
- As much as possible, don’t turn on the lights when there are already people sleeping. Rather, use your phone as your source of light to not wake up the others. If you need to turn on the lights, make sure that you do your things quickly so you could turn it off immediately.
- Maintain cleanliness. Even if your bed space offers housekeeping, you have the responsibility to be clean and orderly in the room.
- Don’t put too much food in the refrigerator. Leave space for other tenants even if they do not regularly use it.
- Be quiet when there are already people sleeping.
More expensive bed spaces are usually better in all aspects. But most importantly, the owner/management should always be open to communication in case of emergencies and/or complaints, especially complaints against other tenants. Remember, not all professionals are well-behaved.
Feel free to contact me if there’s anything you’d want to add to this article. 🙂