Designing a Rental Property for Co-Living: 7 Features to Consider

Learn more about what features to consider when designing a rental property for co-living

June 01, 2022

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Wherever you are in your PadSplit Host journey, it’s essential to consider the nuances of renovating, designing, and optimizing a rental property for co-living. 

PadSplit’s co-living model is a great option compared to traditional rentals because PadSplit Hosts rarely have a 100% vacant property. Our award-winning rent by the room model means even if one Member moves out, your property still has occupants. Renting by the room comes with its own unique sets of challenges and opportunities, and it’s important to consider those when renovating and designing your PadSplit property. 

PadSplit’s marketplace makes it easy for approved Members to search for and find private, furnished rooms to rent by the week. Members can search based on location and use various search filters to help narrow down their options. The PadSplit team recently pulled a search filters results for a month to see what features Members were looking for in properties. 

We recommend PadSplit Hosts consider these 7 features when renovating and designing their PadSplit properties to optimize them for co-living and higher returns. 

7 Things to Consider When Designing a Rental Property for Co-Living

Private bathrooms

Private bathrooms are the most commonly sought-after feature of PadSplit homes by Members. Rooms with private bathrooms are often booked within hours — sometimes even minutes! — instead of days. When you’re looking at modifying your layout during the renovation phase, it may be worth considering keeping a bedroom or two with a private bathroom. It will alleviate the added pressure of having multiple Members share a bathroom. Because these rooms command a higher weekly rent and are booked quickly after a room turn, it can be a good investment if it doesn’t increase your renovation costs too much. 


As the country’s largest shared housing marketplace specifically designed for the workforce, we know our Members are very price-conscious. We built a technology platform that enables personalized, weekly rent payments that facilitate easier budgeting and allow residents to improve their financial health.

One of our Members’ top searches when finding a room is price, so it’s an essential factor in occupancy. When setting your pricing, use PadSplit’s pricing recommendation tool and browse other active listings on PadSplit to gauge pricing. Our pricing recommendation tool is a guide, so feel free to have pricing lower than our initial recommendation to drive fast bookings. You can slowly reduce prices if your expected occupancy has not been achieved. And don’t forget to factor utility cost into your pricing since that’s the responsibility of the Host.

Laundry facilities

Access to laundry facilities is an important feature that sets PadSplit apart from other short-term rental options such as extended stay motels. We recommend installing a washer and dryer in an easily-accessible part of your PadSplit. Because PadSplit Hosts are responsible for utilities at their properties, it’s important to look for high-efficiency appliances that will help reduce your energy costs and water usage. 

Bed size

When listing their PadSplit property, Hosts specify the bed size. While twin beds are an option and sometimes necessary due to the size and footprint of the bedroom, consider upgrading the beds you purchase to at least a full-size bed, if not a queen-size bed. The initial investment is minor on the front end, and your future Members will thank you for having room to stretch out during their slumber. 


PadSplit Hosts can limit the number of cars allowed at their PadSpit property on their property profiles. Approximately 75% of PadSplit homes are within 1 mile of public transit. While that helps to navigate cities easier for Members without cars, many PadSplit Members have a vehicle they’d like to park on-site. PadSplit Hosts can also look for properties with ample off-street parking, especially around the back.

If you already own a property you are converting to a PadSplit, consider putting in a parking pad during the renovation. Please work with your general contractor to find the best place on the property to lay down a parking pad and make sure it’s wide enough where Members can come and go without blocking other vehicles.

Two-way locks on bedroom doors

Access to the PadSplit home and individual rooms is critical for Members. While most Hosts install a smart lock on the exterior access door, there are more options for individual bedroom doors. Privacy locks with a door chain inside the frame are easy to install and manage since no codes or keys are required. However, they don’t allow Members to lock their bedrooms when they leave home, which brings comfort in co-living situations around leaving valuables behind. Punch locks allow Members to lock their rooms as they leave, but it requires updating codes on your Host dashboard in the event of a room turn. We see Members search for rooms that have a two-way lock for added security, so it’s something to consider when renovating and choosing your lock system.

Clothing storage

Storage is an integral part of making Members feel at home in your PadSplit, and each bedroom should have clothing storage for the Members. You have two options: a built-in reach-in closet or a standing wardrobe. Reach-in closets are more durable and offer more space but are more expensive to add during the renovation process. However, standalone wardrobes may not be as long-lasting as a reach-in closet, and you may find yourself paying to replace them more frequently. Ultimately, the choice is yours. Put yourself in the shoes of a Member and ask what storage option sounds most appealing to you.

Final Thoughts on Designing a Rental Property for Co-Living

Renovating, designing, and optimizing a rental property for co-living requires property owners to think about certain aspects differently. PadSplit combines traditional renting strategies with more modern concepts, allowing you to leverage the best elements of traditional and short-term rental options by maximizing profits and creating stability.

Take some time to consider these 7 features to optimize your property for co-living, see longer Member tenure, and increase your returns.

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