While the Bend rental market is expected to cool down a little this year, prices are still slowly as the area remains one of the most competitive in the Northwest, with average costs currently around $1,800 a month. Fortunately, new construction and the COVID-19 shifting to an endemic status should help free up more rentals in Central Oregon. But if you’re interested in finding a spot to rent ASAP, you should also consider renting a room. This option can save money and renting a single room may open up new options for you. Let’s take a look at how to do it.
How is Renting a Room Different?
Renting a room refers to renting part of a house, instead of a full apartment or loft. This generally means renting a bedroom that’s entirely yours and sharing other spaces in common with the other dwellers in the house. Bathrooms, kitchens, living areas, backyards, and more are typically shared.
While some owners rent spare rooms to make extra money, it is also a common way for roommates to split rent so they can afford a house. This has been a popular option for young professionals moving to Bend who do not have families and want to find a place they can afford.
Renting a room can also vary significantly more from case to case compared to renting a full house or apartment: It’s important to focus on the details, review the house when you can – and, of course, get a binding contract in place once you’ve found the right room. If you’re interested in this option, we’re going over how to find the best rentals for rooms!
Best Ways to Find Rooms for Rent in Bend Oregon
1. Find the Best Online Sources
If you’re looking for a room in Bend, it’s a good idea to start online. Rooms aren’t always marketed like other rentals, and many others or potential roommates prefer to advertise on their own. That means there are a few unique sites online that can help your search, even if you’re looking at rentals in Bend before. Try out solutions like:
- The Roomies website, which helps potential roommates find each other and a place to share.
- Roommates.com, which shows offers from owners or roommates looking to fill a room.
- Kangaroom, which creates a listing of smaller rental options in the area.
- Roomster, which is specifically for single room renting options
- The Rooms & Shares section of Craigslist, where owners post the rooms that they have available and what sort of tenant or roommate they are interested in.
- Additionally, looking on other types of social media can also help find rooms or important contacts that can lead to room opportunities. For example, you could try joining a larger Bend Facebook group and asking the community for help or visit the Bend Reddit page and make a post. These groups can help you learn what to expect and offer points or new vacancies.
Always check for basic information on these listings. You’ll want to know room dimensions, location, on-site amenities like washers, bathrooms, kitchen, and the general age of the house. The more info that posters are willing to provide, the better sign it is they are being forthright.
2. Look for Sublease Options
If you want to go a more official route where maintenance and payments are done in an orderly fashion, you should try looking for a sublease option. An Oregon sublease is a contract that allows a tenant to in turn rent out a room to a subtenant, a process that must be approved by the landlord, who continues to take care of the residence.
A sublease is an excellent option for a short or mid-term room rental and avoids some of the risks that can come with looking for a room. You can contact local rental agencies or property companies to ask about subleases or look at individual rental listings to learn more. A number of the online options we mentioned above will indicate if a specific rental is an official sublease or not (or you can always ask. Craigslist even has a dedicated sublet section. The only downside is that many landlords do not like to sublease, so this isn’t as common an option as other kinds of rentals.
3. Use a Service like Bend Relocation Services
One of Bend Relocation Services’ specialties is helping people find the rentals they need. You can easily customize a package of our services with a focus on finding a room rental or ask for specific advice on where to look for room rentals, where to store belongings, and how to move in most efficiently. We can also help you tour your rental, or arrange a streaming tour online if you aren’t currently in town, which can save a lot of time.
4. The Best Areas in Bend to Look for Room Rentals
This is a common question, but when renting a room, it’s not as important a consideration. Townhomes and apartments are less likely to have spare rooms available, so more traditional residential areas are often the best bet. Bend has many residential areas throughout its divisions that may be possibilities for room rentals. Midtown and areas near Downtown are a good place to start, but there’s no reason to contain your search when trying to find the best option. Room rentals are also a popular option in nearby Redmond.
5. Consider Renting First and Looking for a Roommate After
In a hot rental market like Bend’s, you do have the option to rent a full house, and then work on a sublease situation yourself if you find a willing landlord. This can be a solution if you have cash upfront to pay for at least several months of full rent but are willing to find roommates to rent out extra rooms to. That can provide some extra flexibility.
8 Tips for Renting a Room to Save Money
- As we mentioned before, always review contracts carefully. Renting a room still requires a legally binding lease, and it should lay out important basics such as the specific rent amount, how and when rent can be changed, dates when rent is due, and any required maintenance or responsibilities of the person renting. If you rent with roommates, a contract should also discuss how payment will be split for utilities and similar details. You can find templates online for these kinds of roommate contracts, but for a serious, long-term rental it’s a good idea to arrange a meeting with an experienced legal counsel.
- Always check the pet situation when looking at rooms. Sometimes the details about pets are a little more obscure than when renting an apartment. Do other people in the home have pets (any that you may be allergic too)? Whose responsibility are the pets, and where are they allowed? Are you allowed to bring your own pet? You can see how this quickly gets complicated, which is why many room-renting options simply don’t allow pets.
- Don’t be afraid to do some research. Landlords aren’t the only ones who vet potential prospects. If you’re renting from an individual owner or with a roommate you don’t know, take some time to look them up on social media like LinkedIn and other sites. Make sure everything is above board and get a better idea of what you’re getting into.
- Please take a tour before you sign any rental agreement. With a rental market as tight as Bend, you really want to avoid any scams or unpleasant living situations. Visit the house and see the room you will be renting. Check out its size, amenities, access points, and overall location. If you can’t be in the city for this, Bend Relocation Services and others can help you find a proxy so you can still get a look.
- Are you trying to figure out a lease with roommates? Try splitting the rent based on bedroom size and what extra amenities certain rooms may have (like a bathroom in the master bedroom). It’s one of the fairest ways to allocate rent. Again, we advise against informal agreements with your roommates when possible. Put what you can in writing.
- There’s not a lot of space in a single room for all your belongings. That often means that renting a storage unit is a requirement for this kind of living situation.
- Renting a room doesn’t always include the same stability as renting an apartment. In other words, have a backup plan if things don’t work out. Keep an eye on other rentals in the area (something we can help you with) and try to have an alternative planned out in your move-in day doesn’t quite happen.
- You may be wondering, “Where is Airbnb in all this?” Airbnb remains a very popular way to rent a room, and Bend has many Airbnb options. However, Airbnb isn’t really suitable for long-term rentals, especially if you’re trying to save money. Airbnb can be pretty expensive in the area (a situation not helped by COVID-19 and remote work trends). A variety of requirements make it difficult to offer a long-term Airbnb, so it’s not a common option. However, for a short-term rental – a place to stay for a couple of weeks or even a month or two while organizing your move – Airbnb can be a solution. Single rooms are currently going from around $30 to $60 a night.
Get Help Finding a Rental with Bend Relocation Services
Moving to a new area can quickly grow complex and stressful. Bend Relocation Services was built to help people moving to the Central Oregon area who have their hands full. We can help you find the specific kind of rental you need, offer consultations so you can learn more about area or find answers to specific questions, and help your business plan a successful relocation, too. Take a look at our full services and package options to learn more.