The student or porfessional coming to Milan and looking for a place to rent in the last 5-7 years have been able to found another possibility other than renting an indipendent apartment on his own: renting an independent bedroom with or without an exclusive bathroom, within a shared apartment.
This trend is coming from the big trend of the "rent-to-rent" business model, where budding enterpreneurs are basically renting large flat needing some kind of renovation or simply not wanted any more by current tenants, they renovate them investing their own money, they furnish them with Ikea or other cheap furniture provider and they, with the explicit consent of the landlord, put out for rent the single bedrooms, pocketing the margin they are abe to get relative to the base rent they assure to the landlord.
We see nothing wrong with this business model, these enterpreners are basically creating a large number of "new" small flats requested by the current market environmnet but not provided by the real estate market for a long series of reasons.
The rental contracts for each single bedroom are independent, they have only the name of the specific tenant on them and are thus completely independent relative to what happens in the other bedrooms.
Living with others is one of the characters of the sharig economy everybody speaks about, you are able to meet new friends when you happen to be new in a specific environment but this has also several pitfalls that is maybe better to stress.
First: landlords, in this case the guy who organized the subrentals, do not have absolute power on the behaviour of the other tenants sharig the flat with you. If someone behaves badly, being drunk or just making a lot of noise nighttime, there's not a clear procedure to kick him out as the rental contract binding him to the flat is the smae used for a whole flat and thus goes to the usual procedures of the Italian Justice usually closing an eye when having to judge a tenant behavior. This is not a minor issue, we were told about girls being sort of harassed by negighbours, and one hing is having a guy living in the same building hitting on you, much worse having the persone living in the room next to your with who, maybe, you need to share the bathroom with.
Second: the guy managing the flat is able to adopt different kind of rentals in the same apartment, so you could end up being in a flat where your neighbour room is rented out on airBNB and thus everyday or everyweek you have new tenants coming in, to which you need to explain how things work and potentially creating noise as they are here just for holidays or fun.
Third: Cleaning issues could be massive. When you live with friends you either set up a chores schedule or you collect the money to hire a cleaning lady once a week. Much different situation comes up when you need to deal with total starngers and you do not like how they manage the kitchen and the bathroom, the two places that you need to share them with.
Our suggestion is too look at single bedrooms only for short-medium time periods, always preferring independent aparments when available at comparable prices. Also consider that in Milan you are easily able to find a decent one bedroom or nice studio flat at 1000 EUR a month, this means that there's no reason to pay more than 700-750 EUR for a single room in a shared apartment unless you are provided with a flexibility you cannot find in the former solution.
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