Renting a Basement Apartment: To be or Not to be?

By: ROS Team

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The basement apartment is quite a tricky choice. So if you aim to rent it, make sure to know the details about it. Not every basement is legal so you need to know firsthand if local rules were followed or not during construction. Basement apartments have their own requirements which must be approved by the authority. The local government tells if it is good enough for a family residence or not.

What is the Basement Apartment?

As the name gives enough idea, it is basically an apartment situated on the basement floor of the building or to be more precise, on the bottom floor of the building. Don’t be confused with the name as it is not an apartment completely buried in the soil. It is exposed to natural light, though less than a normal apartment.

There are a few requirements for a basement apartment such as:

  • It must be on the bottom floor
  • The ceiling height must be 7 feet high at a minimum
  • Must have a window in every room
  • Half of the basement must be above the street level
  • Walls must be waterproof
  • Basement apartments have both pros and cons. Let us discuss them.

Pros and Cons of a Basement Apartment:


  • More Space:

The best feature which balances the equation for a basement apartment is space. Generally, basement apartments come with large spaces.

  • Cheap:

Another factor that works well for those who live in a basement apartment is the rent. The rent for basement apartments is quite low and would save you decent money.

  • Privacy:

If privacy could be your concern, the basement apartment is the right fit for you.

  • Direct Access:

You have to deal with fewer stairs. In addition to it, you are directly exposed to the outdoor space instead of the walking corridor between you. You can exploit this feature in many ways such as outdoor barbeque or pet keeping.

  • Cooling Factor:

As a rule, basements stay cooler than the above apartments. It is extremely pleasant in summer if you happen to live in a host city.


  • Security Concern:

It is directly accessible from the street which makes it a convincing choice for break-ins. Do not leave doors and windows open and never compromise on the security of the apartment and make sure to get every lock intact.

  • Lower Roof:

Basement apartment tends to have lower ceilings than traditional ones. It might be a concern for people with height. Make sure to check if you are comfortable with your height inside.

  • More Noise:

Due to the direct access to the outdoor and nearby streets, you will be exposed to more noise. Another noise could be from the apartment above you or only if you are lucky enough to have nice neighbors otherwise.

  • Poor Natural Light:

This is one of the gravest concerns as natural light is so important for our mood and growth. Unfortunately, you would not be able to enjoy good sunlight from a basement apartment.

  • Exposed to Natural Disasters:

Another grave concern is that the basement apartment is more vulnerable to natural disasters. As it happens to be below the ground level, it is likely to be filled with flood water or excessive rainwater.

  • More Moisture:

Basement apartments have a higher density of moisture than traditional apartments.

Are Basement Apartments Legal?

If you have given your heart to a certain apartment that happens to be in the basement, do not hurry in striking a deal. Instead, approach the local department for the rules and regulations laid down for the basement apartments.

The chief reason behind making sure is that basement apartments are more vulnerable to natural disasters such as flooding, the fire caught, etc.

Therefore, authorities make sure if it is viable to build a basement apartment in a certain neighborhood and whether all the protocols are being followed or not? If the safety protocols are not observed strictly, it is a live threat to your life and belongings. Excessive rains may put an unexpected treat as well.

Therefore, before rushing to the deal, make sure to look if the apartment strictly complies with the safety protocols.

Some General Tips to Live in a Basement Apartment:

  • Living in a basement offers a completely unique experience of life. With the following tips, you may more value into your stay in the basement apartment.
  • Invest in a good lighting system. In addition to it, place them in a way where you can enlighten your apartment at the maximum.
  • Allocate some budget to buy a dehumidifier. Basement apartments have a higher density of moisture so investing in a dehumidifier would give the best returns.
  • Add some colors to the walls to give them a bright and elegant look.
  • If you have opted to live in a basement apartment, then try to find an apartment that is exposed to light for the maximum time.


Basement apartment is your option to experiment with your lifestyle. It offers quite a unique experience compared to the traditional home experience. While it is your personal decision whether to stay in it or not the basement apartment is a good addition to the variety of housing options.

Related Article:

What’s the Difference Between a Cellar and a Basement?
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