PadSplit is an Atlanta start-up that aims to help landlords use their properties as pay by the week single-room rentals. If this sounds like the rooming houses of old, that is because it is like sharing economy’s reboot of a boarding house. The rooms already managed by PadSplit are mainly located in lower-income and middle-income single family residential neighborhoods.
PadSplit hopes to help solve a supply mismatch by connecting people with rooms to rent with those needing a place to stay that cannot afford more traditional housing options.
PadSplit rentals are typically furnished bedrooms where the renter has shared access to a bathroom, kitchen/dining, and laundry rooms. Rents are about $140 per week.
The Urban Study Institute’s Dan Immergluck says that PadSplit is more a reflection of the affordable housing shortage than a novel solution, “It’s kind of a market solution, I guess, for the affordable housing crisis, to get one room, on a week-to-week basis, that really could be yanked out from under you at any time,” he says. “It’s a logical market response to a desperate need among single, low-income people. It’s designed for people earning $10 to $12 per hour.”
Renters and community members share some of these concerns about PadSplit’s single-room rentals. Renters do not have much legal protection and can be evicted without notice. Atlanta City Council Member Andrea Boone has concerns too, “We do not appreciate the fact that we woke up one day and found out that a Pad-Split was being advertised in our community.”
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