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What is Single Room Occupancy ("SRO") in real estate?

What is Single Room Occupancy?

Single Room Occupancy or SRO is the renting of a house room by room. This is similar to a boarding house where there are very few communal common areas. Typically a fixed price for one person per room, and a slightly higher rate for two people in one room.

Single Room Occupancy can be a great rental property investment strategy given the ability to maximize a dwelling's rent revenue. For example, a 2,500 SF 4 BR single family residence that rents for $2,000/month can be converted into an 8 BR SRO that generates $500 per BR or $4,000 per month in rental income.

While in the example above we were able to double the monthly rental income, it's important to make sure you don't double your property management headaches. Rental property investors who are successful with SRO rentals have a disciplined system for screening tenants and often partner with Section 8, social security and veterans programs.