Life inside 2m2 sleeping boxes in Hanoi, experts warn of risks

The 2m2 sleeping box model is flourishing in Hanoi

A year ago, Ngoc Han (24 years old) started renting a sleeping place “according to the sleeping box model”. (sleep box) in a house in Cau Giay district (Hanoi) for convenient work.

At a cost of 1,7 million VND/month, all inclusive of electricity, water, wifi and other services… Han considers this an affordable expense for an office worker “living in expensive Hanoi”.  Previously, she rented a room with 3 friends for 3-35 million VND/month.

< p>”I work from morning to night and just need a place to sleep overnight with not much furniture so I don’t want to spend a lot of money on accommodation” she said.

The 25m2 room is divided into 8 sleeping boxes. In the middle of the room there is a separate path 30-50cm wide with stairs up and down. Each floor has its own balcony and bathroom. The common cooking area and garage are located on the first floor.

Han’s sleeping box is 2m2 wide, only enough for one person, inside there is a wooden shelf for clothes and personal belongings and a bed. folding table.

Despite the inconvenience of having to live with 7 strangers, she said the living conditions are acceptable. The sleeping box has a good soundproof door that blocks noise.

“Each floor has a fire extinguisher and a rope ladder in case of incidents. Cameras are arranged everywhere so you don’t have to worry about losing anything. The homeowner is easy-going,” said the female office worker.

In Dong Da Minh district, Anh (29 years old) feels comfortable living in his “comfortable” 2m2 sleeping box. Every month she spends 13 million VND for all services and amenities including free white rice every day.

In addition to this price, the landlord also rents out one million VND/month with sleeping boxes without beds but still commits to all amenities.

Different from the boarding house structure of Ngoc Han has two toilets on each floor to avoid queuing during peak hours. Every week cleaning staff will clean the entire building and common areas. The only inconvenience is that there is no parking space for the rental car, so guests have to park the vehicle 500m from the house.

“I signed a 6-month contract. The house is always full and has to wait for someone to move out just “competed” to rent it,” Minh Anh said.

Go on social networks to find a sleeping box to rent Tien Dung (25 years old) like getting lost in the “matrix”. Groups with from 1,000 to 2,000 members have a variety of sleeping boxes that are introduced as “both cheap and fully furnished”.

“I just started working so my finances are limited so I can only rent to live. “Let’s go” Dung said.

The previous room cost 2 million VND/month excluding electricity and water service fees… which was a burden for him.

After many attractive offers, Dung went to see some sleeping boxes in the center of Hanoi but was not satisfied because it was far from his workplace.

Risk warning expert

Sleep box was originally a service at the airport for passengers to rest during work hours. waiting for the plane. However, since 2021 this model has flourished in Ho Chi Minh City and quickly spread to Hanoi.

The sleeping box model is understood as a sleeping compartment (cabin) for one person located in a common room. with many others. This type optimizes cost and area and is called by many investors with the beautiful name “new style dormitory”.

Mr. Nguyen Hung, owner of a chain of sleeping boxes in Hanoi, said Depending on the room area, the unit will compartmentalize from 4 to 6 sleeping boxes. Each box is 1 2m wide; 2m long; height from 1 2 to 1 5 meters; Equipped with small cabinets, shelves, bookshelves, study tables, lights, fans…

Each room is equipped with light bulbs, sockets, hanging shelves and an outside ventilation fan with air conditioner total general cool. The kitchen, bathroom, and drying area will be cleaned 1-2 times a week. The common room is equipped with tables and chairs.

Starting rental price is 1,6 million VND including electricity, water, wifi, air conditioning, washing machine, dryer, service fee…

“We target the student group low-income workers. They all go to school and work all day and at night, they just need a quiet place to sleep,” he said.

Mr. Hung’s “sleeping box” facilities are concentrated in the Hanoi central district near universities. Room occupancy rate is quite high with an average rental term of 6 months.

“We ask tenants to comply with regulations to avoid making noise so that everyone has private space,” he said.

Talk with reporterDan Tri, an expert in the real estate industry, said that the exploitation of sleeping boxes originates from the needs of students near universities, especially first-year students.

This is a new group in the city that doesn’t have any friends yet and doesn’t know how to invite people to live with them, so instead of renting a room, which costs a lot of money, they choose to rent “a place to sleep” to save money.

Later, in central districts, when room rental prices became more and more expensive, the sleeping box model spread to include working people.

According to experts, in addition to the Cheap rental price of sleeping boxes has some inconveniences such as: lack of privacy, lack of parking space, passengers have to queue to use the toilet or kitchen…

“That’s the reason The actual long-term occupancy rate of this type is not as high as many people initially think. On average, sleeping boxes are usually 20% – 30% empty, having to constantly fill up with customers coming in and out, which also leads to additional costs brokerage advertising costs” said the expert.

According to him, the boom of this model started in 2018 and especially flourished from 2019  stemming from “creativity” to increase revenue. to compete for units renting entire houses to business retail rental.

However, what they did not expect was that this model had a high vacancy rate, large operating management and advertising costs, so the real profit The reality is not much different from renting the same room.

Inside a 3m2 “matchbox” motel room on Nguyen Phuc Lai street, Hanoi (Photo: V.M.).

Once intending to rent a 2m2 sleeping box to reduce living costs, Le Quynh (27 years old, Cau Giay district) soon gave up because she felt suffocated, afraid of the narrow space, and especially worried that the place did not meet room regulations. fire fighting.

Meanwhile, Tue Linh (30 years old) just transferred a sleeping box in Nam Tu Liem district after a month of experience.

“For me, this is just a temporary solution. While looking for an apartment that ensures fire safety, security and order even though the price is higher,” Linh said.

Regarding this issue, Mr. Nguyen Hung said that every floor in the building is equipped with a fire protection system and emergency exits, and each tenant will be educated on survival skills to solve incidents. .

From a professional perspective, real estate experts believe that the biggest risk with the sleeping box model is the problem of fire and explosion.

“The number of people staying too large is often More than double the normal type of rental in the same scale will increase the risks of fire, explosion, security, order and tenant management,” he said.

* Names of some characters have changed