City to determine if Common’s co-living space is an illegal SRO

Crown Heights building offers month-by-month shared room rentals
November 20, 2015 09:05AM

New York banned new single-room occupancy hotels in the 1950s, but city officials are investigating whether co-living spaces like Common in Crown Heights amount to the same practice in a new guise.

The Department of Buildings said it will inspect the company’s Brooklyn townhouse at 1162 Pacific Street. Common maintains four full-floor units at the building, which it rents as 19 separate bedrooms with shared kitchens and bathrooms.

Tenants at the space are required to stay for a minimum of a month, so the building isn’t classified as a hotel. The company also asks each new combination of tenants to sign a new lease agreement.

In traditional SROs, tenants signed individually with the landlord, Crain’s reported.

Common CEO Brad Hargreaves defended the company to Crain’s, insisting it wasn’t offering SROs. “We are looking forward to working with [the Department of Buildings] to resolve this,” he said.

Rooms at Common’s space don’t come cheap, with rents as high as $1,900, nearly double the cost of a typical Crown Heights apartments on a per-unit basis.

The company has raised $7.35 million in venture funding to date. [Crain’s]Ariel Stulberg