Shed turned into apartment sparks controversy in East Nashville

Posted at 3:47 PM, Apr 22, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The lack of affordable rentals has spurred some homeowners to turn sheds into apartments in their backyards.

In East Nashville on Chicamauga Avenue, a shed was listed on Zillow to rent for $1,000 a month. While there are a lot of people on social media raising their eyebrows about it, renters like Sorell Beck said he’d live in it for the right price.

"For that price probably not," Beck said.

The shed is now off the market. Metro Codes has opened a case to investigate it. NewsChannel 5 messaged the property owner on Zillow about the shed but did not hear back.

Beck moved to Tennessee from St. Louis three months ago and got a roommate. He's unhappy at The Canvas apartment complex.

"I get here and I’m paying $1,700 for a rehabbed section 8 building,” Beck said. “It’s insane.”

At Apartment Insiders, Joel Sanders said the average one-bedroom in Davidson County is around $1,600 a month.

"I think Nashville needs all the housing it can get," Sanders said.

He could see why some renters would live in a renovated shed. Sanders said,

"Studios, which I think compare to that $1,000 for 300 square foot unit, the average rental for those is right around $1,300, so that kind of shows what good of a value that might be."

In Davidson County, he said the average rent for a two-bedroom is $1,816. If it's a two-bedroom in downtown or Midtown, the average monthly rent is $2,693.

"The more housing that’s available, that helps slow down the rental rate growth," Sanders said.

As for Sorell, he's keeping his eyes open for another apartment.

"I was expecting it to be bad, I wasn’t expecting it to be like this," Beck said.