In Different parts of the world, different practices/norms of real estate exist and of course real estate language and terminology. So other than the plus one in RSVPs, it refers to...
Bedrooms and Storage/Maids Rooms...
Originally and Technically, the +1 feature ought to be a room that does not have a direct access to a bathroom from the room; like a playroom, a study, a maids room or a storage room.
So for example: a Protected content ought to be 4 bedrooms with attached bathrooms (shared or en-suite Protected content for miscellaneous purposes.
In Malaysia however, the +1 feature has been used differently as typical layouts for residential units are not only creative, but now space saving and conscientiously cost effective. The 2nd and 3rd rooms (which typically in the past would have had say a shared bathroom), would now have access to a common bathroom that is located in the common area of the residential unit. This common bathroom replaces the powder room (a toilet or bathroom without a shower) to include a shower. Now in many parts of Asia, the maids get their own bathrooms too, and so its very confusing to use the nomenclature of number of rooms and bathrooms.
So therefore, in Malaysia, we don't talk about bathrooms, only the rooms in the "front" of the residential unit PLUS any other rooms at the "back" including the Maids room. What usually defines front and back is divided by the Kitchen boundary.
Here is an example of Desa Park City: Except for Penthouse units, there are no 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms in the condo there, so its important to look at the floor plans of that development for its accuracy of use. Chances are the Protected content a 3/ Protected content + 1/1 where its defined 3 bedrooms 2 attached bathrooms Protected content and 1 common bathroom Protected content room and separate toilet/shower. You will find them aplenty in non-condo/landed units.
I like the UK system where they list say 4r/3b. In India, its always strange for me when they refer a 4BHK ~ meaning 4 bedroom, hall and kitchen, because units are not necessarily with a Hall or Kitchen; something we Malaysians are not accustomed to.
it also refers to Deposits....
it can also refer to Tenure...
There are other clauses you can put into your tenancy contract that would give you flexibility. I will write more about that later... but in the meantime, read:
Housing 1 | Negotiating a Tenancy!
Housing 2 | What is a Service Apartment?
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and feel free to connect with me on InterNations! Cheers!