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Co-Living: The New Rental Phenomena?

Phi Spencer

By Phil Spencer

For the vast majority of young professionals moving to a big city, the ideal start point for finding somewhere to live, is to move into a flat share, with a few friends. But, if you can’t afford that, or even find it, what options are you left with?

Is co-living the new rental phenomena?

What is co-living?

It can be defined, at best, as a form of modern housing, where the residents of the property share not just a living space, but interests, values and intentions.

Co-living can be a single-family unit with shared community space, or a large building with individual bedrooms, all connected to a shared living space. Think a commune, but for the modern age.

However, a commune is typically a closed off, self-sufficient arrangement that is incredibly insular. Meanwhile, co-living enables a group of young professionals, who value openness and collaboration and who crave social interaction, to succeed in their own right.

Co-living, therefore, is a relatively new concept in itself. Whilst, the idea can be employed just about anywhere, it seems that it is the young (between 20-30), urban professionals, who are currently embracing it, and thriving.

Why is co-living so popular?

10 years ago, the idea of kipping on someone’s couch, and paying for the privilege, as seen with companies like AirBnB, was nonsensical. But, now it’s the norm.

For those who cannot afford to step foot on the property ladder just yet, nor rent their own place, they are left with very few options: move back home or move into a squat somewhere.

Co-living spaces, like co-working spaces, are becoming more attractive as millennials, priced out of the property market, struggle to find somewhere to live. They crave company and a decent room, in a nice area. But, if you can’t afford that, and are eager to think outside of the box, you create a solution that works for you.

According to The Collective, co-living is the perfect platform for living in the city. Their ‘shared space’ includes a bar, restaurant, a gym, library, laundry, roof terraces and hot desks (for working).

They call it a ‘home away from home’. For the 546 people, living over 10 floors, this massive house share allows them to live the modern life they desire.

What are the pros of co-living?

Due to its popularity, it’s unsurprising that there are many advantages to co-living. These include:

  • When there are such a large number of you, the cost of living goes down. Enabling you to take advantage of the money saving opportunities, by investing in amenities like a gym, or a bar.
  • You’re a part of a community. With so many people around you, with similar values and interests, there is going to be someone to connect with at supper, or to share a beer with in the evening.
  • Flexible tenancies (think 4, 6 or 12 months) are the norm.

What are the cons of co-living?

However, despite the positives, there are some inevitable downsides to shared living spaces, including:

  • If you don’t like lots of people around, you’re in the wrong house.
  • You also don’t get to choose who you live with, so if you don’t like them, tough.
  • If you don’t like sharing, this is not for you. Sharing is usually one of the values held most highly.

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