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A GUIDE TO CO-LIVING

For many young professionals, moving to a new city and finding somewhere to live can be tricky. Renting with others could mean being tied into a long tenancy with people you might not get along with, and living alone can be expensive and lonely, so what other options are there?

With many renters being priced out of major cities, more people are now turning to co-living spaces, to keep their budgets (and their sanity) in check.

What is co-living?

Community living, or co-living as it’s known, is a new take on an old idea. Imagined by a millennial generation, it offers individuals with similar values, interests and priorities a modern way to rent in cities.

Residents pay for their own private living space but share communal areas, coming together to form an environment which promotes face-to-face interactions, where people can live and relax, encouraging openness and collaboration.

Why has co-living become so popular?

Co-living has become a global movement in recent years and with rising rents and chronic loneliness on the up, it’s easy to see why - especially among Millennials and Generation Z.

It can sometimes be tough to find a new place in a nice area, and co-living schemes offer stress-free living that is attractive to many young professionals, who are otherwise priced out of the property market.

What are the pros of co-living?

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Co-living offers several benefits. Not only can it work out cheaper than renting alone or as part of a shared house, it also encourages tenants to form a sense of community, using shared spaces and facilities to create a more convenient and fulfilling lifestyle.

Many co-living spaces come fully furnished and are available in all shapes and sizes, depending on residents needs and preferences, and communal areas are innovative, often including extensive amenities, like bars, restaurants, a gym, 24/7 concierge service, regular cleaning, laundry facilities, and hot desks for working.

Flexible tenancies are the norm, with stays usually ranging from between four and 12 months, and rents are substituted for a membership fee, which usually includes all bills, Wi-Fi, and a full programme of events (like yoga, group dinners and film screenings), which is handy if you’re looking for everything all under one roof.

But co-living offers more than just a financial benefit, it brings people together. Residents can share responsibilities for cooking and chores, and with so many people around with shared values and interests, there’s always someone to connect with.

What are the cons of co-living?

Despite the positives, there are inevitable drawbacks to shared living spaces.

Firstly, if you’re not a people person, co-living might not be for you. Residents are encouraged to interact and socialise with each other, so if you don’t like being around lots of people, you’re probably not going to enjoy the co-living experience.

And whilst some co-living property managers try to match housemates by interests before moving in, it isn’t always a certainty, and if you don’t like the people you’re living with, you’re stuck with them. If you’re unsure about committing to a life of co-living, consider signing up to a shorter tenancy initially.

Don’t like to share? That might be a problem. Sharing is one of the values held most highly within the co-living community, so if you’re not the sharing type, we would advise steering clear.

Personal space can also be limited. At just over eight square metres for the smallest bedrooms, it can sometimes feel a little cramped.

Need a little help with keeping your shared spaces harmonious? Check out our house-sharing guide for top tips and handy advice.

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