For some millennials, ownership, it seems, isn’t particularly important. They will happily utilise facilities driven by Apps such as Uber and Airbnb. And In terms of careers and jobs, they will happily embrace flexibility to go full digital nomad with their lifestyle forsaking the 9-5 to be truly flexible and work from the comfort of a backpack and a laptop emblazoned with stickers telling tales of their travels.
With this new mindset, it is no surprise to see living space reimagined. There is a new beast when it comes to housing and it brings with it everything a single young person might appear to desire.
It includes shared work and play spaces, all the facilities one might ever need including electricity, heating, broadband a gym, classes, kitchen and TV room and more. This new concept is the hippy commune reimagined for those who want company and desire experiences and shared spaces that work for them.
Co-living spaces such as those described are popping up in capital cities with prices ranging from £1.000 to £3,000 in London. A room with access to all shared facilities can be contracted on a short, medium- or long-term basis. This sort of arrangement can be perfect for those on a work contract or someone who wants to spend time exploring a city and make new friends. They also look to build communication, collaboration and bring a sense of community to those who live there.
Communal living helps with loneliness and shared spaces foster collaborative working and the sharing of ideas. There is little need to own anything, you simply move in and everything from cutlery to broadband is set up ready to go, no more tiresome waiting around for a washing machine to be delivered or a parcel being sent back to the delivery depot. No unexpected bills as everything is incorporated into one single monthly payment.
But what are the drawbacks?
You can’t just leave items lying around as they might be stolen if they are not locked up in your room, and your room could potentially be very small which might mean you need to downscale your book or shoe collection. The Collective in London, a co-living space has just over eight square meters as an allocated private room.
In a shared kitchen, utensils often go missing or don’t get replaced when they break. And if you think living with three or four housemates and the associated mess is bad then there is the potential for this to escalate into a chaotic mess with no one taking overall responsibility and cleaners not being available 24/7 this can mean if you’ve got OCD it might not be the best option for you.
A note for co-living space owners
As with all accommodation, unless full payment is made in advance, there is always the risk of arrears. Guarantors may be needed, as well as deposits and careful credit management. It can be particularly hard to enforce a rent arrears judgment against such a nomadic community.
David is an authorised High Court Enforcement Officer and our Director of Corporate Governance