Not many tenants will tell you that renting is “a lifestyle choice”. Yet a cohort of young professionals is making a conscious decision to rent rather than buy. They are being lured into the world of co-living — developments where you rent a furnished room, pay all-inclusive monthly bills and have access to communal facilities, from onsite restaurants and cinemas to saunas and spas. Think student housing meets hotel-style living.
Presumably the residents feel that they are getting more bang for their buck. Many, I suspect, are fed up with negligent landlords and house shares. I can understand the attraction, particularly for those who are new to a city; co-living schemes offer a built-in social life and the chance to meet other like-minded people. At The Collective Old Oak near Willesden Junction, northwest London, the average age of residents is 28. It has 550 rooms and every floor has a communal kitchen. There are film nights, running clubs, and even “a disco launderette”, which boosts its appeal tenfold in my humble opinion (#imho). Monthly rent starts at £780 — not cheap, but this covers utility bills, council tax, room cleaning, wifi and gym membership. When compared with average rental rates in southeast England, you can see why it makes financial sense for some.