In recent years, there has been a rise in the popularity of co-living. But what is co-living? In short, co-living spaces or houses in multiple occupations (HMO) is a new way of living that combines the best aspects of living in a community with the independence of living on your own.
In a co-living arrangement, residents typically have their own private bedroom and bathroom but share common areas like the kitchen, living room, and laundry room with their roommates. Co-living arrangements can be found in both urban and rural areas and are usually located near public transportation and other amenities.
Benefits of Co-living
One of the most significant benefits of co-living is that it’s more affordable than traditional forms of housing. Residents typically get to save money on rent and utilities. In addition, many co-living communities offer discounts on groceries, dining, and other activities.
Interacting with Others
Another benefit of co-living is that it promotes social interaction. Because residents share common areas, they have more opportunities to interact with their roommates and get to know them better. This can be especially beneficial for introverts or those with trouble meeting new people.
Enjoying a Sense of Community
Finally, one of the most appealing benefits of co-living is the sense of community it fosters. In traditional forms of housing, residents often live nearby without ever getting to know their neighbors. In contrast, residents of a co-living community are typically friends or have shared interests. This sense of community can make it feel like home, even if you’re living in a new city or country.
Challenges of Co-living
Dealing with Damage Deposit Disputes
Co-living units tend to have a higher turnover rate than traditional apartments, so you’ll likely deal with damage deposit disputes regularly. The key to minimizing these disputes is having a detailed and well-written lease agreement clearly outlining unit cleanliness and damage upon move-out expectations. You should also perform move-in and move-out inspections with each tenant so that there’s documentation of the condition of the unit at both points in time.
Handling Noise Complaints
Noise complaints are another familiar issue landlords face with co-living arrangements. To help mitigate this, be sure to soundproof your units as much as possible and include noise clauses in your lease agreement. You might also want to consider designating quiet hours during which tenants must keep noise levels low.
Creating House Rules
With co-living, setting clear expectations and boundaries is essential in creating house rules. These rules should cover everything from expected noise levels and guest policy to a cleaning schedule and pet policy. Be sure to review the house rules with your tenants when they move in so there’s no confusion about their expectations.
Finding the Right Tenants
Since co-living arrangements require tenants to be comfortable living in close quarters with others, you must take the time to find the right fit. When screening applicants, ask questions about their lifestyle and whether they’re comfortable interacting with other people daily. You might also consider requiring potential tenants to tour the unit or meet with existing tenants before signing a lease agreement.
Managing Common Areas
Common areas are often one of the biggest challenges associated with co-living arrangements since everyone is responsible for keeping them clean and tidy. To help manage common areas, you might consider establishing a lead tenant accountable for maintaining them or setting up a cleaning schedule that all tenants must follow. You can also charge each tenant a monthly fee for cleaning supplies and other expected area costs, such as laundry or cable TV service.
Tips for Landlords of Co-living Spaces
If you are or you want to be a landlord of co-living spaces or houses in multiple occupations (HMO), you can sign up for an HMO mentorship program, which will allow you to learn from HMO experts and other landlords about how to manage your co-living space effectively. You’ll also get access to resources and support that you may not be able to find elsewhere.
Another tip is to be flexible with leases. Since co-living arrangements can sometimes be temporary, you must be willing to work with tenants on things like lease terms and length of stay. This will help to ensure that everyone is happy with the arrangement.
Whether you’re a property landlord or someone searching for an affordable, social, and community-oriented form of housing, co-living might be right for you. While it can certainly come with some challenges, it also has many benefits, and it’s no wonder this new way of living is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. Whether you’re looking for a way to make the most out of your property or simply looking for an adventure, consider giving co-living a try.