India’s average population, in 2020, stands between 25 to 37 years of age. Along with it comes the expanded connectivity among different corners of the country. People are no longer caged in their homes working within a 5 miles radius. With this increase in young population and connectivity, comes an increase in our professional sector, and thus, a sharp growth in the (still unmet) demand of beds and co-living.
But people are no longer looking for mere accommodations to accommodate their working hours within their daily routines. The demands of today’s tenant cannot be met simply through the traditional renting practices.
How is Co-living different from Traditional Renting?
Traditional Renting used to seek the compliance of terms of a lease or agreement between the landlord and their tenants. Renting, until a few years ago, was restricted to sharing of a common space along with the utilities that came with it. But with the advent of Co-living, the renting sector changed. One substantial proof of this trend is the growing use of the term ‘Co-living’ over ‘Renting’.
Co-living, which is basically Community-living, extends the purpose of just ‘sharing a common space’ to interacting with like-minded people and thus building your own small community right at home.
To put in simpler terms, Traditional Renting was ‘landlord-centric’ while Co-living is ‘Tenant-centric’.
From Traditional Renting to being Professionally Managed-Reasons that led to it:
- Mismatch of Price against Services
Usual co-living spaces like PGs and hostels used to be filled with scanty spaces, often unfurnished or semi-furnished. Two to three people are cramped in sparse spaces. The furniture is old and dingy, walls are cracking, bathrooms are leaking and there is no sight of maintenance. If asked for, landlords often charge extra fee for maintenance services which are untimely and sometimes even non-existing.
This is mismatched of services against a high price which does no justice to the space provided to the tenants.
Co-living, on the other hand, factors in every requirement from furnishing to year-round services. Rents are reasonable and affordable. With sufficient spacing and top-notch quality furniture, people don’t mind even sharing. Furthermore, the perplexing situation of a student/professional of managing time and distance between college or workplace and the accommodation, is taken care of, with most of the properties being in a close vicinity of transport facilities and colleges or office hubs.
- Long Lock-in Periods
One of the major issues that was faced while renting via the traditional norms, was the unnecessary lock-in periods. Landlords gave away their properties on rent for no less than a year. This created a big issue for the professionals looking for a space only for a few months or so.
But today, the co-living platforms understand this problem well and thus provide a reasonable lock-in period as low as even a month.
- Lack of Security
Rentals can be in any shady area where tenant first and fore-mostly fears for his/her safety.
Co-living spaces on the other hand takes into factor the security of the tenant and thus often provides their properties in gated-societies with guards and/or CCTV cameras.
People today are often working late hours or out on weekends till late at night. They should come back to a place that is safe for them even at such odd hours.
- Untrustworthy Middlemen
Landlords often hand over their places to be managed by an agent or broker who connivingly charges high brokerage in the name of empty promises of being a support system in times of needs like maintenance and emergencies. These middlemen often turn out to be crooks or at-least twisted in some or the other manner.
To avoid dealing with brokers and high brokerage, co-living involves no such middlemen. Potential tenants get to browse the properties on the internet and simply connect to the providers for visits and further booking.
- Digitization of Services
With the digitalization of co-living networks, the process of documentation like clearing agreements, maintenance and other services have become comparatively much short-spanned. A 24/7 support staff is one call away while the documentation like leasing or drawing up agreements are taken care of by the staff themselves.
The whole process is systematic with no loop holes and thus much more trustworthy and hassle-free.
- Unrealistic and Restrictive norms
PGs and Hostels have unrealistic norms regarding curfew timings often ending at 10 pm, no bringing over of friends and sometimes even family, no drinking or smoking, etc. There is a constant reminder that the tenant is in-fact living in an outside space and not home. There is no scope of personal space.
This is overturned by today’s co-living spaces that makes the tenant really feel like being at home. There are no restrictive timings, you can bring over whoever you like and have a lifestyle which isn’t subject to any set norms.
Co-living is distancing itself from the traditional views of renting and turning itself into a much richer experience that isn’t scathing to a tenant but actually about growth. It is a known fact that Co-living is here to stay (even post COVID) because people have understood that with the added pressures of work, they need an ease in finding perfect stays for them which don’t add to their problems.
Co-living, being completely organized and completely professionally managed seeks to provide a single platform to all the rental issues regarding browsing of properties, finding roommates, furnishing and much more. This provision of a single platform has made the life of a tenant easier and most importantly, peaceful.