Coliving: All your questions answered

What is Coliving and is it right for you? Is Coliving in London available? We take a look at this increasingly popular form of housing and answer the most commonly-asked questions around this type of rental property.

Although you’ve probably heard the term Coliving quite a bit in the press recently, the idea itself is not a new one. Its roots can be traced back to early shared housing in cities like London and New York. However, it’s only now gaining major traction among younger renters due to unique economic and lifestyle factors.

Coliving offers good value accommodation for many young professionals priced out of home ownership in large cities. It also fits with the ‘gig economy’ and more flexible working practices that are now common. In line with this, Coliving leases offer everything from a nightly rate for short stays up to long leases for a year or more.

The Collective

Spa area at The Collective’s Canary Wharf location

The Collective is a leading Coliving operator with buildings in London and New York. The company’s range of compact to large private Coliving studios include access to stylish resident facilities, such as communal cinema rooms, gym and coworking spaces. The Canary Wharf location also offers a swimming pool and spa.

Reviewing The Collective Old Oak, NW10

“my experience at collective old oak is great!”

Verified Resident


I chose to live at The Collective Old Oak because of the various and plentiful facilities that they provide here. When you live here, you are not only renting your room, your rent also includes the access to lots of facilities and services. I also really liked the idea of co-living, which allows me to Read All
I chose to live at The Collective Old Oak because of the various and plentiful facilities that they provide Read All

As Ed Thomas, head of community experience at The Collective explains, Coliving is an increasingly appealing option for many people keen to build new connections around their London home:

“There are so many reasons why people come to The Collective: they might be moving to London for the first time or have been living in London for 10 years and want a change of scenery, or they could be looking for a home that allows them to focus on their business by removing all the normal hassle that comes with renting.”

The Collective communal space

Coliving FAQs

What does Coliving mean?

Coliving is an increasingly popular form of communal living where residents share certain amenities and communal areas while also enjoying their own private space. This type of accommodation is growing in popularity, especially in cities.

The high cost of homes and the limited space available in urban locations means Coliving can offer a lower-priced option over self-contained living spaces. Coliving can often also offer very flexible arrangements for short- and medium-term lets.

What are Coliving spaces?

Coliving spaces are buildings set up to facilitate communal living for groups of people who also have their own private space. Amenities such as laundry facilities, kitchenettes, bathrooms may be shared (or not), but residents do have their own living spaces.

Developments vary, but many include a wide range of communal facilities designed to help residents connect with each other. Communal dining rooms, libraries, pools, cinema rooms, games rooms – all these might be found in a typical Coliving space.

Why choose Coliving?

Coliving offers a number benefits over conventional renting options. Cost is a key factor for many people considering, as Coliving can provide cheaper accommodation compared with other types of lettings. However, there are plenty of other benefits that make Coliving attractive.

The ability to interact with other residents makes Coliving a more sociable form of renting – especially useful for tenants who are new to an area or city. The types of facilities on offer in some Coliving spaces are also a cut above what might be found in a conventional apartment block.

The environmental impact of living in a Coliving space can also be low, thanks to shared amenities and fully-furnished homes, and the convenience of all-inclusive bills and services like room cleaning also add to the appeal of Coliving.

What are my options for Coliving in London?

There are plenty of options for Coliving in London. The Collective offer two locations – in Canary Wharf and Old Oak. There are also plenty of other options around the city from operators like Lyvly, Kndrd and LHA London.

If you’re looking for a sociable rental experience, but would prefer your own self-contained apartment, read our guide to the best young professional accommodation in London. These ‘Build to Rent’ apartments offer all-inclusive billing, furnishing options and outstanding communal events and facilities.

Is Coliving safe?

Brands operating Coliving spaces are very careful to maintain high safety standards for residents. Companies carefully screen both residents and staff. Additionally, most Coliving spaces include a 24/7 concierge service to help manage the building.

You should look for a Coliving space with up-to-date technology for entering and exiting the building. Building security or CCTV monitoring is also desirable to ensure you feel safe as a resident.

What does Cohousing mean? Is it different to Coliving?

The main difference between Cohousing and Coliving is that Cohousing communities tend to be set up and run by the communities themselves. It’s a similar idea, aiming to create a more communal living arrangement with private homes and some shared facilities.

However, the community itself creates Cohousing communities, rather than a company. Homes are also usually houses owned by the occupiers rather than rented apartments. The organising community may decide to form because of shared beliefs or values, such as environmental concerns. It’s also sometimes referred to as an ‘intentional community’.

What is collective housing?

Collective Housing is a broad term that covers various models of communal living, including Cohousing and Coliving. Collective housing refers to any collection of houses or apartments created for a single community that shares common spaces or amenities.

What is a Coliving hotel?

A Coliving hotel may refer to a Coliving space that offers short lets in a similar way to a hotel. As many Coliving buildings are set up in a similar way to a hotel, you may be able to stay for as few as a couple of days or as many as 12 months or more. Pricing will vary accordingly.

Is Coliving right for me?

Coliving can be a great way to settle into a new neighbourhood or city. Think of it like staying in a hotel while you settle in, but the other residents are in a similar situation and are open to meeting you!

Even if you’re established in an area, Coliving can be a way for you to find new friends or connect with new business partners. Some Coliving spaces also offer coworking spaces. This makes them attractive for people wanting to work from home, but with some interaction with other people.

Overall, Coliving offers outstanding convenience and opportunities to meet other people at a lower cost than most conventional renting options. If you value community, convenience and cost-savings, it could well be for you!

What does Coworking mean?

Coworking simply means a number of individuals sharing office space but not working for the same business. They may be self-employed or working for different companies, and may share only the space and essential facilities. In other coworking spaces, people might come together to share ideas or skills and help each other out with projects.

Why is Coworking so popular?

Coworking offers all the benefits of a conventional office but at a lower cost. There’s also a more collaborative, sociable environment. Individuals from different sectors and businesses can benefit from connecting in a work context. Additionally, many self-employed people find they are most productive in a Coworking space compared with working from home.

Signing up for a Coworking space also helps people working from home to maintain a disconnect between working and living space. This can be helpful if they don’t have a room free for a home office. Many new apartment buildings now feature some form of communal work space to facilitate this.

Is Coworking right for me?

If you want to stay working from (or near) home but miss the connection and productivity that comes with working in an office, Coworking could be right for you. The costs are usually low and the benefits to your productivity, social life and mental health can be significant!

HomeViews provides verified resident reviews of the UK’s housing developments. We’re working with developers, landlords and the Government to recognise high performers and help to improve standards in the built environment.

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