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Renting in London: private living vs co-living

Over the past few years, co-living spaces have been popping up all over London to offer young professionals an alternative to the expensive and complicated rental market of the city.

But how do they work, and how do they compare with the more traditional way of renting in London?

What is Private Living in London?

Private Living is our way of naming the standard way of renting in the UK.

This process goes through an estate agency with whom you will negotiate and sign a lease (usually for 12 months). All your living space will be completely private and some properties will be fully furnished, others unfurnished.

If you choose this option, your rent will not include your utilities or your WiFi, and you will have to pay a security deposit of at least 5 weeks rent.

There is a huge range of properties on the rental market in all areas of London so although it is a very fast paced market, there are constantly new options coming available.

The pros:

  1. All of your rent goes towards completely private space
  2. There is lots of choice and an endless stream of new options
  3. You have total independence from other tenants in the building

The cons:

  1. The rent tends to be more expensive
  2. There is less of a sense of community
  3. The rental process can be a little more complicated and arduous (although we would help you every step of the way, of course!)

What is Co-Living in London?

Coliving in London

Over the past few years, co-living spaces have been popping up all over London to offer young professionals an alternative to the expensive and complicated rental market of the city.

Co-living spaces, focus on making the rental process as simple as possible and creating a sense of community all at an affordable price.

They are the modern way of living in London for young professionals: residents share a number of living spaces as well as having their own privacy. You have your own privacy in your bedroom with a bathroom and maybe a kitchen, but on top of this, they offer co-working spaces and places to relax that are more community driven. On top of this, events are regularly organised to further build the sense of community and give tenants a chance to meet new people and make new connections.

They also often simplify the process by including utilities, WiFi and bills in their prices and not charging agency fees.

The pros:

  1. All of your bills and utilities are usually included, making it a simpler process and you don’t have to go through an estate agent
  2. There is more opportunity to make friends and create a community
  3. Due to the community areas, you have more space to hang out in

The cons:

  1. There is a smaller choice of properties available
  2. In general, you will have less private space
  3. There is limited availability


But how is Co-Living different from Flat-sharing…

With flat-sharing, it is very often the case that you are sharing a bathroom and the kitchen with your flatmates. With co-living, some residences offer shared kitchens but it is most often the case that you have your own kitchen and bathroom.

Co-Living also offers much bigger living spaces outside of your apartment, such as roof top terraces and cinema rooms, that are shared with the other people living in your neighbouring apartments.

Essentially, co-living is a simpler, cheaper and more community-driven way of renting than private living, but more expensive than flat-sharing.

Here are a couple websites that advertise flat-shares:

If you have any more questions about these two options, do not hesitate to contact us! We would love to hear from you!

Want to be fully prepared to find your next home in London? Buy and download our self-help guides!

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Guide to Renting in London

Master all the steps required to rent a property in London: how to make a rental offer; how deposits work; how to prepare your tenancy references; how to check your tenancy agreement before signing.

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20 top London neighbourhoods covered, with, for each neighbourhood: history and character; average rent prices for 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedrooms; transport links; local highlights.

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Learn how to:  sign up for electricity, gas, water, council tax, tv licence, internet, doctors, bank accounts, home insurance; obtain a National Insurance Number.

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