In 2017, the Private Rented Sector (PRS) accounted for 5 million households. This is a huge increase from 10% in 2002 to 20% and indicates that the market is growing fast.

The rise in the number of people choosing to rent has inevitably led to more diversity in the rental population. The popularity of Build-to-Rent properties like Wembley Park is on the rise among families, young professionals and retirees who all have one thing in common - the desire to rent somewhere they can call home, without worries about eviction or poor-quality living conditions. Co-Living is the latest trend offering a unique blend of peace-of-mind, quality of life and convenience that challenges conventions in the UK housing market.

What exactly is Co-Living?

The UK is the subject of a cultural revolution of sorts. The popularity of cottage industries, micro-breweries, crowd-funding and the rise of entrepreneurship and the freelance economy are all characteristics of empowered individuals and communities. To compliment this shift in attitude Co-Living is a lifestyle beyond bricks-and-mortar, location and convenience but provides communities of like-minded individuals with a shared philosophy e.g. sustainability. Co-Living may extend to shared workspaces with collective endeavours and ambitions. All sources of inspiration for enterprising new business owners and renters looking to challenge convention.

Trendsetters, The Collective are already operating a contemporary form of Co-Living at Canary Wharf in the UK and a site in Long Island, US. The experience is described as a way of living in cities that focuses on community and convenience. Offering flexible, short-term leases and the opportunity to live as part of a community with all bills covered in the price, it’s easy to see the appeal.

Is this anything new? What makes Co-Living different?

As a new investment asset class, Co-Living developments (or Purpose-Built Shared Living), must have a minimum of 50 units. Paired with well-designed communal spaces and regular social events. This is a world away from a bed in a grotty flat with an absentee, negligent landlord. These developments are designed with the tenant in mind, which is why they include everything needed to make the most of urban living in their rates: rent, concierge, superfast internet, all utilities and taxes, room cleaning, exciting daily events and gym membership. Some even boast bars, cinemas, wellness centres and swimming pools!

What sets it apart from more traditional Build-to-Rent developments is the emphasis placed on shorter lease terms, making it perfect for the needs of a more nomadic workforce. With developers such as The Collective opening their second London residence in July and having just signed off a $450 million development in New York, it’s clear that this new asset class is here to stay as a great alternative to traditional private rented accommodation.

But why is it seeing a boom now?

Co-Living could be described as grown-up Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA). Graduates have become accustomed to quality living and they want accommodation to suit their lifestyle. According to The Collective founder Reza Merchant,

“Where we live is no longer just our place of residence; we can live in multiple places all over the world and perhaps never spend longer than a few days in each. What remains unchanged is our need for a sense of belonging, the ability to connect with like-minded people and a place that we can call home.”

Unlike Build-to-Rent properties with reliable three-year tenancies, Co-Living offers a home, but without the long-term commitment – perfect for a workforce which is increasingly more nomadic. With emphasis on communal living, many organise regular events, presenting tenants with a ready-made social life wherever they go. This not only helps ward off loneliness, but also gives an inimitable opportunity for networking and skill-sharing.

Why is super-fast internet important?

Co-Living is the newest asset class in the residential sector, so it stands to reason that it needs to be cutting-edge. Residents will depend on technology for entertainment but more importantly, if Co-Living is to be a place of work, residents’ livelihood will rely on the same technology. Since many tenants rely on the internet for work, it is imperative that they have the best technologies available: according to IKEA’s innovation lab Space 10, Blockchain, 3D printing and other digital technologies are essential to making Co-Living work. Which means that super-fast broadband is an essential amenity.

Smart Fibre Infrastructure™ (SFI™)

Glide Residential’s SFI™ is a full fibre, landlord broadband solution that provides a fast and simple way to cable a building, specifically designed for the Build-to-Rent (BTR) sector. With SFI™, buildings are future-proofed for the next 25 years, as there are no restrictions on what can be delivered via fibre. SFI™ also enables the provision of many smart technology services such as Wi-Fi controlled lighting and heating, door entry, CCTV, digital signage, smart metering, and SkyQ. SFI™ helps add rental value, whilst reducing operational costs, and is designed with developers, landlords, and their residents in mind.

Managed Internet Service>

With Glide Residential, you can also benefit from a fully managed internet service for private rented residents and fully managed internet solutions. Everything is managed from the cabling, to launch, to ongoing 24/7/365 support. Complete managed broadband services from a single provider. The network is monitored around the clock to ensure everything is running smoothly, and each customer has their own dedicated service manager as one single point of contact to provide everything you need.

Get in touch with a member of our team to find out how we can enhance your Build-to-Rent (BTR) development. Call us on 03333 800 800 or drop us an email at, or find out more details on our website

No time to chat? Get a Quick Quote for your Build-to-Rent development here.