Co-living spaces versus hostels and PG accommodations: What should students choose?

[] Co-living spaces and student housing have emerged as viable alternatives for those looking for rental spaces in metro cities. We look at the factors that students should be aware of, before choosing such accommodations

With the growing migrant population across the country, the idea of shared living is finding many takers. Such accommodations are particularly useful for students, who head to cities to start their college life. While, earlier, hostels and paying guest accommodations were the available options, modern concepts for students include co-living spaces or student housing.

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Concept of co-living spaces

“The concept of co-living involves having a common kitchen, a utility space and a lounge area, along with a common study zone that the students can use. This is apart from the private bedroom and bathroom that each resident has. It is a modern form of housing, wherein students stay in a common apartment or building, while sharing common facilities. Similar to how serviced apartments evolved, owing to the need for greater flexibility and freedom as compared to hotels, co-living has taken shape, owing to the need for a cost-effective, flexible and hassle-free lifestyle, as compared to traditional rental accommodations,” explains Divya Seth Maggu, senior associate director, valuation and advisory services at Colliers International India.

Benefits of co-living spaces, over hostels and PGs

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The main benefit of a co-living space, is that one need not compromise on comfort, when living away from home. The facilities available, such as utilities and maintenance, are at par with what is available in one’s house. Although co-living may not be as cost-effective as a hostel, it does offer more benefits over the latter, at a slightly higher cost. Experts point out that hostels and PGs are mainly about lodging and boarding, while co-living provides an elevated lifestyle, with opportunities to interact and cohabit without the overbearing scrutiny and rules.

[] Things to keep in mind when investing in co-living spaces for rental income

“Co-living spaces offer flexible lease periods that can range from short-term to long-term. Several co-living spaces also hold events like yoga, festival nights, movies, sports tournaments, etc., which takes care of the leisure activities within the complex. Also, hostels and PGs may have conditions, in terms of visitors, deadlines for returning home, etc., which can hinder flexible working hours,” adds Abhishek Kulkarni, chairman and managing director of Million Sqft Realty Pvt Ltd.

How does a co-living setup operate?

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Companies in the co-living segment lease properties on a long-term basis from building owners, for a period of three to seven years. They revamp the interiors, to suit the requirements of students before renting it out. They also hire housekeeping staff and security guards, for property management and are overall responsible for providing the facilities. Students then sign the agreements with the co-living operators. Kulkarni explains: “The agreement includes details pertaining to the rental amount, the period of the lease and verified personal details of the person on rent. The responsibilities of the co-living operators include maintenance, cleaning, collecting rent, etc., thereby, eliminating the multiple levels of operations that exist in renting out a residential property.”

Before signing the agreement for a co-living space

It is important to establish one’s budget in advance, to ascertain the budget that you can pay every month, before starting the search. The next step is to align your requirements from the co-living space, with the budget. Finally, students should look for properties that meet their expectations, as well as budget.

Things to keep in mind, when opting for a co-living space

  • Check the time frame of the agreement and the duration of your education.
  • Verify the facilities and utilities available and the distance of the co-living space from the place of education.
  • Explore various rental options, to ensure that the co-living space is at par with industry rates and not overpriced.
  • Check on the privacy available, as a co-living space should offer a conducive environment for studying.
  • Check the security in the place.

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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