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Saturday, Nov 23, 2019

Co-living apps make settling into a new city a breeze

Finding accommodation in a new city for students and young professionals is difficult, but co-living spaces are making things easier one app at a time.

real-estate Updated: Jun 19, 2019 17:16 IST
Aishwarya Iyer
Aishwarya Iyer
Hindustan Times
Co-living spaces are making it easier for young professionals to adapt to the new city as well as providing a social outlet.
Co-living spaces are making it easier for young professionals to adapt to the new city as well as providing a social outlet. (The Tribe)
         

As more young adults move to the prime metros for work, developers are starting to offer complexes designed for the upper-middle-class, white-collar migrant.

You don’t have to find your own flatmates, argue with the landlord, hunt for furniture or house help. You don’t even have to work too hard to make friends.

Companies like CoHo (in Delhi, Gurugram, Noida and Bengaluru), CoLive (in Bengaluru and Chennai), The Tribe (in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Pune) and Stayabode and Grexter (in Bengaluru) now provide rented, fully-furnished accommodation in residential apartments, and flatmates that are matched with you based on your profile, budget and preferences.

As their user base grows, they’re responding to a new demand too — that of a social life for people new to the city. For the last 18 months, these four- to five-year-old companies have been organising weekend parties, streaming shows like the Game of Thrones in common areas, holding poetry slams, book readings, workshops and gigs, in addition to special events for Navratri, Halloween, Holi and IPL season.

“The concept of co-living has emerged because of the evolving nature the millennials, who aspire for a lifestyle without wanting to own or invest in real-estate,” says Vijay Rajagopalan, national head for alternatives business at real-estate advisory JLL. “Co-living is all about creating an ecosystem for the young adults and giving them a lifestyle experience with collaborative spaces, cafés and lounges. The model also allows for flexibility in terms of lock-ins and deposit amounts.”

Rent for a flat on twin-sharing basis starts at Rs 6,500. Security deposits range from two to six months’ rent, with lock-in periods as low as two to three months and easy exits with one month notice. Other benefits include seamless transfer within the same co-living brand in a different city.

Live and let live

From a community kitchen, where 15 or 20 can cook together or take turns to cook, to in-house cafés, fitness rooms, cinema rooms, music zones and libraries, CoLive creates its residential spaces for the digital nomad.

“To find co-tenants, we have an app that matches people based on their descriptors and interests,” says Suresh Rangarajan, founder of CoLive. Events are held weekly and are free.

CoHo meanwhile has talent shows and game nights that they say are inspired by the American co-living brand, WeLive.

Residents play beer pong and mingle with other residents during social gatherings organized by the co-living companies, that make activities affordable and fun.
Residents play beer pong and mingle with other residents during social gatherings organized by the co-living companies, that make activities affordable and fun. ( CoLive )

Kashika Gupta, 19, a law student from Gurugram who has lived in a CoHo flat in Delhi for 17 months, says her two closest friends in her new city are people she met at the CoHo game night.

John Jacob, an associate vice-president at CoHo, says the events are also a way to make a social life more affordable. “Going to clubs and restaurants can be costly and risky. Here newbies can mingle with people of their own age group safely and easily.”

The growing market for co-living spaces in the Bengaluru, NCR and Pune metropolitan regions has led many investors to sit up and taking notice of this emerging sector as a way to diversify their portfolio and minimise risk, says Gulam Zia, executive director forSt valuation and advisory in retail and hospitality, at Knight Frank India. “As job markets grow in these areas as well as Hyderabad and Chennai, the co-living sector will experience growth too.”