Trouble in (rental) paradise
So we’ve all been there, right? Fresh out of university and into your first rental home as a young professional. No more dirty dishes stacked up high, no more overflowing bins and no more socialising in your kitchen. Well, that was the idea anyway.
Unfortunately the reality for young 20-somethings looking to rent a room in the private rented sector (PRS) is much closer to what we’ve endured as a student, than what we should be enjoying as newly wage-earning member of society.
If you’re a millennial and can relate to these unfavourable circumstances, then you already know the disappointments I’m about to uncover. For years now, the level of service and quality provided throughout the PRS has been, for the most part, below the standard expected.
Instead of focusing on creating a product that young adults find appealing, landlords instead emphasise on squeezing every last drop of monetary gain from their property. That lounge you were hoping to sit in and enjoy time with your new housemates? Turned into an extra bedroom. That money you were saving to take a weekend trip to Barcelona with? Gone on the extortionate upfront costs required to secure a room in the first place.
Some of you may think this over dramatic, however this isn’t just my opinion; it’s a matter of national fact. In the Housing White paper released by the government back in February this year, they stated:
“In areas where the housing shortage is most acute, high demand and low supply is creating opportunities for exploitation and abuse: unreasonable letting agents’ fees, unfair terms in leases and landlords letting out dangerous, overcrowded properties. In short, it’s becoming harder to rent a safe, secure property.”
The result is poorly managed, low quality, overcrowded properties that don’t have the correct communal infrastructure to support interaction between tenants. You find yourself back socialising in your kitchen again, or bedroom, when really you should be enjoying a space that befits the money you’re shelling out every month.
In a recent survey conducted by Osborne Clarke, a multinational law firm, they found that 47% of people considered their landlords to be doing enough to maintain their property. This means more than half of those surveyed believe that the quality of their rented accommodation is not meeting the standard. This has to be seen as unacceptable.
Even worse, if you’ve entered into a house share with people you’ve never met before, seeing eye to eye can be a struggle. This now means you’re in a new city (maybe), having started a new job (probably), with a home life that stresses you out more than that thing your new boss keeps telling you to do (definitely).
And just because that wasn’t enough to think about, there’s always that ‘life admin’ which you just can’t escape. Organising bills, setting up joint accounts, cleaning the house and remembering when bin day is all distracts from what you actually want to be doing in life; working, socialising and seeking out new experiences.
Undoubtedly this way of living leads to unhappy, unproductive people.
So, what’s the solution?
A high-quality home built around community from a brand you can trust would be a good place to start. One monthly bill covering all your needs from Wi-Fi to room cleaning would be a great addition and the ability to feed back to community leaders when issues arise would be even better.
For many across London, the United States and Europe, this way of living is a new trend known as ‘co-living’. Focusing on the member’s needs and building a community of like-minded individuals is creating spaces where young professionals genuinely want to live. And with it being a lifestyle choice thousands of millennials have already chosen to make, the co-living movement is gaining global traction. As journalist Suzanne Bearne puts it, “with no end in sight for Generation Rent and a growing desire for ultra convenience, the co-living trend looks only set to boom.”
You don’t have to settle for that dingy room in the overpriced house just because there’s nothing else on offer.
The landlord-tenant relationship, too, is long overdue a shake up. Waiting 3 days to hear back from that guy you see 3 times a year when your hot water has stopped, is in this day and age not what we’ve come to expect. To instead have access to an app that not only provides total end-of-the-month cost transparency, but also connects you to management staff and others in your community, is a far better way to tackle the problem.
If the idea of co-living appeals to you and you’re interested in finding out more, then visit SYZO.co and take the first step towards changing the way you live.
If you have any questions please feel free to drop me a line at jono@SYZO.co