Shared Living Projects: A case study
Don't put all your eggs in one basket - How we diversify through Shared Living Projects
Shared Living Projects are core to what Lets Delight do. As the name suggest, these are homes for several people sharing communal facilities. It is where our property journey began.
When Ian, our Managing Director, attended university in the 1990's, he bought a house. He rented out two of the rooms to fellow physics students to ensure the finances worked. Little did he know back then that he'd be laying the foundations for a career running a successful property business.
Renting out houses by the room is nothing new. Since at least medieval times, lodgers have lived with their landlords. Shared living was common after the World War 1 and, of course, student houses are pretty much always shared. Much of the time, shared houses have had a bad reputation. But, a modern Shared Living Project is a long way from the rundown, dingy student digs many of us will remember.
The point at which Shared Living Projects became core to Lets Delight was when Ian's mother started to ail and he needed to return to his hometown of Warwick to care for her. But what to do with his house and decades of possessions? Renting it out as a multi-let meant his furniture could stay insitu. All his belongings could be stored in the loft, and the box room left empty for when he visits Manchester. This house remains a Lets Delight Shared Living Project today, and has our longest standing tenant!
The route into Shared Living Projects was somewhat accidental. Yet, they proved to address a real housing need and now form the core part of the business. A Lets Delight Shared Living Project is perfect for young people typically freshly out of college or university.
The modern, young workforce needs to be adaptable and able to move around. Yet housemates need to know they can make their house into their home. For this reason, we give long-term security and short-term flexibility. Everything is included: the kitchen is well equipped, the house is fully furnished and even the bed is made! Plus, one monthly rent payment covers all the bills and a cleaner visits every two weeks. The only other thing a housemate needs to pay is their personal mobile bill. Then the rest is 'fun money'.
Gone are the days of dingy student accommodation. That might be what people think of when imagining shared living, but a Shared Living Project is a great place to invite friends around. It's perfect to enjoy a spot of cooking and a glass of wine after a day's work. Housemates deserve somewhere they feel proud to live and with a Shared Living Project they get exactly that.
It is not only about cost and convenience. Moving into an area - or moving away from the parental home - can be daunting. With a Shared Living Project there is a ready made community of housemates, which many young people find invaluable.
Shared Living Projects are definitely Part of the Housing Solution. Not everyone needs or wants a long-term place to live, and would rather have flexibility. Shared Living Projects have a higher turnover of tenants than family flats, and they also have higher maintenance due to more people using communal areas. However, these are minor disadvantages. Providing Shared Living Projects continues to be a core part of Lets Delight.
In the previous article we looked at long-term flats for families. Here we've discussed medium term Shared Living Projects. In the next article we will consider short-term Furnished Holiday Lets.