Co-housing becoming more popular in the UK

Due to the housing crisis many people in the UK are currently struggling to afford a deposit for a property, and those that do often get very little for the amount that they pay. This is why more and more people are starting to look to co-housing, which is where each person owns their own property in a complex but then shares communal areas such as gardens and laundry rooms, which are often too expensive for them to afford on their own. These types of properties are already well-established in Europe and America; however it is only now that we are seeing them become more popular throughout the UK.

So far the UK Cohousing Network has reported that there are fourteen co-housing projects currently in operation, and that another forty are currently in planning stages. Most of the time co-housing builds only begin once a lender has presold between fifty and seventy-five per cent of the units, and then once the complex is built each member will be able to take out their own personal mortgage. However, some co-housing schemes only cater to certain demographics, meaning that finding those who would be eligible to join could prove difficult, yet many have solved this problem by using social media sites to get in touch with like-minded people.

Co-housing complexes could also benefit senior citizens who want to own their own property yet still want the amount of companionship and sense of community that is provided in nursing homes. However, the wait time for moving into these types of housing projects can often be a number of years, meaning that for many it is just an idea that may not come to fruition until a much later time. Furthermore, there have been concerns over what would happen if one member of the complex decided to move out, as without their mortgage payments the project would not make enough money to keep going.

There has been no news yet concerning whether this type of accommodation may also benefit the private rented sector, however as there is currently so much demand for housing of a good quality we could see private-rented co-housing projects in the future. If this is the case, more landlords would need to register their properties as Houses in Multiple Occupation, which could lead to an increase in rent costs in order to cover the landlord insurance payments, as well as all the extra safety systems that would have to be installed in order to comply with regulations.

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