Co-Living Vs Flat-Sharing: What Is Co Living?

Imagine having 500 flatmates. Well, that’s a reality for a growing number of people in the UK’s big cities—and it could soon become the norm.

If you live in a metropolitan area, there’s a chance you’ve heard of a trendy new “co-living” space popping up somewhere near you within the last few years. Touted as the solution for everything from the housing crisis to millenial loneliness, these community-focused accommodation blocks could be the future of the rental market.

But what exactly is co-living, and how is it different from more familiar models of house-sharing?

acasa is a household management platform that helps those in shared or communal accommodation split the bills fairly while getting better deals on their utilities. In this blog, we explain exactly what the difference is between co-living and flat-sharing.

What is co-living?

Co-living or co-housing is a community-centered accommodation model that combines private living space—typically consisting of a bedroom with an ensuite bathroom—and communal leisure areas. Many co-living spaces refer to themselves as “intentional communities”, as the social aspect is heavily emphasised, often through skills-based events and activities.

These blocks have usually been converted by a property developer and are managed by a housing company specialising in shared accommodation, such as London-based The Collective, that operates the world’s largest co-living space in Willesden, or WeWork.

Co-living versus flat-sharing: what’s different?

There are obvious similarities between co-living and flat or house-sharing. Both involve renting a private room in some type of shared accommodation, with leisure spaces—kitchens, living rooms, outdoor areas—being for communal use. However, co-living blocks typically aren’t divided into flats. Residents share the entire block, more like a permanent hotel, hostel or student accommodation building.

Co-living spaces are also completely managed by companies, not landlords who take care of bills and utilities while actively encouraging their tenants to embrace the community focus. How many shared houses do you know that run French classes?


acasa’s household management platform is the ideal modern solution for any individuals or organisations that wants to make bill-splitting easier and fairer for everyone sharing a living space. We partner with the best providers in the country, including Octopus Energy, Virgin Media and Zone Broadband.

House sharers can find out more information, view our FAQs and get a quote based on their postcode. If you manage a co-living space and are interested in partnering with acasa to better support and supply your tenants, view our partners page here.

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acasa is designed to make managing your household utilities more time and cost-effective, whether you’re a group of students, young professionals or a couple living together. We partner with the best providers in the country, including Octopus Energy, Virgin Media and Zone Broadband, to make life easier for anybody living in a shared house.

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