Last year, Stockland Green Opportunity Housing and Training (SGOHT), a subsidiary of The Pioneer Group, acquired and renovated two new properties to be let to tenants under the fresh, new Co-Living scheme.
Aston Russell, Commercial Property Officer at SGOHT, talks to us and reveals the benefits of Co-Living and why people looking for a new home should consider this housing option.
So Aston, what exactly is Co-Living?
Co-Living is very simply when tenants rent a room in a development but share communal facilities such as kitchens and living areas. This is a fabulous new alternative to gaining affordable independence in a generation where getting onto the property ladder is becoming increasingly difficult.
Our homes usually house between 5-6 people and provide a private double bedroom and en-suite with a communal kitchen to share, however some models may vary.
Does sharing with others mean sacrificing the quality of living?
Not at all! We pride ourselves in offering top quality products and our properties are refurbished to a high standard. In addition, all of our bedrooms are fully furnished with a double bed, wardrobe, bedside cabinet and their own en-suite. The kitchens are built to a high specification, boasting all mod cons and even a visit from a cleaner once a week! Each property has Wi-Fi included to ensure tenants stay connected and back gardens to make the house a home.
Sounds great! Who would be eligible for tenancy?
Everyone is welcome to apply! Whether you can’t find the right home for your budget, or maybe you’ve just started work and want to move out of your parent’s house. You could even be looking to build up a credit rating. Whatever your means, we’re always happy to discuss your circumstances to see if our homes would be right for you.
Tenants have to pass a tenancy referencing check and we also accept individuals receiving DSS, as long as there are sufficient funds to make up any shortfalls.
What are the benefits to Communal Living?
Co-Living is a great platform to either start out on the property ladder or find your feet again if you’re looking for a new direction. Here at SGOHT, we are proud to provide a safe and secure home, where tenants have an opportunity to experience living on their own, build social skills and make a home for themselves.
As with standard tenancies, our homes are professionally managed, taking the burden of maintenance away from you. If something breaks, it is the landlords’ responsibility to arrange a repair. You will have one point of contact and you don’t have the problem of finding contractors and overseeing works.
And, of course, one of the biggest perks is its affordability. Rooms are available to rent from just £450 a month with all bills included.
So what inspired SGOHT to offer Co-Living?
One of SGOHT’s values is that we’re heavily customer and community-focused. We are working on a long term project to provide affordable housing options whilst bringing the community together, so when we thought about it, it seemed like a no-brainer to introduce Co-Living to Stockland Green.
Co-Living is mostly thought of as student accommodation, but we want to broaden that view with our approach as it’s a great way to build connections and independence at the same time.
We also want this initiative to be part of our efforts to discourage rogue landlords – those that neglect properties and refuse to ensure that tenants are safe and secure in their homes.
Our weekly inspections not only ensure that the properties are in good condition, but give us a chance to get to know our tenants and talk with us face-to-face. There is even a plan in the midst to hold pizza evenings so that tenants can get to know each other better and have an open forum to talk to us as a group.
How is SGOHT different to other providers?
It may sound cliché but we are genuinely invested in our tenants. We really want to help build the community and its residents to be the best that they can be, so we try to get to know our tenants and do what we can to offer them opportunities to help them on their personal journeys.
It was already mentioned, but I can’t stress how much we pride ourselves in providing high standards for our properties. Unlike some other Co-Living models, our tenants benefit from an all-inclusive rent, fully furnished accommodation, and we even provide kitchen equipment and bedding for the first tenant in a room.
Where can I get more information?
We’re always happy to help anyone that’s looking for more information. You can visit our website or Facebook, or just pick up the phone to give the team a call on 0121 748 8100.