Imagine living in a place where your linens are changed and utilities are included; you can go to the gym and then catch a movie, or meet up with friends in one of the dedicated communal spaces – all in the one building. It’s not a hotel. It’s called ‘co-living’, and it might be the future of tenancy.

Co-living communities are gaining popularity in the Europe and the US, especially among millennials. Whole apartment complexes are being marketed, usually to young professionals, which provide complete lifestyle amenities; gyms, communal spaces, cinemas, cleaners, utilities, even organised group activities, all for a single flat fee for renters wanting an alternative to traditional tenancy arrangements.

The co-living communities have their origins in cooperative working facilities, where communities of professionals work in the same space as a way of promoting collaboration.

Co-living goes a step further, not only promoting opportunities for professional collaboration but a ready made social community as well.

'Co-living' could offer an alternative to more traditional market structures.

‘Co-living’ could offer an alternative to more traditional market structures.

The Collective, based in London, is one such example. The company’s co-living facility, ‘Old Oak’ provides a library, cinema, gym, games room, games room, kitchens, restaurant, and fully furnished bedrooms and ensuites.

The Collective also has five dedicated residential sites, which include broadband, cleaning services, and all-inclusive bills. A variety of rooms are available for a range of leases, from self-contained two bedroom flats to studios with shared kitchenette and living areas.

There are now a few pioneers in this space in Australia. Base, located in Melbourne, is one example.

The project, spearheaded by Al Jeffrey and Simon Harman, is a ‘prototype’ co-living community; an experimental undertaking which aims to “experiment with co-living, the balance of privacy with efficiency” and “to break down and analyse the co-living market in Melbourne”.

Originally targeted to millennials, Base has moved focus to a wider demographic following significant interest after the idea launched in 2015.

“We’ve got well and truly more than we thought” said facilitator, Al Jeffrey, 22. “We’ve had people in their 30’s and 40’s contact us.”

Co-living projects such as Base are growing in popularity because they focus on community and collaboration, according to Jeffrey. They are more than a share house, catering to people who are “more interested in experience” than simply a place to live.

Jeffrey believes “there is a big want for connection and community right now. People are seeking deeper and more meaningful relationships.”

Unlike the traditional share house arrangement, curation plays a big part, with a focus on connecting like-minded people a key component.

“We have learned that curating the community to a degree to ensure alignment and congruency is important. It really makes people feel like they are a part of something.”

Aside from a social aspect, developing a cohesive professional environment is a big draw card for co-living facilities.

“Developing a big breeding ground for ideas is a big part of it” according to Jeffrey. Having the capacity to cater to professionals by offering things like networking events and working spaces not only builds the community, but also provides another revenue stream that can be leveraged against the cost of living.

Base is yet to secure a permanent property, with an event series to take place in late 2016 and early 2017 to test the project in a real world setting, the results of which will be used to encourage industry participation. Jeffrey aims to locate and secure a residence and launch the project by mid-2017.

However that’s only the beginning. There are plans to establish a Base network across Australia and internationally.

“We envision a network of spaces all with an intentional culture that people can go to, live in and work from that all allow people to feel that same sense of connection, expression, sustainable living and growth.”

The success of Base will remain to be seen. However if the success of co-living overseas is anything to go by, it could make a significant mark in the property market.