The Collective, a new scheme, funded privately by Singaporean investors is “a new way to live in London”, is the corporate answer to the issues facing new workers or students in the capital hunting for a flat and someone to share the costs. It claims to give tenants –“a hassle-free, collective life similar to a student hall of residence, but for people starting out on their career”. Sounds great right? Some agree but most say it’s a faze that can’t last, and won’t last.
Most of the rooms are 10 sq metres in size only and relatively dear compared to the traditional flat-shares seen in London’s inner suburbs, but here you won’t find cockroaches, mice or untidy bedroom as the new set ups even come with cleaners, who are included in the cost of living there, either once a week or once every two weeks. Those that enquire and are keen to move there typically pay just over £1,000 a month for what the scheme has called a “Twodio”. For that they get a bed described as “double” – smaller than your average double bed, plus a private bathroom and access to a kitchen unit that is shared with one other tenant (let’s hope you get along!) Bedclothes are supplied free of charge (to fit the smaller beds) as is the gas, wifi and other bills too. The new in – house restaurant has also opened in recent weeks, and will offer affordable food and drink to the residents, and this space can be hired for private functions or parties too should you wish to host a party for the people you already live on top of.
The monthly charge also gains you access to a roof terrace which is amazing large, and rather useful if wanting to check what time your bus might leave as the view is over the bus garage and train station at Willesden Junction so not your typical vista, but again, in London, what is these days? Crossrail is coming here too I hear you shout, a local station opening in the next three years so the fact that you are a stone’s throw away from your Crossrail, bus depot and under/overground station means you can get anywhere in London, incredibly quickly. On top of the outdoor spaces, you also have access to the other communal spaces, a games room (feels strangely like you’re on an old geography school trip, in somewhere like Abergaveny, where you fight over whose turn it is to use the billiard table or pacman machine) a library, which in this day and age is quite ‘old school’ considering people are so ‘kindled up’ these days, and more likely to be watching something on Netflix rather than picking up an actual book but again, it does have everything you might need under one roof so to speak. They even offered a ‘try before you buy’ set up when the launched, offering people the chance to move in for one month, using all of the facilities on site, before signing their lives away, and agreeing to an annual contract. Once a resident you will simply download the ‘The Collective App’ and this app will help you navigate the large spaces, will notify you of any events happening there, and will also allow you to ‘chat’ to other residents using their in house message service. So, all in all rather a good concept, or is it?