London is not a famously friendly city. From the awkward silence on the Tube to the pushing and shoving on busy pavements, the capital can at times be an unwelcoming place.

For those who rent, finding friends is all the more difficult. Living in a tiny flat with no living room makes bringing people back a hassle, while having to move every six months or so means getting to know your neighbours is hard.

Airbnb might mean you enjoy Lisbon with your live-in holiday landlord, but back home stuck in a Victorian terrace broken up by buy-to-let landlords, renting seems a whole lot less fun.

We believe renting should be a shared, social experience. Does anyone really like living in a city where you don’t know the names of your neighbours?

That’s why we scrapped the idea of having private penthouse apartments at the top of Vantage Point, our first development for rent. We’ve given the entire duplex floor over to our customers so everyone can mingle, dine, drink and party with the best views in London.

It’s a bit of an experiment. Some people say Brits are a bit standoffish. But already it’s working. We’ve got residents from more than 22 different countries – reflecting the growing diversity of the capital.

To help make everyone click, our 24/7 residents' team will be your in-house social planners. Being local experts, they recommend good bars and restaurants nearby in case you want to take your new friends out.

While the terrace and kitchen area are available to hire privately, the rest of the space will always be open to all residents. It means you’ll always have a place to hang out, even on major holidays like Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve.

Worth an eye-popping £7m if it were sold off, this duplex sky lounge has everything from a kitchen-diner and TV chill out area to a fitness space and games room. The terrace outside has a BBQ and pizza oven perfect for entertaining on warm summer days.

While it’s a bit chilly right now, there are few better places to watch winter fireworks or wait for the inevitable snowfall across north London.

For those looking for somewhere to knuckle down and work, hold a meeting or read a book, the first-floor library might be better suited; while those wanting to enjoy the fresh air have the 15th floor garden balcony as another option.

But for anyone trying to impress a friend or simply take in the breathtaking vista across the world’s greatest city, you can’t beat being up on the roof terrace.

The sharing economy and digital revolution have transformed how we view cars, music and television. At Essential Living, we think housing should be sociable too. Tell us what you think


Dressage Court - Bethnal Green

Tom Roberts


As an expert in the build-to-rent industry, Tom shares all the latest news, advice and insight on real estate, renting and what Essential Living has to offer.