The last 12 months has focused heavily on the lettings industry predominantly because of the Tenant Fee Ban, but also because of the changes set to take place with the Housing & Planning Act 2016 (CMP, Electrical Safety, Banning Orders & formalising the Abandonment process), all of which, except CMP impact the landlord.Life for the landlord is more onerous and burdensome, the legislation is cumbersome and with so much change, many landlords are – A. Using letting Agents for every element of the letting process B. Giving in and selling up. The Government has made it clear that their interest does not lie with the buy-to-let landlord who owns 1-3 Properties, but more so with the corporate landlord, in particular those putting their focus and money into “Build to Rent”.
What is Build to Rent?
We have several clients who deal with “Build to Rent” – they oversee the refurbishment of a block or the building of the block from scratch. Once the building is ready, the apartments are put up for let and the whole building is managed by our clients.
How does this differ from the traditional “let”?
The building is owned by a pension fund, group of investors or one individual. Letting agents may be involved in sourcing tenants and dealing with the front end process, the property management and the block management is dealt with on-site, so a very different model to what we have been used to. Some, of not all the developments we have come across, include “Communal” living space, gyms, and laundry facilities. This concept has existed in the United States for many years – the “condominium”.
This approach to building and renting is fulfilling a requirement that the Government is finding difficult to meet. The landlords in question are in it for the long-term.