One of the leading investors in Britain’s fast-growing Build To Rent sector says this new tenure will lift the lettings sector’s understanding of customer service - and will provide a far superior offer to that traditionally provided through buy to let.
Jonathan Ivory of Atlas Residential, a US BTR company which operates 18,000 rental units across 13 states valued at a total of £1.3 billion, says the new sector in this country will regard its occupiers as “residents rather than tenants.”
Ivory - whose firm has purchased a 145,500 square foot site in prime central Southampton with the intention of building 211 private rental units which it will design, fund, build and then manage - has given a warning that many existing letting agents will not have the experience or training to provide the kind of service required.
“If you have two blocks of apartments on either side of a street, both priced similarly, but one offering a service level that means a boiler is repaired in half an hour and the other repairing it in a week, which one do you think will win out?” he says.
Ivory’s company is one of several large-scale developers, investors and service providers joining the newly-created UK Apartment Association, which is this country’s first trade association connected with Build To Rent, and is a UK version of a long-established body servicing the sector in the United States.