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Build To Rent chief bids to lure tenants from "poorly maintained" buy to lets

The chief executive of a new organisation servicing the fast-growing British Build To Rent sector says he hopes in time BTR will attract tenants away from what he calls “tired and poorly maintained properties” in the traditional buy to let segment of the market.

Michael Green is chief executive of the UK Apartment Association, a trade body focussing entirely on new institutionally-funded and managed purpose-built rental accommodation called Build To Rent. Knight Frank says BTR may provide around five per cent of all the country’s privately rented residential units by 2020.

In a blog, Green - a former chief executive of the British Council of Shopping Centres - says Build To Rent will provide “a high quality product tailored to the needs of modern living” for a market that is becoming “increasingly discerning and will demand certain levels of service.”

Green says the USA - where Build To Rent is known as ‘multi-family’ accommodation - has a huge head start on the UK over the past 20 years, so its rental market is on a completely different scale at the moment. 

“Over time as the multi-family offering in the UK develops, we hope that customers will choose to switch from tired and poorly maintained properties run by small scale landlords to new, professionally operated communities that offer resident services and amenities as standard” says Green. 

“This is when renting really becomes a tenure of choice that benefits both residents and the wider economy.”

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    I have no doubt they will be nice when they are first built, but will fast become run down and/or tenants will realise they are all a carbon-copy of each other with little differentiating them. I also imagine the service will not be prompt or personal...automated lines for reporting repairs with a standard 28-day turnaround from a faceless organisation.

  • Colin Stokes

    The idea is completely the opposite, it is supposed to be like the US model with onsite management (24/7)and lettings, additional facilities that people want (included WiFi, common areas and lounges available for hire, screening rooms etc). Now whether this will actually happen or whether UK tenants want to pay for it remains to be seen. At the recent NAA conference in San Francisco we talked to many agents/landlords for sites such as these all over the US and the difference for them is rents are fixed so the only differentiation is service or amenities.

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