It is understood that Lloyds Bank may use local agencies to find tenants for new private rental sector activities.
In recent weeks it has been reported that Lloyds will purchase as many as 50,000 units around the UK in the coming years, to establish itself in the rental sector; these are likely to be Build To Rent units, in deals with developers depending on sites. The intention is to work with housebuilders through strategic partnerships to identify sites and support the building of additional housing, with Citra Living buying the rental element of these new developments.
The units are to be managed by its own subsidiary called Citra Living, which was set up this year; however, Citra may instruct local operators as sub-agents on its behalf. This is believed to be the case in its very first scheme, of 45 new one- and two-bedroom apartments on Fletton Quays, Peterborough.
Citra Living says it will initially 'start small' with a focus on buying and letting good quality newly-built properties; Fletton Quays is the first. The aim will be to acquire around 400 properties by the end of the year, and to double this target next year.
Citra Living, which will be a standalone brand as part of Lloyds Banking Group, will focus solely on the rental market.
Reports in the Financial Times suggest that Citra may consider mergers and acquisitions or strategic alliances to reach the targets, and Lloyds may sell other products to tenants, such as insurance or loans for deposits. Lloyds owns the Scottish Widows and Bank of Scotland brands and has involvement with wealth management and insurance services.
Andy Hutchinson, Citra’s managing director, says: “We want to ensure everyone has access to stable and affordable homes. For an increasing number of people that means renting, but it shouldn’t mean quality is compromised.
“In order to meet the growing demands of the rental market, Citra Living will look to partner with developers to ensure a consistently high standard of properties is available to rent.
“Through Citra Living we want to ensure more people have access to good quality, affordable, new build rental properties, that they can consider their home.”