Could American-Style Renting Arrive in the UK?
By |Published On: 19th November 2015|

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Could American-Style Renting Arrive in the UK?

By |Published On: 19th November 2015|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

An American style of private renting, called multi-family renting, could arrive in the UK after a conference was held in London on the idea by US property trade body, the National Apartment Association.

The firm said that it was pleased with the success of its first UK conference, with plans to establish itself in the British market and hold further events.

Multi-family is similar to institutionally-backed build-to-rent schemes that are beginning to appear in the UK, through brands like Be:Here, Essential Living and Fizzy Living.

Could American-Style Renting Arrive in the UK?

Could American-Style Renting Arrive in the UK?

Countrywide has also entered the build-to-rent industry.

The American multi-family style of renting is a much more advanced and longer established model. Multi-family is also focused on putting tenants with very similar interests or lifestyles together.

More than 300 UK property professionals attended the conference.

It highlighted how much more evolved and professional the rental sector is in the USA. In America, branding and customer service are two of the most important aspects of the multi-family industry.

As with the UK, the US rental market is thriving, with homeownership declining slightly to 64% of the population.

It is unknown whether the term multi-family will ever be used in the UK, but key features of the regime were discussed at the conference.

It explained how US schemes offer a range and variety of facilities for residents. Fitness suites and pools are common, but wine rooms and bike workshops are also popular, alongside pet spas. Social communal space is also provided, with a wide range of resident events on offer.

These services are designed to be convenient to the resident. Amenities are offered on renters’ doorsteps, forming a community atmosphere and a place for residents to spend their leisure time.

Many developments feature a 24-hour tech café, with high-speed wifi, printing facilities and refreshments. These spaces have become increasingly popular as more people work from home, giving them a change of scenery.

An on-site concierge is usually available during business hours, providing a range of additional services, from dry cleaning to room service meals, made by an on-site restaurant. High quality customer service means that maintenance and repairs are dealt with within a specified timeframe.

Apartments are often let unfurnished, but managers usually offer a furniture rental service. They use third party firms to provide furniture without the landlord having to kit out the property.

Revenue management systems are in place with these schemes, designed to maximise revenue by updating rents on a daily basis. In the UK, properties are valued when they are empty, but in the US, the rent price is set based on market demand and income achieved. The average lease is 12 months and firms prefer a break in the agreement to review rents for potential increase at the end of the tenancy.

The model emerging in the UK includes all costs in one monthly payment, whereas the US charges for everything separately. As well as providing additional income, this method can benefit the environment, as occupiers paying their own utility bills are more like to use less, with consumption down 25% in these situations.

As a landlord, would you be interested in this type of lettings scheme? And do you believe it is more professional than the British private rental sector?

About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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