I read LSL Property Services’ findings on PRS tenants with optimism – it’s clear the Build-to-Rent (BTR) sector’s ambition to put customer satisfaction at the heart of its modus operandi is pushing at an open door so far as tenants are concerned.
Much of the interest thus far in the sector has been on quantity – the contribution the sector can make towards solving the housing crisis. We estimate about a quarter of the nation’s housing shortfall could be solved by BTR. The sector will not ever be the full solution to our housing crisis, but it clearly has a significant role to play.
We have therefore been delighted to see a more multi-tenure approach from Government this past year and, whatever the result from today’s election, we hope the sense of momentum behind delivering increased investment into all housing tenures will be maintained.
Less emphasis has been placed on a further important facet of the sector – its ability to help reinvent ‘renting’. I think this will really come to the fore over the next year as many BTR developments go live and the sector’s benefits – including its professionalism and high-quality services and facilities – become ever more apparent.
The offer will vary from provider to provider, but if they get management of their developments right, the sector’s customers will notice the difference and hopefully that will start to make a difference to what it means to rent privately in the UK.
The BPF’s pledge on offering three-year tenancies, signed by 20 of the biggest BTR providers, is one example. Without picking out names, whether it is no deposits, no fees, or great community-building, there will be many exciting offers for renters coming to the market in the next 12 months.
I hope therefore to see the sector’s customer satisfaction ratings continue to rise when LSL repeat this exercise in a year’s time.