While Build to Rent projects have long been on our radar, until now they’ve been predominantly concentrated at the top end of the luxury housing market. Finally, the concepts of communal living spaces and high spec, all-inclusive dwellings (albeit on the small side) have filtered down to the lower end of the market.
And the success of new developments, which promise all the usual mod-cons not to mention washing and cleaning thrown in, could actually usher in a wealth of new revenue adding opportunities for proactive landlords across the market.
Co-living in London
Blazing the trail in London is The Collective, a block of 550 units, which offer renters a small double bedroom and private bathroom for £1,083 a month.
Tenants share a kitchen with one other resident, but also have access to larger kitchens, meeting rooms, a games room, library and communal gardens.
The development’s biggest pull, however, is its all-inclusive nature – tenants don’t pay any bills or council tax and they receive free wi-fi.
Hotel luxury at home
They have fresh linen and laundry sent in fortnightly, accompanied by a professional cleaning service, the charges for which are all contained within their rent.
The development, which is in Willesden, North West London has proved so popular that the company is soon to open a similar scheme in Stratford, East London.
Working from home never looked so good
The scheme has been praised for its appeal to the 4.2 million Britons who work from home, as its communal spaces and resources offer a working hub.
An on-site affordable restaurant is planned to maximize the chance to make the development a creative hub of like-minded people, living and working together and its success provides a strong indication that these blended spaces are the way that the market is going.
But even landlords operating on a smaller scale can learn lessons from this development.
Agents, serve up easy all-inclusive
One of The Collective’s huge draws is that its tenants have to do very little for themselves, due to the cleaning and laundry services provided by the housing.
Canny managing agents and clever landlords could easily mimic this comprehensive care by partnering up with the dozens of apps and businesses that offer similar services delivered straight to your door.
Working with local service providers or even partnering with apps like Laundrapp, which offer immediate collection and delivery of laundry to homes in all the major cities across the country, or Mopp, which provides efficient, safety checked cleaners countrywide, could be a simple way to offer a value add to your property, and increase your revenue at the same time.
After all, in today’s convenience culture, tenants will always be prepared to pay a little more if it means that they have to do a little less.