The CEO of the UK’s largest listed residential landlord has taken aim at private landlords whom she accuses of leaving tenants in constant fear of eviction.

Helen Gordon, boss at Build to Rent expert Grainger, told Property Week that it had a stronger social conscience than many of its competitors.

“On the topic of Environmental, Social and Governance, our ‘S’ is much stronger than many other property companies. Anyone renting with a buy-to-let landlord is worried they’ll be served notice at any time. In a Grainger block, people are working all the time to make sure you stay with us.”

She adds that as the country has reopened, demand has swelled for its high-quality, professionally managed rental product. “We launched schemes in Southampton and Manchester at the end of March,” Gordon says.

“Our Southampton scheme has beaten all records – it’s now fully let. We had allowed a year to lease it up, and it happened in under four months. And in Manchester, 140 units have already been let.”


Gordon believes the emphasis Grainger places on technology and service is a key reason for continued demand for its properties.

“We have superfast broadband going into each apartment, not being split at the building,” she points out. “We doubled the speed for our customers during the pandemic.

“Grainger offered co-working spaces, gyms, extensive cleaning regimes and even parcel collection. We were doing shopping for people. That really differentiates us from the buy-to-let landlord who may have been absent.”

The firm, which has 9,000 operational units, with another 9,000 in the pipeline, boasts that it has been particularly resilient during the pandemic, with rent collection levels at about 97-99%, while others have struggled. Gordon suggests that local councils struggling to meet housing targets should also consider partnering with Build to Rent developers.

Read the Property Week article in full.

Read more about build-to-rent.

Pic credit: YouTube.


  1. How much extra do Grainger pay for all these benefits and how dare she slag off all PRS LLs without any evidence?!!

    I have tenants who have been with me for over a decade and have served one S21 in 20 years with multiple properties. My tenants don’t have some faceless corporation as a LL they have a real person.

    There is room for all in the PRS and I for one resent the unfounded criticisms raised by this CEO.

    • Grainger are always against Landlords. They are the main sponsor of Shelter trying to put the squeeze on smaller landlords to drive them out whilst Grainger buy more and more. No doubt they will be behind all of this anti landlord legislation

  2. The simple fact is that Grainger and other build to let organisations target the A B C1 social class. namely those that can afford premium rents.

    I would like to see them show how many of the “Clients” are normal individuals and how many are corporate entities like banks, large retailers etc who need flexible accommodation for its regional management teams. There is a cost saving for these large organisations as its cheaper than hotels and probably more convenient for their staff.

    All investors in the PRS know that the sector is segmented not only by size i.e. 4/5 bed houses or two bed flats but also by social status and affordability.

    100% Grainger will not target market to benefit claimants, people on tax credits, single parents etc etc. and I suspect they have a no pet clauses too. They will not advertise “No DSS” but they dint need to because they set rents that effectively exclude anyone in receipt of UC or Tax Credits.

    When they say they go shopping for clients you can guarantee these are rich retirees paying supernormal rents and premiums for “Add on services”

    The broadband claim is spurious in that all new build properties will have telecommunications wired directly to apartments as part of the building process, they are trying to compare Apples with Pears such as a 1920’s converted property with a brand new purpose built apartment block.

    Its up to investors what properties they chose to buy and let, personally I trade in the higher end, in that all my properties are built after 1998 all but one currently EPC C, well maintained etc and in return I charge high rents and just as Grainger “Surprise surprise” no rent defaulters, no need for evictions etc.

    The govt war on landlords will disproportionally affect the poor, the better off like my clients will always be accommodated, Grainger is just a modern manifestation of that reality.

  3. Grainger is obviously the kind of company that the Cuddly New Tories have been nurturing. All this anti-landlord legislation since George Osborne has been aimed at boosting corporate landlords and build-to-rent businesses. You’ll probably find a number of so-called ministers who have interests in these companies. Hitting small landlords has another bonus for the Cuddly New Tories – it makes them look all caring and sharing and boosts their vote amongst young voters – and young voters have many more elections to vote in than old ones.

    • It is surprising that seemingly GR and LL haters support faceless corporate LL over the small LL.

      In other business it is the other way around.

      I find it bizarre that more expensive Corporate LL are supported by LL haters.

      Of course Corporate LL have an immediate financial advantage in that they are are not subject to S24 turnover tax that mortgaged sole trader LL are.

      Corporate LL are a part of the PRS.

      They have their own unique offer but they are NOT the only valid PRS offers.

      There is certainly since the advent of S24 no more fairness in that finance costs could always be used against income to produce a hoped for profit.

      Mortgaged sole trader LL now trade at a major disadvantage to any Corporate LL.

      It is no wonder as hoped by Govt that these type of LL are selling up.

      Being taxed on turnover is NOT a valid business model.

      Tenants will have a much reduced small LL offer in future.

      They will find rents substantially increase and they won’t have any choice but to pay those higher rents as the small LL offer won’t be there in sufficient numbers to compete.


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