Build to Rent (BTR) developers’ response to Covid has tested promises they made to tenants around hassle-free living and being an antidote to the traditional landlord, says residents review platform HomeViews.
Its National Build to Rent report – which gathers reviews from residents of new build developments – reveals that some tenants in the sector have battled with owners over whether they should be entitled to rent reductions while they weren’t getting the full range of services.
Some operators offered discounts or agreed not to raise rents, but despite usually being under no obligation to offer a discount, tenants viewed their apartments in the wider context of the building and services they could enjoy – and without these, some felt they were paying too much.
HomeViews reports: “Most tenants who commented negatively on value for money during Covid simply compared their rents to the wider market and were not impressed with what they saw. Others felt that rent increases showed a lack of care for tenants during a pandemic.#
“One resident at a London scheme said, ‘Due to the current economy I find it hard to understand how rent is constantly increased yearly. This does not show loyalty hence why many tenants move out and find cheaper accommodation at the same or better quality.’”
However, the fact that average value scores actually increased from 3.99 out of 5 in 2019 to 4.08 in 2020 suggests that many tenants are still happy with their buildings.
It adds: “There is also evidence to suggest that they did not go as far as voting with their feet.” HomeView believes that high ratings, despite closed communal areas, shine a positive light on the sector and in particular the work of on-site management teams.