A major boost to the government’s build-to-rent expansion strategy is being achieved as US based Viventi Capital Management has appointed Hampshire based FirstPort property management group as their build-to-rent (BTR) partner in the UK, with an intimal £100m investment.
With 184,000 homes across 3,900 developments in the residential, retirement and luxury property markets, Firstport is one of the largest and most experienced property managers in the UK
An agreement in February 2019 struck between Viventi Capital Management and FirstPort will introduce experienced property investment and property management extertise to the UK build-to-rent environment to the tune of £100m.
This funding from an institutional investor is destined to provide the first tranche across a portfolio of planned projects, all based around some key regional cities in the UK. These will range between 250 to 400 BTR new-build units.
Viventi was founded in the US by American Charles Flynn and brings to the UK expertise from large-scale BTR property development and management which is well-established in the US.
The company is to work closely with the UK FirstPort property management company, one of the largest UK residential property managers, to deliver what they claim will be a successful UK model covering all aspects of developing and delivering BTR for their customers.
Nigel Howell, Chief Executive, FirstPort Limited says:
“Working with Viventi from the start of the planning process ensures we deliver what BTR customers want. FirstPort will also be the single point of contact for the customers – from helping them secure a tenancy, to looking after their home. This complete model, which will see us going ‘behind the front door’ is what BTR customers want, and we are delighted to use our expertise to deliver a first-class service for them.
“Our strategic partnership with FirstPort, the UK’s largest residential property manager, also provides us with the scalability and expertise to help Viventi to design, operate and maintain a portfolio of Build to Rent communities across the UK,” said Charles Flynn, CEO, Viventi Capital Management.”
Viventi says its BTR communities are specifically designed for operational efficiency, long term rental and a better quality of life for customers. All new-builds will be highly efficient buildings with a reduced energy footprint and harnessing the latest developments in proptech and design.
The UK government says that Build-to-Rent is a “distinct asset class” within the private rented sector, and has been defined in the National Planning Policy Framework glossary, in order to simplify its treatment within the planning system.
As part of their plan Making Process, local planning authorities will be making a local housing need assessment to take into account the need for a range of housing types and tenures in their area including provisions for those who wish to rent.
Specific demographic data is available on open data communities which can be used to inform this process. The assessment is intended to enable an evidence-based planning judgement to be made about the need for build-to-rent homes in an area, and how it can meet the housing needs of different demographic and social groups.
If a need is identified, authorities are being encouraged by central government to include a plan policy setting out their approach to promoting and accommodating build-to-rent. This is to recognise the circumstances and locations where build to rent developments will be encouraged – for example as part of large sites and/or a town-centre regeneration areas.
The National Planning Policy Framework states that around 20% affordable housing on build-to-rent schemes should be provided by default in the form of affordable private rent, a class of affordable housing specifically designed for build-to-rent. Government says that affordable private rent and private market rent units within a development should be managed collectively by a single build-to-rent landlord.