Every year buy-to-let investors find it more difficult to make a return on their investment. They have faced reduced mortgage relief, additioanl stamp duty and huge changes to the tax rules.
This hasn't sopped them being blamed for inflating house prices and making it difficult for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder. Alongside these financial penalties, we have seen increased regulation. It is unsurprising, therefore, that the number of buy-to-let landlords is on the wane.
As a response to the this demand versus supply imbalance in rental housing, institutional investors have invested billions into creating purpose-built rental housing as a vehicle to secure steady long-term income streams. These Build to rent (BTR) schemes are becoming increasingly prevalent, with the latest data revealing there are 260,000 BTR homes that have been completed or are in the pipeline. This number will continue to grow rapidly.
Rather than being somewhat fearful of the competition, traditional buy-to-let investors, and their agents and advisors, should begin to learn from this emerging sector. The fact that it treats tenants as customers rather is a refreshing change and should be embraced.
The use of technology is making the investor's lives and those of their tenants easier. Property has always been seen as a late adopter of technology. In saying that, online portals such as Zoopla and Rightmove are up there as household names with Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
These platforms are, howvere, more geared towards sales. The lettings process is still too often very time-consuming and there is a proliferation of paperwork.
Because of this, BTR landlords such as Grainger plc and Moda Living had already adopted a digital-first approach to leasing prior to Covid. Many other BTR operators also have customer-facing apps for their residents. This enables these residents to do everything from paying their rent and bills to reporting repairs and organising/attending community events.
That's why at Ringley, we have launched PlanetRent, our cloud-based platform that connects landlords, agents, tenants, site staff, accountants and contractors.
What PlanetRent does is to fully support remote working by giving each party their own easy-to-use portal from which everything required can be accssed from their phone, laptop or tablet
Landlords are protected against heavy fines for not serving legally required documents This includes papers such as the How to Rent guide, EPC and gas safety certificate. PlanetRent also helps to minimise the risk of lengthy and costly void periods. It does this by reminding tenants to renew, sorting that renewal in just 3 clicks if they choose to remain. Properties are automatically marketed should the tenants wish to vacate.
For agents, PlanetRent frees up staff by automating all of the processes and allows the deal-flow to be monitored in real-time.
PlanetRent also replaces the need for numerous different subscriptions. These include accountancy packages.
The residents benefit too as they can request and monitor repairs as well as accessing their relevant documents and files through their own portal. Theycan be confident that their landlord and agent are fully compliant. For further information please go to www.planetrent.co.uk
Mary-Anne Bowring FIRPM FRICS FARLA FCABE Founder/Head of Asset Management
Strategic partnerships, holistic delivery/ opportunities, growth, value engineering, thought leadership
Ian Barber MD BTR Mobilisation & Leasing
Runs HQ & site lease-up teams. Drives rent pricing, mobilisation, marketing, happy residents!
Jon Curtis MRICS Head of Building Engineering
Chartered Building Surveyor. Lectures on EWS1 & building safety. Runs CapEx programmes.
Kate Robinson MIRPM MD Blocks/FM Management (London Region)
Master plan setup, ops and staffing and resident engagement. ISO45001 champion.
Lee Harle Partner Ringley Law
Plot conveyancing. Debt litigation. Group Company Secretary.
Anthony Kingdon MIRPM AssocRICS MD Blocks/FM Management (North Region)
Stakeholder engagement. Mixed tenure specialist. Budget management. Plant audit, PPM compliance.
Chris Georgalis MRICS Head of Commercial Valuation
Chartered Valuer. Rental valuations: retail, leisure. IRR modelling and valuations for secured lending. Compulsory purchase & rent reviews
Nichola Pughe MRICS Head of Residential Valuation
Chartered Valuer. Rental development & mixed use valuations, IRR modelling. Leasehold enfranchisement specialist
Libby Chen MSc Compliance Manager
Operational Plant & Equipment strategy PPM Compliance lead, Asset tagging Client major projects
Dipesh Parekh Director PlanetRent
Customer centric, vertically integrated PropTech/fin-tech solutions.
Leana Aristodemou MIRPM MARLA AssocRICS Strategic lead: ESG & Asset Business Plan delivery
Financial modelling, valuation analyst to support underwriting & fund reporting.
Natalie Birmingham Helpdesk Support Manager
Trainer & Helpdesk Manager: people, systems,contractors. ISO45001 supply chain accreditation.
Steve Norman Planning Director
Land due diligence (opportunities & constraints) Has contributed to a number of award winning schemes.