Author : Ian Barbar
The corporate landlord is an emerging concept. Born from the rising demand for quality rental accommodation in the ever-transformative digital age, corporate landlords are changing the expected norms of the lettings industry. In recent months, awareness of this emerging sector has grown with more and more tenants looking for a different way to rent, but what exactly is a corporate landlord, and why do tenants seem to love them so?
Not only are more people now renting than ever before, but the expectations of what rental accommodation should provide its tenants have also gone up. Traditionally, it was often acceptable for landlords to provide what might be referred to as the bare minimum standard of accommodation. Almost everyone has their own version of this story: walls covered in mounds; bathroom tiles falling off the wall; single-glazed windows covered in condensation; or all of the above. Things are changing though, and the tenants of today simply won’t accept poor standards in the way they used to. Those landlords who were offering substandard accommodation are finding themselves with vacant properties, watching their tenants move out in favor of safe, warm, well-maintained homes that include premium facilities, and an all-round higher level of finish. Many private rental landlords have been known to consider tenants a “necessary evil”, so it’s no surprise that corporate landlords who are building properties based on tenant requirements are winning the day.
People are renting for a much greater portion of their lives. What used to be homes for 20 and 30-something are now homes to those in their 40s and, increasingly, above. However, this does not mean that the natural human desire to have a house that feels like a home of one’s own lessons. Instead, it has sent people on the hunt for a new type of rental accommodation. Traditional rental properties are incredibly restrictive in terms of how free tenants are to personalise their environment; we have all heard stories of tenants who have been fined for nothing more than blue tack residue left on the wall. Corporate landlords understand the need to make a house feel like a home, and this is often reflected in the service they provide. They will often be more flexible for redecoration for example, especially for those tenants who have signed longer-term contracts. Looking forward, we can expect to see corporate landlords being a lot more accommodating when it comes to tenant demands. For example, landlords who allow tenants to bring pets into their rental homes are a rarity. As corporate landlords continue to tempt more and more tenants over from the private rental market, we expect to see an increasing number of them allowing their tenants to keep pets.
When most jobs are found in those cities that have the most severe housing shortages, the inevitable is going to happen. Jobs in big cities pay, on average, more than those in the suburbs. These two facts converge to result in an incredibly short supply of city center accommodation. Corporate landlords, those who can afford to regain large plots of premium land, can take advantage of people’s desire to live in the city's heart, avoiding a long daily commute and still benefiting from a high-quality home that doesn’t bankrupt them at the end of each month. Smaller private landlords simply cannot match this offering.
Corporate landlords offer tenants a ready-made community to move into. For young professionals, maybe new to a city, this can be incredibly appealing. With busy lives, the opportunities to connect with people outside of work are minimal, clever corporate landlords are helping their tenants form bonds and relationships that go far beyond those of mere housemates. On-site activities, bars, karaoke, games room, etc. turn a building into a bustling, vibrant community.
The rise of the Digital Age has brought with it exciting new property and lifestyle innovations. Corporate landlords are taking advantage of this desire for integrated technology, offering innovative technology to their tenants from the get-go. Such innovation can be found as smart goods like fridges and televisions, internet-enabled lighting and utility meters, tenant-facing apps to handle contracts and report maintenance, and even smart keys, allowing tenants to unlock their doors and grant others access directly from their smartphones.
Finally, and looking a little further into the future, corporate landlords are also experimenting with the idea of so-called corporate living, where tenants live and work in the same building, often owned by a large employer such as Facebook or Google. It is a hybrid of co-living and co-working and some are tipping it to be the next big thing. Questions are being asked whether tenants will want to live and work in one place, alongside all of their colleagues, but it proves how vibrant the conversation of the shared experience currently is. Corporate landlords can blend premium property with affordable prices, providing a tenant experience that goes above and beyond that which the private rental sector can offer. Because of that, we can expect to see more and more tenants falling in love with properties offered by corporate landlords.
Lease Extension, FH and Right to Manage
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