Build To Rent

Are you an asset owner with over 200 rental units?

If you carry out property inspection reporting yourself, or delegate this to your operator, you are:

  • Missing out on fair claimable damage that is not being picked up
  • Reducing credibility with your renters by introducing a conflict of interest
  • Not taking advantage of incentives that underwriters offer on your insurance premiums, when you mitigate risk
  • Discounting industry best practice as recommended by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme

We look for a service partner that has the experience of taking on large BTR developments, drive industry best practise, can assist our administration team whilst delivering an exceptional and customised tenant experience. This is why Letcheck are our preferred inventory supplier. Lizzie Stevens, Director of Market Rent

Inventory Reporting – should you DIY or not?

To help you decide, here are three key considerations:

1. Is this a long-term investment?

If you plan to sell the development in a couple of years, then the DIY approach makes sense.

If you are planning to hold on to the site for 3+ years, then DIY inspections is a false economy. 

This is when wear and tear starts to show and you need qualified professionals to carry out property inspections or you miss out on claimable damage. 

We want the reassurance of knowing our properties and our tenants are getting the best protection possible, we also want a partner that shares our values and is always evolving. That is why we use Letcheck, the AIIC Inventory Company of the Year, 2020. Tracey Hartley, Residential Director

We know this because we talk to building managers and concierge teams who admit they don’t have the training or skillset to do this work.  Onsite concierge are great at onboarding renters, making them feel welcome and at home. This dynamic is then compromised if being asked to be detatched and independent for property inspections.

This is a reputational risk operators do not want as the communities they have worked so hard to build, can turn against them if they believe the operator has pulled a fast one as they leave.  Using an independent professional protects all parties.

In order to win the contract, operators submit bids with a keen focus on their margins. To keep costs to a minimum, the temptation to do DIY reporting is too great to resist for many. But when fair compensation for damage is missed at the end of a tenancy, it is the asset owner that misses out, not the operator.

2. Are you renter centric?

You want your renters to feel at home in their new property.

Happy renters = longer tenancies and fewer void periods.   

When it comes to property inspections, renters want to feel a sense of privacy and independence. In our ongoing live survey, we have asked over 800 renters (823, as of May 2022) who they would prefer to carry out their property inspections:

Taking the professional approach of employing the services of an independent specialist, demonstrates best practice and further helps build trust with renters. 

3. Are you aware of upcoming industry changes?

From the Tenants Fee Act, the Renters Reform Bill to the Building Safety Act and Fire Safety Act, a lot is happening in the lettings industry.

The Government have been consistent in their aim to professionalise the lettings market, as tenants become a more significant source of voting power.

The direction of travel is clear; the balance of power between landlord and tenant is rebalancing and initiatives that promote fairness are being adopted.

The idea of landlords carrying out their own property inspections is in direct conflict with Government aims of professionalism, fairness and transparency.

Investing in a process, such as DIY inventories, goes against all the indicators above, would be considered a questionable strategic decision.

For Build To Rent Operators – A Video Series

  1. Future Proof Your Investment

2. What Residents Say

3. The Asset Manager

4. Your Peer Group

If you would like to contact us about any of the points raised above, please get in touch using the form below: