Welcome to our Summer Newsletter 2022

The Landlord Broadband team hopes you enjoy our summer newsletter, 2022 edition! Read on to find out more about recent industry news and customer markets. If you would like to read our previous newsletter from the last quarter, click here.

Company Timeline

We are excited to announce one of our latest project, our company timeline!

In which we explore the history and milestones of Landlord Broadband dating back to 2014!

Industry News

Regulation

As of June, the Levelling Up White Paper has been released, which is a policy paper for a fairer private rented sector. The aim of this is to give tenants stronger powers to challenge poor practice and unjustified rent increases. It is said to help end the practices of bad landlords. (Landlord Zone).

The Levelling Up White Paper expressed a goal of halving the number of poor-quality homes by 2030. Furthermore, a ‘modern tenancy system’ which could possibly replace Section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction notices has been mapped out. There is also a 12-point plan of how the government plans to achieve these broad aims of decreasing the financial burden on renters and reducing costs for emergency repairs and moving. (Gov.UK).

Finance

Notting Hill Genesis (NHG) recently compiled a shortlist of 146 specially selected contractors and consultants in a project supporting the development of more than £2.8 billion worth of new homes in London. This huge project will take place from June 2022 to June 2026 and may last a further year or two (InsideHousing).

The deputy chief executive and group director of development at NHG, John Hughes, stated that the framework has a great level of diversity (more than which they have achieved before) and forms a key part of NHG’s promised “commitment to better-quality homes and improving the experience for our residents”. The plan will provide 7,000 new affordable homes in the Greater London area (pbctoday).

One of the lucky construction companies chosen was Willmott Dixon and the director, Roger Forsdye, is thrilled by being a part of delivering vital housing across greater London and is committed to impactful social value, which is at the heart of this project, as well as stating they are looking “forward to furthering the local prosperity of the communities we work in” (Willmott Dixon).

Technology

In terms of technology, the quarter has been fairly quiet. StartUs Insights listed the top 10 property technology trends and 20 start-ups of 2021 to indicate where 2022 might lead in terms of innovation. The trend with the largest impact on property technology has been, by far, artificial intelligence. Specifically, it is AI that can identify trends in the real estate market accurately create valuations and analysis that has revolutionised the sector. User experience is improved greatly as the data can be used to interpret customer demands and needs. (Startus Insights). The real estate sector will undoubtedly continue to grow and innovate in the future.

In more exciting news, we are delighted to announce the beginning of The Wi-Fi Download. This will be a series of content announcing industry updates for Wi-Fi-related technology, facts, statistics, and myths. You will be able to stay up to date with all the latest Wi-Fi news. Simply look for the Wi-Fi Download logo (as seen below) for official updates from Landlord Broadband.

Customer Markets

Landlords

In reference to the fairer private rented sector white paper, the government have said the proposals will positively impact millions of tenants, improve their lives and level up the quality of housing. The rental market will become a lot fairer and more effective for both landlords and tenants. Nationally, the white paper will improve 4.4 million households, deliver better quality homes which are more secure and give councils the ability to crack down on the minority of landlords that are non-compliant. For landlords the paper will make it safer, easier for landlords to repossess their homes in reasonable circumstances and ensure their reputation will no longer be undermined by criminals (GovUK).

In other news, Household Quotes analysed thousands of geotagged tweets using a complaint-detecting tool to discover which of the UK cities have the most and least landlord complaints. Results came out with Northampton having the largest % of tweets containing complaints with 20.5% which is the highest by 1.8%! The lowest, with 3.2% of tweets containing a complaint, goes to Colchester (HouseholdQuotes).

Build to Rent

The Build to Rent (BTR) sector is consistently growing more and more popular annually. Overall, the sector recorded a total of £1.76 billion investment in the first half of 2022, an 11% increase year-on-year (CoStar), and specifically now accounts for over 7% of all new homes which are hitting the market. For comparison, it was found recently over 7,000 new rental homes were built to be a part of the build-to-rent sector which compared to 2020 is a significant 25% increase (Property Reporter).

The impact of BTR has been far greater in London than any other UK city. London is a great example of the BTR becoming a more desirable option with reports announcing one third of new homes situated in the capital are in fact BTR (Property Reporter). The founder and CEO of Rentd, Ahmed Gamal, commented on this situation stating “there is no doubt this sector will continue to grow rapidly. It is a fantastic start for people not wanting to commit to buying until later in life and a great alternative for the small portion of those who favour a freer and more flexible lifestyle, which renting can provide.”

Notably, John Lewis have announced their first three BTR store conversions making them the first British retailer to join the BTR market. They have committed to a partnership group planning to build 10,000 flats on Waitrose sites and will not only completely furnish the properties but will also manage the lettings itself. Additionally, buildings come with facilities including roof gardens and fitness studios. All these efforts attempt to raise standards for rental properties, as it is said John Lewis’ main goals are helping create homes and now that they have that opportunity, they’re creatively using their resources to deliver much-needed new housing (FT and Construction Enquirer).

PBSA

The PBSA markets are growing rapidly! Recently, the UK residential sector recorded a total of £2.9bn investment with £1.4bn of that being PBSA (cbre). With over 600,000 UCAS undergraduates in 2021/2022, the investor demand for PBSA remains very high (Savills). A couple of new exciting PBSA projects have been funded recently which are explored below!

Alumno, a specialist developer of PBSA, has secured funding for its £24m student residence project in Birmingham from Woh Hup Holdings, one of Singapore’s largest construction businesses. Dogpool Lane, Birmingham, will provide rooms for 167 students, alongside a reception, communal areas and provide new retail space for the existing Post Office. Phil Johnson, Woh Hup director, believes that “high quality PBSA in the UK offers great opportunities to investors” and are excited to finishing the new building for 2024 (ConstructionIndex).

PBSA is bringing new life to a 126-year-old heritage-listed building and transforming it into state-of-the-art student accommodation. The refurbishment of Lady Lamington Nursing Home is part of the $1.1 billion Herston Quarter development being undertaken by Australian Unity. The director of Herston Quarter’s development, Richard McLachlan, said that the redevelopment will contribute to creating a community and will provide great opportunities for activation bringing students, workers, and residents out of their buildings and into open areas (TheUrbanDeveloper).

Serviced Accommodation

In Wales, low-income residents are still struggling for affordable housing, especially with the increased cost of living. This has been worsened in part by the high volume of second homes, which is an issue that has persisted despite the three-pronged action plan put in place. (Nation.Cymru).

In 2021, it was revealed that 20% of homes in Whitby were second homes or holiday lets. (Scarborough Borough Council). Subsequently, this year, Whitby residents voted in favour of restricting second home ownership. (ITV). With headlines such as ‘Tenants evicted to make way for holiday lets’ it’s clear to see why residents all over the UK are worried about the impact of second homes and holiday lets. (Yahoo).

Lisa Nandy, proposed a licensing scheme for holiday homes which aims to ‘reap the rewards of thriving tourism’ whilst preventing the formation of ‘ghost towns’. (The National). With Scotland and Wales still struggling despite putting systems and schemes in place to regulate second homes, we will be waiting with apprehension to see if these changes are implemented and if they will be successful.

Social Housing

Earlier on in the quarter, Amnesty International UK released its Homelessness Report for 2022. A list of recommendations was detailed in the report, which included scaling up the Housing First project, abolishing the ‘priority need’ and ‘intentionality’ criteria in the Housing Act 1976, and consult those with homelessness experience to ‘develop a human rights compliant national housing and homelessness strategy’. (Amnesty International UK).

MP Eddie Hughes announced that a panel of experts are set to discuss how to deal with tenants who exhibit anti-social behaviour. The specific focus is on tenants who have drug or alcohol dependency or struggle from mental health issues. The three main topics include reducing the risk of anti-social behaviour, building relationships with social landlords and support services, and there will also be an Anti-Social Behaviour Awareness week. (Gov.UK).

MP Hughes also announced The Respite Rooms Trial Programme offers £3.7 million to be shared across 12 areas. The funding will be used for accommodation and to provide expert support to victims of abuse and violence. (Gov.UK).

In other news, Universal Credit is set to rise, due to the increased cost of living. This increase is expected to benefit over 30 million people in the UK. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is also set to increase payments to an amount which is yet to be determined. In November, the increase for state benefits will be confirmed, and will be implemented from April 2023. (The Mirror). Though the Regulator of Social Housing chief, Fiona MacGregor plans to step down, things are finally looking up in the social housing sector for low-income families and individuals.

Our latest Case Studies

We are excited to announce our new case study videos!

We are making our case studies into easy watching video content for you to enjoy, here are our 7 Bed HMO and 37 Bed BTR projects.

7 Bed HMO

Here is how we tackled providing reliable HMO broadband for a large 7 bedroom and 4 floor older property.

Overcoming the size, layout, brick walls and thick fire doors.

37 Bed BTR

This video explores how we installed our bespoke Wi-Fi for this 8 floor property with 21 flats accommodating for 37 tenants.

Dealing with a large BTR property presented many challenges, but nothing Landlord Broadband can’t handle!

We hope you enjoyed the 2022 Summer Newsletter, hope to see you again reading our next edition…

If you would like to know how Landlord Broadband can help you email us at customer.services@landlordbroadband.com, call 0333 577 0600 or fill out our free assessment form.