A number of large housing associations are moving into the private rental market. The latest to make the transition is Genesis, which works across London and the South East.
Genesis will be advertising one, two and three-bedroom properties to be privately rented. These properties will be let out to all types of tenants, ranging from young professionals to families with children who simply cannot afford property in the capital.
To coincide with their move into the private rental sector, Genesis also published a report in conjunction with the Smith’s Institute. The report looks into the future of housing associations and suggests that they may have to become more commercially minded to deal with grant reductions and welfare reforms.
Genesis suggest that the housing sector will become dominated by private rental tenants in the coming years, as people are priced out of owning their own homes. The report criticises short-term tenancy agreements and rules against consumers personalising their rented property. Unpredictable rent increases also come under fire.
Chief Executive of Genesis, Neil Hadden, said: “At a time when more people are renting than ever before, we believe it is important to offer high-quality private rental properties.”
He claims that Genesis use a “breadth and depth of housing management experience to create a comprehensive offer,” which in turn gives tenants “greater flexibility, choice and security than other parts of the private rental sector.”
Hadden went on to say that Genesis are offering “tenants longer tenancies, greater freedom to personalise their homes and the flexibility to move within our property portfolio if their needs change.”
Recently, it was also announced that Notting Hill Housing Group is also migrating into the private rental sector. The announcement stated that the group will buy 140 properties from Berkley Homes, in order to be privately let. This partnership is in conjunction with the Greater London Authority and the Homes Community Agency.
Further indications that more housing associations are moving into the private rental sector came with the news that Guiness Partnership and Catalyst Housing are each building 1,000 new private rental properties. Both associations are doing so without any Government funding. They join London & Quadrant and Places for People in pledging to use their own funds to move into the private rented sector.
A number of housing associations were recently named as winning bidders for the build-to-rent loan scheme. Notting Hill Housing Trust was one of those successful and expects to quadruple its portfolio in five years as a result. This would mean building a further 2,000 homes for rent.
Other associations that were successful include Network Housing Group and Together Housing Group. Additionally, Persimmon, one of the UK’s largest building organisations, plans to build 600 homes for private rent.