By 2025 one in six Londoners will be a tenant. No wonder companies investing in purpose-built rental apartments are upping their game, offering on-site management, quick repairs, flexible tenancies and value-for-money rates aimed at singles and families, in London or within a short commute, who may never own their own home.
London tenants typically spend a crushing 72 per cent of their income on rent, which is no doubt why a recent campaign to ban additional letting agency fees drew more than 250,000 signatures.
Take a tour of London's build-to-rent homes
Take a tour of London's build-to-rent homes
1/6 Well connected
Vantage Point, above Archway Tube, has a residents’ roof lounge
2/6 Flexibility is key
Alessio Colombo rents a Fizzy Living flat in Canning Town
3/6 Major scheme
The Perfume Factory in Acton offers 534 flats and houses
4/6 £1,500 a month
Anmol Mehta’s rent in Wembley includes bills
5/6 Family friendly
Creekside Wharf in Greenwich, with toy storage and a nursery
6/6 Rents for £1,360 a month
Mother-of-two Monica Grady loves her spacious family flat in Islington
VALUE FOR FAMILIES
New Wembley Park rental scheme Tipi has no upfront costs and offers inclusive bills and flexible tenancies. One- bedroom flats start from £1,500 a month. Call 020 3151 1927.
One of the UK’s biggest mid-market housing projects is planned for Wembley. Developer Hub and investor Bridges Ventures will turn former office block Chesterfield House into twin residential towers with 239 homes. A mix of homes for sale and rental will sit above a new community centre with 68 of the 103 rental flats offered at discounted rents in perpetuity.
Hub is building more than 1,200 homes across London, with schemes planned at The Rehearsal Rooms in North Acton, set to be completed next year, and in Abbey Wood, where work is yet to start. Call 020 7534 9065.
Renting is particularly challenging for families. Almost one in five of London’s privately renting families has moved in the last 12 months, says the National Housing Federation.
Essential Living’s Creekside Wharf in Greenwich, scheduled to be completed next year, will offer “family-only” flats with thickly insulated walls, extra toy storage and communal buggy space, plus an on-site nursery. Discounted rental properties are available for families identified as eligible by the local authority.
Some 118 rental flats are available at Vantage Point above Archway Tube station, with a rooftop communal lounge for residents to socialise and entertain friends. Rents will be unveiled next month, with viewings from July. Register at essentialliving.co.uk or call 0800 2100 200.
SCENTING A DEAL
Essential Living’s eight London developments include the city’s biggest rental project, The Perfume Factory in Acton, where 534 flats and houses include family-only accommodation. Completion is due in 2018. Call 020 7340 0300.
Regal Homes is building a 10-storey block of 121 rental apartments in Dalston Lane, E8 which will be ready next year. Call 020 7328 7171.
Thames Valley Housing association’s rental arm, Fizzy Living, targets professionals and offers concierge-staffed blocks with communal facilities, free wi-fi and online portal for reporting repairs, with a target of 5,000 units over the next five years.
Schemes are planned for Lewisham — launching next month with one-bedroom flats from £1,315 a month and two-bedroom flats from £1,615 a month, with a second phase of 68 flats launching next year — and also in Finchley and Hayes. The latter scheme is scheduled for completion in February 2018 and will have 189 homes. Call 020 3078 7905 for more details.
WE’VE A CONCIERGE, GYM AND GARDEN
IT SPECIALIST Alessio Colombo, 33, rents a three-bedroom apartment with two flatmates at Fizzy Canning Town, for £900 a month.
“Trying to find somewhere to rent in London was a mess. I contacted hundreds of places but got so few replies and when I did see them they looked nothing like their photos.
“I heard about Fizzy from a friend, saw it and moved in two weeks later. It’s spacious and the views from our balcony of Canary Wharf and the O2 are amazing. My flatmates are also professionals, which is reassuring.
“It’s furnished, there’s a concierge, gym and garden. We’ve got a Facebook page where people advertise stuff when they move out and I’ve got to know my neighbours. I feel very lucky and can stay as long as I want.”
INTERIOR DESIGNER Monica Grady rents a two-bedroom apartment in Islington, through Peabody, for £1,360 per month.
“We were renting a one-bedroom flat but I was pregnant with my second child so we needed another bedroom. We looked around but were shocked by conditions — cracked baths, and filthy carpets. It was so stressful.
“I’d been in touch with Peabody and that’s how I found out about this place. It was a shell when we looked around but they’ve done all the work, and we now have lots of space. It’s a well-maintained mansion block in a quiet street and we’ve been allowed to decorate, put in our own furniture and make it feel like home.
"It’s great knowing that the rent will not go up drastically and we will not be asked to move on just because the landlord wants the property back.”
SOFTWARE ENGINEER Anmol Mehta, 30, rents a one-bedroom apartment at Tipi, Wembley Park, for £1,500 a month including bills.
“I chose it because it was better value for money than anything I’d seen. There’s a massive difference as this is a great location and they are brand-new apartments with good-quality furniture and branded appliances. It’s five minutes’ walk to the station, 30 minutes to work on the Tube, and everything you want’s within half a mile.”