Which are the best BTR property management companies in the UK? The HomeViews BTR Awards reveal the Top 10 for 2020. These are the only awards for the Build to Rent industry that are based on resident reviews. And, as 2020 has been a unique year in so many ways, we’ve calculated the rankings solely using reviews submitted since January 1st of this year. This provides a unique insight… so, how have BTR management companies responded to the challenges and opportunities thrown up by this eventful year?
Back in October a collaborative report between HomeViews and Knight Frank revealed record levels of investment into the UK’s BTR sector. The £41 billion of capital committed to BTR up until 2020 was up 17% from the £35 billion total in 2019. A further £19 billion was earmarked for new BTR schemes with planning permission granted.
Why the increased appetite for investment in this sector? The reasons are multiple. Investors are looking for secure yields in such uncertain times. Renting is becoming increasingly common in the UK, where one in five households rent privately – up from one in ten back in 2001.
In addition, buy-to-let landlords are exiting the market. This follows tighter legislation and more restricted tax breaks in recent years. Tenants are in need of new options.
Unique BTR benefits
BTR operators are offering amenities and benefits that few private landlords can. Lockdown only served to highlight this, as residents took to HomeViews to praise their management companies’ responses to the pandemic. BTR review scores also remained largely constant.
As we reported in October, demand for pet-friendly rental homes hit record levels after the end of lockdown. As renters scrambled to find new homes to fit their new lockdown lifestyles, BTR was uniquely positioned to capitalise: Coworking spaces, communal areas, fitness facilities and a concierge to sign for every Amazon package – who could say no to that?
HomeViews Awards judging criteria
It was clear to us that we needed to tailor the 2020 HomeViews Awards to reflect such an extraordinary year. We wanted to shine a light on the efforts made by BTR management teams around the country to look after their tenants in the midst of a national crisis.
To do this, we have based the 2020 HomeViews BTR Awards solely on reviews collected since January 1st, 2020. The Top 10 BTR Management Companies list below was decided based on residents’ ratings for Customer Service and Management, as well as how likely the resident was to recommend the operator. The overall star rating of the operator was also included in the ranking system.
Top 10 BTR property management companies
(Please note, scoring for awards was based solely on reviews from 2020. The Star ratings shown below differ from the awards scoring as they also factor in historical reviews.)
Urbanbubble came out on top as the UK’s Best Property Management Company in the 2020 HomeViews BTR Awards. The Manchester-based company scored an impressive 4.93 out of 5 to claim the title at the awards, held at the UKAA Festival of Build to Rent on November 19th, 2020.
Urbanbubble is the North West’s fastest-growing residential property management company. It currently manages Build to Rent schemes across Bath, Birmingham, London and Leeds. In addition, it manages 1,500 rental apartments across the Blackfriars, Deansgate Square’s West Tower, Anco&Co and Crescent sites.
A close second in our list of BTR’s best property management companies, Dandara Living has collected an impressive number of top ratings from its satisfied residents. Dandara developments on HomeViews cover Birmingham, Manchester, Aberdeen and Leeds. The company designs, develops and manages its BTR schemes, and has a nummber of new BTR developments in the pipeline.
Allsop Letting and Management comes in third with its impressive BTR developments in Newcastle and Manchester. Launched by Moorfield Group, the More. ‘Superenting’ schemes, managed by Allsop, are designed for the modern ‘Superenter’. Each More. scheme boasts stylish buildings with a range of amenities, bespoke services and shared resident facilities specifically curated to support co-working, wellness and socialising.
Situated in prime city centre locations with many local transport connections close by, each More. building has its own identity and character. These Build to Rent sites include flexible lease options and offer a range of state-of-the-art facilities and amenities. Specifically, amenities across the schemes include ultrafast broadband, 24 hour concierge and resident services and security. Likewise, facilities include a gym and fitness centre and a residents lounge.
London-based Essential Living takes its place in our list of the very best BTR property managers. Essential Living developments on HomeViews include Berkshire House in Maidenhead, Vantage Point in Islington, and Dressage Court in Bethnal Green. In addition, Union Wharf – Essential Living’s newest development – is a collection of 249 apartments spread over two towers set on the banks of Deptford Creek.
Essential Living residents praise the company’s focus on providing a welcoming and friendly community within its buildings. Regular resident events create plenty of opportunities to meet the neighbours and its outstanding facilities make Essential Living buildings a pleasure to live in.
Way of Life is an outstanding property management company based in London and founded in 2017. It aims to deliver a high-quality service that exceeds the expectations of residents by “making the joys of Central Living a reality … without the compromise of space, style or service.”
The Lansdowne, The Wullcomb, The Skyline 2, Vida House and 5 Bedford Park are all Way of Life developments currently listed on HomeViews. All are Build to Rent developments giving residents access to a wide range of top quality facilities and amenities on site.
Fizzy Living is a professional landlord on a mission to reinvent renting. Fizzy provides good quality homes for rent in secure buildings across London, and is committed to delivering exceptional five-star customer service throughout a resident’s stay. Fizzy is also passionately pet-friendly too!
There are seven Fizzy developments in London: Fizzy Canning Town, Fizzy Epsom, Fizzy Poplar, Fizzy Stepney Green, Fizzy Lewisham, Fizzy Walthamstow, as well as Fizzy Hayes. All Fizzy buildings come with free superfast broadband and a friendly on-site Property Manager, all known as BOB.
Get Living is a property management company leading the charge for a better way of renting, with no deposits, no fees and longer tenancies for its residents, as well as being pet-friendly. The Get Living team aims to help tenants feel at home from the moment they move in. All Get Living units are designed to be spacious and modern, and are fitted with the latest appliances. Tenants have the freedom to decorate and hang pictures, and access free superfast broadband.
Get Living currently has two London locations: East Village, E20 and Elephant Central in Elephant and Castle. In Spring 2019 they launched New Maker Yards on Middlewood Locks in Salford, Greater Manchester – their first development outside of London – with more neighbourhoods set to open across the UK in Glasgow, Leeds and beyond.
No list of top BTR property managers would be complete without Greystar. A global leader in rental housing, Greystar focuses on providing beautiful environments and world-class services that enhance the living experience for their residents. With over 25 years’ experience in the US. Greystar’s UK schemes offer premium quality apartments with exclusive resident amenities.
In addition to over 450,000 apartments in the US, Greystar manages several developments across London, including build to rent schemes Sailmakers in Canary Wharf, No.16 in Sutton, Charter Place in Hounslow, and the Greenford Quay development in West London.
Quintain Living is a Build to Rent developer and operator with a number of properties in Wembley Park. Previously known as ‘Tipi,’ the company is owned by Quintain, the award-winning developer transforming uninspiring spaces into awe-inspiring neighbourhoods and communities.
For Quintain Living residents there is no deposit to pay and no hidden fees. Utilities and wifi are all set up and ready to go. Developments also have 24-hour support with a concierge and resident team. Developments are pet friendly, and buzzy social events are standard.
The Savills management arm is part of the well-known global real estate group Savills Plc. Founded in 1855, Savills is one of the world’s leading property agents and believes ‘hands on management coupled with in-depth local knowledge is the fundamental driver of real estate performance.’
Savills provides high quality BTR property management services, with a large number of reviewers praising the company. Savills developments listed on HomeViews include The Cargo Building – a Build to Rent development managed by Savills on behalf of Hermes. It features 324 one, two and three-bedroom apartments located in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle, facing the Albert Dock.
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HomeViews provides verified resident reviews of the UK’s housing developments. We’re working with developers, landlords and the Government to recognise high performers and help to improve standards in the built environment.