Placefirst

Number of Developments

11

Ratings

3.91 Rating

Rating (based on 202 reviews)

Excellent

32.18%

Very Good

39.11%

Average

19.31%

Disappointing

6.93%

Very Poor

2.48%

Placefirst is an award winning and experienced build-to-rent developer and operator with 1,500 homes across the UK. Since their establishment in 2010, they’ve been committed to building and developing aspirational neighbourhoods with high-quality, well-maintained homes built specifically for rent, professionally managed by in-house teams.

Placefirst Developments

Placefirst currently have a mixture of refurbished and built neighbourhoods across the UK that are all individual and created with the community and long-term renting in mind. Placefirst design, develop, let and manage the neighbourhoods they create, and they have a specialist in-house team to handle every step of the resident journey.

Placefirst Reviews

You can read reviews by Placefirst on HomeViews. Are you a resident at a Placefirst property? If yes, please submit your review here. If you can’t see your Placefirst property listed on HomeViews, click here to submit a new listing.

Developments

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Placefirst reviews

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Showing 202 reviews

You don’t get what you pay for.

At its heart, the Welsh Streets is fundamentally well-intentioned. PlaceFirst wants the area to look nice. They tried something different with the communal garden. They’ve paid attention to the external aesthetics. But in practice, there are way too many flaws for me to recommend the development.

The rent is insanely high. You can easily get a two-up-two-down in Toxteth for £450 pcm. PlaceFirst charges as much as £800 — and that’s before you add in any extras, like pets or household appliances. It’s hard to justify that cost, especially when you consider the other glaring flaws in the development, and the fact that… well… we’re talking about poky Victorian terraced houses.

Parking is a nightmare, and I’m regularly forced to park away from my house, sometimes on completely different streets. The roads are narrow and poorly marked. Meanwhile, the presence of planters means that the amount of possible space is reduced further. PlaceFirst could easily remediate much of this by issuing assigned parking, with clearly-outlined painted spaces.

And then there’s the fact that the Welsh Streets is still a building site, with much of the development under construction. This means noise, disruption, and roads temporarily blocked due to the presence of cranes and other apparatus.

To PlaceFirst’s credit, they’ve proven diligent when responding to complaints or requests for repairs. However, this is undermined by the multiple (and glaringly-obvious) cut corners. The front and rear doors were shabbily installed. Meanwhile, our toilet was affixed to the drywall by a single deteriorating screw, which eventually failed and left us without a toilet for an entire day.

In short, it’s okay. Not great. Not good. Just okay. Nothing is perfect, but it’s hard to overlook the Welsh Street’s several glaring flaws when you’re paying an obscene amount of rent each month.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

The Welsh Streets is a tight-knit community, and to PlaceFirst’s credit, it has allowed this to flourish organically. This is largely thanks to the design of the development, which boasts a large communal garden (although, for the sake of clarity, this has also been somewhat of a source of drama). Separately, the development is well-positioned to nearby bus routes to the city center. You also walk; it’s just twenty minutes by foot.

There’s a Tesco within five minutes walk. If you’ve got a car, you can also get to town quite easily, or the nearby Edge Lane retail park. All in all, you’ve got the convenience of living within close proximity to the city center, without having to deal with the noise and inconvenience.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

I wish I knew how frustrating it could be to share a communal garden. Privacy, I barely knew ye.

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

There was an inevitable delay in getting issues resolved due to Covid. Things, thankfully, are now getting back to normal. But some issues are foundational (like the installation of the doors) which can’t easily be resolved by a 30 minute visit from a Timpson’s locksmith. Many of the problems could have been avoided by the developer taking care during construction.

2
Facilities
5
Design
5
Location
2
Value
3
Management
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Many Broken Promises

This area is incredibly special and whoever took it over needed to renovate the houses with care. They look great on the outside but as time goes by, it’s apparent that many cost-cutting measures were used in putting the houses back together. I’m unsure if this is due to time constraints or budget limits. For example, toilets are held to the wall with a single screw in the plasterboard. The rear outer wall is hollow inside which I discovered when trying to screw in a hanging basket. The paint used for most of the walls comes away with a few wipes which we discovered cleaning behind the sink and around the kitchen. The doors are also quite cheaply made – we have had locksmiths out 2-3 times and they have told us that they hate coming to work on our houses because the doors are so poor. Our doors have had to be dismantled in order to get them to lock. Now there’s a terrible draft in winter but the view is that since the doors lock, they’re fixed. We pay extremely high rent for the area which is due to continue rising despite the economic downturn we’re due to experience. The management made a lot of promises about what the area was going to be like when building works and renovations were finished – there is no residents cafe, there is no residents lounge, there is no community hub, there is no residents garden or dog park or pub as promised. There are houses being squeezed into every possible area and no consideration has been given to where all these extra residents will park their cars; parking is already miserable as it is without extra people moving in once the houses are completed. The communal gardens were well intentioned but PlaceFirst’s hands off approach to managing our property and tenants, especially through the Covid-19 pandemic, has resulted in more community conflict. The gardens have the grass cut twice a month but the windows are not washed as promised. I have seen window washers twice in the last two years. The Welsh Streets were explicitly pet friendly when we moved in but they have now moved to taking extra rent for pets from newer tenants. There has been a large shift in how we are spoken to and managed over the last year and I feel I am being taken advantage of especially as far as rent rises go. We have had worse landlords in the past but what makes it worse is that this was presented as “an alternative to buying a house”. In what world would yearly rent increases be preferable to buying a house? We can’t get a deposit together fast enough to buy as this has really opened my eyes to the waste that renting really is.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

Likes: proximity to Princes Park and the Park Road Tesco; short drive into the city centre; good transport links on Princes Avenue. Close to Granby Street Market and Squash. Overall the neighbourhood is extremely friendly and community minded, on the Welsh Streets and beyond in L8. Lovely lovely people
Dislikes: many section 60 orders have been put in place during our tenancy which have given us worry; recently more car break-in attempts; constant building noise, dust, cranes; fireworks year round day and night

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

Ask a lot of questions and make sure you get clear answers before you move in or sign any paperwork. Make sure you get everything in writing

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

Quick to reply to emails, slow to act in general. Repairs have been okay but there is poor communication between whoever takes the calls from residents and whoever dispatches contractors.

2
Facilities
3
Design
3
Location
2
Value
3
Management
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Great Value for Money and Pet Friendly

The property is well designed and well laid out, making the most of the space and light and it’s hard to believe it’s actually an old house and not a brand new purpose-built one. On the whole, the landlords have been great, and though it is slightly more expensive than other properties on the street (and with the pet fee) it is still great value for what you get. I wish there were more developments like this one, especially in other areas and in areas where properties are run down. They are by far the best landlord I’ve ever had.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

Overall, I’m really happy with my home, especially given how hard it can be to find pet-friendly and affordable, good quality homes these days. It was like moving into a brand new home and it actually feels like a home for once. It’s close enough to the town and in one of the better parts of Hartlepool. The houses look lovely from the outside and the development is well maintained.

I really only have two main disappointments. Firstly, there has been a lot of anti-social behaviour from local kids setting fire to fences, banging on doors, and smashing windows. Placefirst have been great at dealing with this, as have the police, it is a local problem to the whole area, but has made living here pretty miserable at times, especially during lockdown when kids were not in school. As a result of the repairs from damage caused by the kids, and from the pandemic as a whole, rents have recently gone up. Secondly, the maintenance firms have changed a few times, so reported incidents haven’t been dealt with as quickly as they could have been and you can be left waiting all day for an 8 am appointment then no one shows up until 5 pm. That’s very irritating.

One annoyance with my property is that there is a draft from somewhere so it can get very cold and expensive to heat in winter and could be a lot more efficient. I no longer use the downstairs because of the kids banging on the windows all the time and it being so cold, but I think it could be fixed easily enough, it just needs some insulation work. I don’t think other properties have this issue, mine just happens to be an end of terrace and I have private neighbours and empty homes next to me.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

I wish I’d known about the anti-social behaviour and how little sunlight my property would get, I would have chosen one of the different properties and avoided these issues. Sadly, it’s not possible to move to a bigger property or to move to a different property or development unless you go through a whole new application. I think that’s a real shame, especially for folks who move in, then meet someone, change jobs and work from home, or who decide to start a family. If you’ve been a long-standing tenant, it seems silly to have to go through the whole application process again from scratch, especially since this impacts your credit file. A lot of folks will likely move off the development rather than stay as a result.

How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:

I’ve been disappointed by the management side, the repair reporting is nice and easy, but the repairs have been very slow. I’m also clinically vulnerable and shielding so asked that the boiler man wear PPE, he didn’t have adequate PPE just a neck gaiter, no sanitiser. I waited three weeks for the boiler being broken which was supposed to be an urgent repair. I’ve also lost work days waiting around for inspections that never happened, so that feels like the management couldn’t care less. Which is a real shame, because the property is great otherwise.

5
Facilities
5
Design
4
Location
5
Value
4
Management
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Great houses, poorly managed

Aesthetically, the development is very pleasing. The communal spaces are great, although contractors often blow garden waste (grass cuttings) into private yards. We reported some minor maintenance issues when we first moved in earlier in the summer, however these are still outstanding. The interior of the properties are also aesthetically pleasing and very neutral so very easy to work with, however the finish leaves a lot to be desired (carpets aren’t properly fitted on the stairs, door stoppers are missing rubber ends etc). Additionally, the property hadn’t been thoroughly cleaned prior to our move in date, as we arrived and discovered pet hair and dust around the property.

Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:

The location isn’t particularly well connected – much like most postcodes outside of the Liverpool city centre. There are however good amenities, with supermarkets, pubs/restaurants and the university campus nearby. Most of the area is still a building site, which is a nuisance.

Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:

There are a few inconsistencies in the way tenancies are being managed, such as monthly rental value for each property and additional charges for pets (which some pet owners aren’t paying). Enquire about these to avoid dissapointment.

If there is one thing you would change about your flat or property what would it be:

I would endorse the inclusion of allocated parking for each household. As the roads are shortened as a result of the ongoing building work, there is often a scramble to park anywhere near your own house – particularly as multiple households have multiple cars.

4
Facilities
4
Design
3
Location
1
Value
2
Management
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