About PlaceFirst

PlaceFirst is a residential letting company that was established in 2009. The use long-term BTR investment to unlock complex regeneration challenges. As well as this, they aim to “deliver the best rental communities for their residents”. Since their establishment, they have continued to develop buildings and communities across the north of England, including: Leeds, Liverpool, Morecambe and Hartlepool.

PlaceFirst Developments

Welsh Streets is a PlaceFirst development that is listed on HomeViews. It is located in Liverpool and comprises of over 5 streets of Victorian terraced houses. The houses have been renovated, but retain all the period features, like high ceilings and big windows. Residents here benefit from private rear terraces, as well as shared gardens which run the length of the streets.

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.

Number of Developments

4

Ratings

3.54 Rating

Rating (based on 57 reviews)

Excellent

22.81%

Very Good

40.35%

Average

28.07%

Disappointing

3.51%

Very Poor

5.26%

Developments

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PlaceFirst reviews

Reviews

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Showing 57 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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Slapdash and quickly erected to maximise profits. Lovely place to live because of the people and the communal garden.

The design of the build at first glance seems great. You slowly realise that most things haven’t been thought out properly and won’t get fixed because in order to do so it would cost the developers extra money. Everything is done on the cheap and the finish is slapdash. All interior walls painted with one coat of water based paint which comes off should you have any spillages. No yearly repaints as promised. Generally I have found the property management good. Always quick to respond to emails, but not necessarily quick to get the repairs or jobs seen to. Communication between departments is abysmal and this is where the renters suffer the most. Yearly increases in rent regardless of the area we live in and whether anything of value has been added to the property. Eventually all tenants will be priced out of the area, but no one with serious money would live here as the general area is dirty and unsafe. We however have found a lovely community within the gates of the welsh streets and our little boy loves it.

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

A home with a built in community. Safe and close to city centre. Not the greatest area overall though.

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

You’re living under the assumption these people care about community and building a strong one that no one wants to leave. But they want to make it attractive and habitable so that prices can keep going up and to hell with the community.

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

In general the response is good. But it depends on the nature of the problem. Some little problems get resolved or looked at (and not resolved) fairly quickly. Some issues have been going on for months with numerous emails being sent and promises made but ultimately broken.

4
Facilities
4
Design
3
Location
4
Value
4
Management
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A nice idea on paper

We moved to the welsh streets several years ago in order to benefit from a more long term rental home. We love the look of the streets and layout and design of these houses are a wow. I do think for the area the prices are quite high, but plenty of us seem willing to pay. Sadly there do seem to be certain areas where costs have been cut, where the original finish has not lasted very long, and we have extensive damp problems on the ground floor of our home – the solutions to which are a bit of a bodge. The maintenance team are relative hard to get hold of (or have been in the past) but when you do they are helpful. We were also sold a beautiful ideal of green spaces and communal gardens, however the reality has fallen far short of our expectations – with constant bickering and politics about the communal garden and the promised green spaces have been built on.

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

Like:
– Aesthetic
– Proportions of property
– Location
– Sense is community

Dislike
– Overall quality of finish
– Communal garden & associated politics
– Indefinite building works
– Broken promise of green spaces

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

That there was no intention of developing green spaces that now has been built on (more money for them!)

That a communal garden is not as idealistic as it sounds!

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

They have, although have sometimes proven hard to get hold of. On several occasions they have arranged to visit the property on a certain date and haven’t, but then visited on a different day which is hard to plan around. The work carried out is of questionable quality and there seems to be an emphasis on patching things up rather than solving the problem

3
Facilities
4
Design
5
Location
3
Value
3
Management
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These reviews are the subjective opinion of a HomeViews member and not of HomeViews

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