11:12 AM, 16th September 2022, About A year ago
Britain’s largest private landlord has pledged to take a ‘responsible approach’ to rent rises for its tenants to help them during the cost-of-living crisis.
Newcastle-based Grainger has 10,000 homes in its portfolio and in a trading update, the firm’s rent growth over the past year has risen by 4.5%, while newer properties saw rent growth of 5.4%.
They also say occupancy levels are at a record 98%.
However, the firm also says that enquiries from prospective tenants are running at record levels.
Grainger also points out that rents will keep rising because of strong demand and weak supply – with rents set to grow over the coming year.
The firm’s managing director, Helen Gordon, says the company will continue investing in energy-efficient homes – 90% of their properties have an EPC rating of A-C – to help tenants and their fuel bills.
Grainger also says it given all staff, excluding senior managers, £1,000 to help with the cost-of-living crisis.
Ms Gordon said: “Despite the buoyant rental market, we are very mindful of the financial challenges facing many individuals.
“We are therefore taking a responsible approach to rental increases, ensuring affordability for our customers remains a central consideration and balancing rent increases with retention.”
She added: “Momentum in the business is continuing to accelerate and our mid-market strategy and in-house scalable operating platform has delivered a strong performance.
“Occupancy remains at record levels at over 98%.
“At the same time, like-for-like rental growth across our national portfolio is continuing to build over the second half of our financial year.”
Grainger also says it will be adding complimentary gyms and free broadband to some of its newer properties.
The landlord says it will also be offering practical advice to more than 20,000 customers on how they can reduce their costs and energy usage.
The landlord is continuing to expand and in June spent £128 million to buy 468 new homes in Bristol – where the firm now rents out nearly 900 homes – including 94 new affordable homes.
Grainger now has an operational portfolio of 10,000 homes worth £3.1bn – with a further 10,000 rental homes in the pipeline worth £2.4bn.
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