Flat renting goes social

Brightly coloured new-build London flatsAccording to experts, the future of renting may involve properties marketed and managed through social media.

The cost of getting on the property ladder is prohibitive to many first-time buyers, so developers are building thousands of new rental homes for young people who have made a ‘lifestyle choice’ to be tenants, reports the Evening Standard.

Experts are anticipating that we’ll soon be finding flats by logging into Facebook, and even using development-based networks to choose phone and TV packages, furniture options, or to browse offers from local businesses.

Like a mid-market hotel chain, these rental homes will be made up of ‘branded’ new-build blocks of private rental apartments, and will offer set room rates, standardised interiors and a menu of paid-for extras.

London’s rental industry is currently leading a nationwide boom in private lettings, bolstered by the news that once this year’s Olympics are over, most of the flats in Stratford’s Athletes’ Village will be offered for let rather than for sale.

Lucian Cook, the author of a recent report into London’s evolving rental industry, told the Evening Standard: “A shift to private renting may go against the nation’s emotional attachment to home ownership, but rental Britain is here to stay and buy-to-let cannot fill the gap alone. Rapidly rising demand means rental stock will need to be delivered by the new-build market.”

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