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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

More kind gestures – PRS companies offer goodwill in time of crisis

In this period of crisis, we have seen many examples of acts of kindness and companies seeking to help other companies out during what are unprecedented, confusing and worrying times.

One of the latest kind gestures in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic – which has led to an effective lockdown of the UK and put a temporary suspension on normal life – has come courtesy of Love to Rent.

Calling itself the first and only platform in the UK specifically developed to showcase Build to Rent (BTR) developments and homes, the firm says it is giving BTR developers six months to list properties on the portal for free in a bid to support the property market in the coming months. 

“Our hearts and thoughts go out to all those who have been affected by Covid-19, whether personally or professionally,” Anne-Marie Brown, founder and chief executive officer of Love to Rent, said. 

“With an uncertain few months ahead, we want to support clients and partners by offering free listings for six months to allow them to build and create a position of strength for when we are able to return to a more settled time.” 

Love to Rent is the only aggregator website for Build to Rent homes. Unlike traditional portals, it aims to showcase the overall development first before drilling down into individual homes. In addition, the site highlights the benefits and lifestyle that the homes can offer. 

The Love to Rent platform features Build to Rent developments from across England and Scotland. To take advantage of the above offer, developers are asked to contact marketing@lovetorent.co.uk.

Companies in the short-term lets sector, which is likely to be particularly badly hit by the current epidemic, have also been provided with plenty of goodwill from the market’s only trade body. The UK Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA) has announced that it is to waive its membership fees, for the next two months, for some of its existing corporate members and all new members.

The STAA is chaired by Merilee Karr, who is also the founder and chief executive of short-let firm UnderTheDoormat. She said: “In these unprecedented times, where the travel and hospitality industries are facing some monumental challenges due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, the large corporate and affiliate members of the STAA felt that it was more important than ever to work together to protect the sectors we love.”

“By pooling our resources, we can hopefully overcome what we hope will be a temporary situation and emerge stronger to build a new sustainable future.”

She said that by waiving membership fees for two months for some of its members and potential new members, ‘who may be facing a serious slowdown in revenues’, they would continue to be able to access the resources and support of their trade body whilst they endure the height of the coronavirus crisis impact.

“We will aim to make the voice of the short-term accommodation sector heard at government level and look after those in our family that might be more vulnerable to the current situation than others,” she continued.

The STAA said membership fees will be waived for two months from April 1-31 May for the following membership categories:

  • Upper to mid-sized corporate members (500-2,500 UK listings/managed properties)

  • Lower to mid-sized corporate members (200-500 UK listings/managed properties)

  • Small corporate members (below 200 UK listings/managed properties)

As the trade body for the short-lets sector, the STAA – which was founded in March 2017 to provide a voice for the growing number of short-stay platforms, providers and owners – says it offers members plentiful resources and lobbies on their behalf on important issues.

Last week, the STAA sent an open letter to the UK government outlining three measures it would like it to urgently consider to provide a vital lifeline to the travel and hospitality sectors, to enable them to survive the current outbreak.

The three measures were: steps that will safeguard jobs and enable faster growth ‘bounce back’, maintaining cashflow for travel companies so the sector doesn’t enter a ‘death spiral’, and subsidies not loans for the hospitality sector to offer far more mitigation.

Earlier this week, Karr’s own company made properties available to key workers for free to help in the fight against coronavirus.

*If you have any other stories of kind gestures or goodwill across the property investment industry, please get in touch on press@propertyinvestortoday.co.uk and we’ll do our best to feature them.

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