May 7, 2024 10:29 am

Insert Lead Generation
Nikka Sulton

Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM), a prominent player in the struggling Build To Rent sector, has launched a scathing critique aimed at buy-to-let landlords. Their condemnation targets what they perceive as unethical practices, alleging that many landlords are exploiting tenants and delivering subpar experiences. The company has denounced these actions as detrimental to both tenants and the rental market as a whole.

In their assessment, LGIM highlights the widespread occurrence of landlords taking advantage of tenants financially, leading to dissatisfaction and frustration among renters. This critique underscores the urgent need for improved standards and ethical conduct within the buy-to-let sector, emphasizing the importance of providing fair and transparent rental experiences for tenants.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Bill Hughes, global head of real assets at L&G, voiced concerns about the quality of many buy-to-let landlords’ practices, labeling them as “suboptimal and substandard.” Hughes’s remarks come amid L&G’s significant investment in the Build To Rent (BTR) sector, signaling their commitment to addressing issues within the rental market.

The Telegraph highlights Hughes’s pivotal role in L&G’s expansion into the BTR industry, underscoring the company’s strategic shift towards providing high-quality rental accommodation. Concurrently, industry stakeholders such as the British Property Federation and Savills have raised concerns about the sluggish pace of the planning system, hindering the growth of the BTR sector. Additionally, efforts to enhance consumer confidence and standards in the rental market are evident in the rebranding of the BTR trade body to the “Association for Rental Living” and the introduction of a code of practice aligned with forthcoming legislative reforms.

L&G, overseeing assets worth nearly £1.2 trillion, has amassed a portfolio of 10,000 Build To Rent (BTR) homes over the past eight years, with 5,000 currently occupied, representing a £3 billion investment in the sector.

According to Hughes, the company aims to address concerns surrounding poorly managed rental properties and unethical landlord practices, emphasizing the need to elevate standards for renters. He asserts that institutional investors like L&G can play a crucial role in setting high-quality standards due to their substantial scale and long-term commitment, prioritizing reputation preservation over short-term gains.

Hughes, as described on the L&G website, is credited with expanding its UK property fund management business into a global-reaching real assets platform. His role entails transforming the company’s UK property fund management business into a broader real assets platform with a global reach, indicating a significant shift in focus and strategy.

Furthermore, Hughes is actively engaged in various influential government and industry committees focusing on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues, infrastructure, regeneration, and housing. This involvement underscores his commitment to addressing key challenges and driving positive change within the real estate sector, aligning with broader societal and environmental goals.

In recognition of his leadership and expertise, Hughes was appointed as a UK Built Environment Climate Ambassador by the UK Green Building Council. This appointment highlights his pivotal role in mobilizing the real estate industry to tackle climate change and advocate for sustainable practices. At COP26, he played a key role in championing the development of the Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for the UK Built Environment, emphasizing the importance of collective action and collaboration.

Hughes’ multifaceted role and extensive contributions underscore his dedication to advancing sustainable development and driving positive outcomes within the real estate industry. His leadership positions and active involvement in influential committees reflect a commitment to driving meaningful change and shaping the future of the built environment in alignment with sustainability objectives.

Bill serves as Chair of the Property Industry Alliance (PIA), a coalition of prominent property organizations in the UK. Through the PIA, these bodies collaborate to advocate for shared interests and address key issues such as policy, research, and best practices within the industry. Additionally, he holds the position of Trustee at the UK Green Building Council and is recognised as an Honorary Fellow of the College of Estate Management, reflecting his significant contributions to the field.

His extensive involvement in various industry associations underscores his commitment to driving positive change and advancing industry standards. Bill has previously chaired the Green Property Alliance, served as President of the British Property Federation (BPF), and led the Association of Real Estate Funds (AREF) as Chairman. Moreover, his role as Commissioner for the Lyons Housing Review highlights his dedication to addressing critical challenges in the housing sector and shaping policy initiatives for the benefit of communities.

While the full interview may be accessible through the Telegraph’s paywall, Bill’s leadership and insights offer valuable perspectives on the current state and future trajectory of the property industry. As a trusted figure with a wealth of experience and expertise, his contributions to the discussion are instrumental in shaping the direction of the sector and driving positive outcomes for stakeholders across the board.




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