Hospital flats investment heralds start of exciting expansion for innovative landlord
Published by Kelly Elliott for Derwentside Homes Ltd in Housing and also in Communities
From l-r Victoria Murphy (Lettings Negotiator) and Joanne Deacon (Senior Lettings Negotiator) of Prince Bishops Homes, outside the flats in the grounds of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead which Prince Bishops Homes has recently bought.
A North East landlord with a difference has significantly expanded its property portfolio with an exciting and unusual new investment.
Prince Bishops Homes has recently acquired three blocks of flats in the grounds of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead, which it plans to completely refurbish before offering the properties for rent to hospital staff and through the private rental market.
The purchase takes the number of homes on the company’s books past the 250 mark - but there are no plans to stop there, with the firm now on the search for more properties to buy across the region.
With ambitious plans to more than double its current number of homes from 265 to 600 over the next two years, Prince Bishops Homes has recently taken on a new Lettings Negotiator, Victoria Murphy, to help source the properties needed.
Chief Executive Keith Tallintire said: “This is an exciting time for Prince Bishops Homes - last year we completed our first new build development with work due to start on two more this year and next.
“Our recent purchase of the QE flats is not only our first move into Gateshead but also takes the number of properties we now own past 250.
“This is still just the start though; we plan to continue to grow the business significantly over the next couple of years and are now investing resources in identifying and acquiring further properties across the North East to help us achieve this aim.”
Prince Bishops Homes is a subsidiary company of County Durham housing association Derwentside Homes and, unlike other landlords, gives tenants the chance to get onto the housing ladder through its innovative ‘Rent to Buy’ scheme.
Through the initiative, after living in a Prince Bishops Homes property for four years, tenants are given the chance to buy their home, with the equity gained during that time split between the landlord and tenant and used as a deposit for a mortgage.
The company’s most recent purchase consists of 35 flats spread across three blocks situated in the grounds of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, including a mixture of 2-bedroom family units and 2, 3 and 4-bedroom shared accommodation.
These will be completely refurbished with most converted into two-bedroom self contained flats. A small number will be left as shared accommodation, to be used by stand-in doctors and other hospital staff who wish to stay close to the hospital on a short-term basis.
Once the refurbishment work is complete the properties will be advertised on the open market, but with priority still given to hospital staff to ensure there isn’t a gap in the provision of staff accommodation. Work on the refurbishment is due to begin in November with the project completed by March 2015.
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