The broadband rating service has chosen the UK to launch its WiredScore Home certificate aimed at build-to-rent landlords. 4,000 units are committed at launch from customers including Legal & General, Patrizia, Long Harbour, Town Centre Securities, Argent, Ask, Richardson and LaSalle.
WiredScore Home builds on the success of the commercial real estate certification, which has certified more than 500 million sq ft across six countries impacting six million office workers since launch in 2013.
William Newton, president and EMEA managing director at WiredScore, commented: “Connectivity is critical to almost every aspect of our lives – social, leisure and working – with most adult internet users typically spending 24 hours online each week – almost double the time spent in 2007. The residential development community has long shouldered the important responsibility of maintaining and improving residential digital infrastructure in line with a rapid growth in consumer demand.
“Our research shows their renewed commitment to supporting 5G and full fibre connections, but it’s important that the right investments are made to assure an improved in-home experience. In addition, it’s crucial the residential market understands how to design and retrofit future-proofed properties, as well as communicate the investment to prospective homeowners or renters.”
Research published today by WiredScore in partnership with the HomeOwners Alliance found 85% of British renters and homeowners still face connectivity issues and failing services, forcing them to use an additional 2.5GB of extra mobile data each month to compensate for their poor WiFi. This additional cost totals £2.2bn across the nation.
Dave Butler, chief executive of the UK Apartment Association, commented: “High quality digital connectivity is a critical requirement of the modern-day renter. As this report highlights, they are too often let down. Build-to-rent landlords in particular have been setting out to fix this problem and provide a better service and superior experience. To achieve this, they need to know that the buildings they are investing in can provide for renters today, and also deliver the technology renters will be using tomorrow. WiredScore’s rating scheme is a welcome development in the Build-to-Rent market and will help set the standard for best in class digital infrastructure.”
WiredScore commissioned Opinium to survey 2,000 UK adults, split 50:50 homeowners and renters, and Censuswide to survey 150 UK residential building developers, in April 2019.
The researchers said that despite consumers paying an average of £312 for their home internet service, this additional cost is being incurred by users trying to overcome regular connectivity issues and failing services – typically totalling 20 service breakdowns per month.
The certification will support developers looking to improve the design of the connectivity services for new buildings to prevent the need for expensive retrofits. It will also introduce critical transparency to the residential market, enabling landlords and sellers to demonstrate the higher quality service in their buildings.
Applicants can gain one of four levels ranging from ‘Certified’ to ‘Platinum’, and support from the beginning of their projects, helping them to understand at the design stage how to implement best in class digital infrastructure into their developments. This saves time, money and reduces the risk of expensive retrofits in the future. The scheme also helps landlords proactively identify and rectify potential issues in existing assets, that could impact their future value and rental income, which is particularly of value to landlords in the build-to-rent market.