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London & Quadrant grabs Nine Elms PRS flats

Housing association London & Quadrant is in pole position to purchase the innovative private rented sector part of a larger housing scheme in Nine Elms, London.

The £65m deal will see L&Q take over 114 apartments which are part of house builder Bellway’s redevelopment of the Christies Fine Arts warehouse. The private rented flats were part of a combined project of 510 homes, which includes market homes for sale, and an affordable housing element.

The private rented sector element of the project was accepted by planners as a contribution towards the section 106 benefits of the scheme – see details previously reported here. The project was approved by Wandsworth borough in London, which has set out to take a proactive stance to promote private rented housing, and will review project details accordingly. As a result the tenancies will only be available to renters who have a local connection, while lease periods of up to five years will be offered, to provide security of tenure.

London & Quadrant is one of the few housing associations to have made clear its desire to get into the private rented sector. Last year, the company said it wanted to generate a £1 billion fund to invest in the sector. However, progress has been slower than planned – in 2012, L&Q was quoted in the publication Inside Housing as aiming to assemble a 1,000 strong private rented portfolio within three years.