Contact Us

Happy Hands-Off Manchester Landlords Get A New Way To Do Business

Sam Fitz-Hugh, co-founder and director of Settio with Andrew Bradley-Nixon, sales and marketing director of Far East Consortium with a model of the MeadowSide scheme in central Manchester.

A new model for managing private rented accommodation that learns the lessons of build to rent is about to double its capacity. Its founders say it seeks to please investors who want to stay happily hands-off.

Settio Property Experience has secured its first appointment as recommended partner on a major residential scheme with its selection by developer Far East Consortium on its MeadowSide scheme of apartments and townhouses bordering Angel Meadow in central Manchester.

The move will take the firm’s total of apartments under managed from 200 to 400 in 2021.

The business was co-founded by Sam Fitz-Hugh and Chris Parsonage in 2017 to focus on Far Eastern — and far away — investors in Manchester’s city living scene who want to stay that way. It borrows from the build-to-rent sector in its management philosophy.

“Our core business is remote investors, people who want to be hands-off but know their property is being looked after. We have learned from the way build-to-rent landlords manage their properties, so our model absorbs costs through an all-inclusive fee,” Fitz-Hugh said.

“We do not get paid more on fees when the tenancy changes; in fact, it costs us to advertise the flat, clean it, meaning our interests are aligned with those of the landlord, which is to keep tenants there and to keep them happy, and that means stability for everyone. Our aim is to fill a block, and look after everybody.”

The business, which already has an office in Singapore, is now looking at expansion in the UK. “We’ think there is a market for that in Manchester, and increasingly a market for it in Birmingham," Fitz-Hugh said. "We’ll be turning to Birmingham next, hopefully opening an office by late 2021, then we’ll look at London.”

International interest in Manchester apartments remains strong and is now predominantly from Hong Kong.

“The new visa rules have accelerated sales from Hong Kong, with buyers now looking at larger apartments in case they want to occupy them themselves,” he said.