Scottish rental developer signs Uber partnership

Moda Living, which is building close to 1,000 new homes for rent in Edinburgh and Glasgow, has agreed a property-tech partnership with Uber that will aim to cut car ownership in both cities.

The first collaboration of its kind in Britain will offer tenants up to £100 Uber credits per month if they agree not to have a car parking space in the building. Using Moda Living’s bespoke app, residents will simply press a button and get a ride.

The prop-tech partnership is likely to be rolled out in cities across the world.

Because Moda Living is a build to rent developer – creating clusters of apartments that it manages rather than sells off – it has to think about how the buildings will be used long into the future. The company is backed by £1bn of investment from Middle Eastern-based Apache Capital Partners and is developing 6,000 rental-only homes in major cities across England and Scotland.

In October last year Moda Living revealed plans for its first scheme in Scotland, having purchased the old Strathclyde Police headquarters on Pitt Street with a view to deliver 365 new homes for rent, as well as outdoor and rooftop recreation areas and indoor amenities such as residents’ lounge and gym.

In March this year, Moda Living announced plans for a ‘build to rent village’ in Edinburgh’s Fountainbridge district this March, formed of 525 new homes for rent, 15,000 sq. ft. of amenity space and 25,000 sq. ft. of mixed commercial space.

By partnering with Uber, Moda Living is hoping to create more sustainable developments as city leaders tackle the challenge of building millions of homes while also reducing emissions.

Moda Living, backed by Apache Capital Partners, a Middle East investor. Its developments will be located in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, and Birmingham, all cities where Uber operates. Its first scheme, Angel Gardens in Manchester’s NOMA neighbourhood, is currently under construction and will house close to 900 residents when it completes in 2019.

Moda Living’s buildings are created only for rent, and include shared areas that mimic a high-end hotel. The company plans to offer renters a bespoke app to connect with each other, control heating and entertainment, as well as order food and other services, such as booking a ride through Uber. Uber integration will offer Moda Living customers a frictionless city centre renting experience.

There are around 30 million cars in the UK - and 95% of the time these cars remain parked and unused, taking up valuable space on the street or in car parks. By helping to reduce the need to own a private car, the partnership’s aim is to put urban space to better use and reduce congestion and air pollution over time. In London Uber also offers UberPOOL where riders can share a car with someone heading the same way, helping to further reduce miles travelled.

Jo Bertram, Regional General Manager of Uber in the UK, said:
“Cars are one of the most expensive assets most people own, but they’re used just five per cent of the time. Our mission is for everybody to have a reliable ride at the touch of a button so they don’t need their own car. These plans for what will be a unique partnership with Moda Living is a big step forward in making that a reality. By getting more people to ditch their own vehicles we can put some of the space wasted on parking to much better use. And with more people using car sharing options like UberPOOL we can reduce congestion and emissions too.”

Johnny Caddick, Managing Director of Moda Living, said:
“Our apartments are for rent rather than for sale so we need to consider how our customers will live in cities in the future. Embracing future technology is vital from day one and these plans for a partnership with Uber would not only give our customers an affordable ride at the touch of a button - it would also enable us to design better buildings with more space for social interaction. Everyone wants a more frictionless life and Uber’s model fully aligns with our approach of wanting to drive efficiency and maximise value for our customers.”