Institutional investment in market rented properties has been the focus of policymakers in the UK for several years. The dawn of the current BTR sector, however, can probably be traced back to the Montague Report of 2012. It made as series of recommendations that sought to provide some temporary financial support for the sector, started to think about how it should be treated for planning purposes, and embedded the sector within national policymaking.

Policymakers’ interest in the sector was driven by a desire to diversify the UK’s housing supply base, with new sources of capital. This, it was envisaged, would expand the supply of new homes beyond the traditional house-building sector. There was also an interest to raise the quality of market rented housing and therefore improve the experience of the sector’s customers. While BTR is different from social housing, it provides homes for those unable to pay the deposit required for home ownership, as well as for those who prefer the flexibility of renting.

In a relatively short period of time the sector has grown rapidly. Mapping helps show the sector’s current locations.

Using this part of the website

The following pages contain links to several resources for those seeking to invest in the sector, or to engage with it. The aim is to bring a lot of existing resources into one hub.

The hub seeks to provide an informational resource. It cannot provide overt advertising for products/services to the sector, but there are plenty of other opportunities to do that through sector associations or sector events.

For those contemplating providing Build to Rent buildings there is an excellent ULI Guide to the sector.  A preview version is available here. A full version is available to purchase via ULI.

Key facets of Build to Rent

Generalisations about sectors are often difficult and Build to Rent is no exception, with a variety of different providers with different business models targeting different groups of customers. Typically, however, Build to Rent (BTR) is based on:

Single ownership and management – The building or development will be owned by a single entity with integrated, scheme-wide management. Management itself can be contracted out to a management company or provided by an internal management team. Most BTR developments will have staff on-site and they will be operating 24/7.

Homes – These can be flats or houses and aimed at general or targeted demographics. They are mainly in larger towns and cities, and often situated near good public transport interchanges.

Communal facilities and social activities – As well as an individual flat or house, residents will typically have access to generous communal facilities, such as resident lounges, gyms, roof terraces, perhaps guest rooms to hire.  Social activities may be programmed by the on-site staff, or the residents themselves.

Services – Build to Rent providers are seeking to innovate and stand out from the crowd. They want to reinvent renting with transparent contracts, often the offer of a longer-term tenancy, predictable rents, and hassle-free communication. Many are offering superfast broadband as part of what they provide, helpful concierges, shopping storage lockers and bike parking, etc. Some developments are also offering additional services which may be inclusive or at extra cost to residents – car hire, dry cleaning, childcare, etc.

Scale – Most investments in the sector are in blocks of 50+ units and sector developments can often be in the range 200 to 1000 units.

Planning – How the sector is treated for planning purposes will differ across the country (See General Policy and Planning section).


For queries on the content of this site please contact the document provider where that is clear.

For general enquiries please contact Ian Fletcher, tel: 020 7828 0111.

For media enquiries please contact Drew McNeill, tel: 020 7828 0111.

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