What is Build to Rent?

Posted on 21 Jan, 2020

First-time buyer, EPC, buy-to-let and SSTC, to name a few. The property industry is full of acronyms and catchy phrases but one seems to have passed many people by – Build to Rent. In fact, as many as 59% of Brits have never heard of the term Build to Rent, according to website Love to Rent, and of those who had heard of it (38%), less than a quarter felt they knew what it meant. For the uninitiated, here’s Viewber’s guide to get you up-to-speed.


What is Build to Rent?

Instead of building properties specifically for the owner-occupier market - houses and apartments sold via estate agents – developers are creating brand new homes exclusively for the rental market. Tenants are able to choose from a number of different schemes where every single property is available to rent directly from the developer.

Who is encouraging Build to Rent?

The Government is keen on more rental properties and is urging local planning authorities to ‘include a plan policy setting out their approach to promoting and accommodating Build to Rent’. To boost the creation of Build to Rent developments, the Government has offered a £1 billion fund. A report issued by Savills in October 2019 claimed the UK-wide Build to Rent sector had grown by 20% since Q3 2018, with 34,840 complete homes and a further 35,760 units under construction.

Does Build to Rent come with longer tenancies?

The Government is using Build to Rent as a way of improving tenancy security for renters. Its National Planning Policy Framework glossary details that Build to Rent developers should offer tenancy agreements of three years or more as the norm. If they don’t, they many have planning permission refused. These arrangements are also known as ‘family friendly’ tenancies, aimed at those who wish to settle into a community, although there is no obligation among tenants to sign up for the maximum tenancy duration.

Is Build to Rent changing the typical tenant lifestyle?

Many tenants prefer renting at a purpose-built development as there are a number of lifestyle perks. Not only are the properties build to high standards and offered brand new, the schemes usually feature enhanced service levels and community facilities. At many Build to Rent developments, tenants can expect professional management, an on-site maintenance team, concierges, free broadband, communal gardens, residents’ lounges, workzones and fitness/wellness centres.

Why don’t more people know about Build to Rent?

Behind many Build to Rent schemes are pension and insurance funds, which bankroll the construction before handing the management of the units over to a third-party property company. Therefore the usual promotional channels – letting agents – are often cut out of the loop. Addressing this is an emerging proptech sector developed especially for Build to Rent. From dedicated online portals to tenant matching algorithms, the visibility of Build to Rent is being addressed.

Here at Viewber we are keen to build links with Build to Rent companies.

We can undertake property visits and accompanied viewings on a nationwide basis – ideal for professional block managers and self-managing funds that do not have the resources to keep up with the growing Build to Rent sector.

Let’s start a conversation today!

A guide to Viewber’s (Green) Social Housing visits

Posted on 11 Oct.

Here’s how Viewbers are already helping to support the social housing sector.

The No. 1 thing that frightens buyers revealed

Posted on 07 Oct.

Some buyers are genuinely frightened about purchasing a home, reveals a new one-question survey, conducted by Viewber in September 2021.

Estate agency – who pays the bills?

Posted on 05 Oct.

Old fashioned agents, certainly when I was starting out, were very clear on what you meant when you used the word client – it was the seller, obviously.

Our website uses cookies which are small files of letters and numbers that we put on your computer. These cookies allow us to distinguish you from other users of our website, which helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also helps us to improve our website. Read more about the cookies we use by clicking here. By clicking CONTINUE you agree to cookies being used in accordance with our Cookie Policy. If you don't agree you can disable cookies - see the Cookie Policy for more details.