What is build to rent?

Are you tired of dealing with unreliable landlords and rundown flats when renting a home? Build to Rent (BTR) might be the solution you are looking for. Read on to learn more about Build to Rent in the UK, how it works, and how it differs from traditional renting.

Turning around the UK housing crisis

The BTR market is growing rapidly in the UK to address the ongoing housing crisis. Get Living, a leading BTR, is one of the pioneers in this movement with the development of its first flagship neighbourhood, East Village London. Ten years ago, this former Athlete’s Village was transformed into a vibrant and thriving rental community, now offering more than 2,400 high-quality, brand-new homes for renters.


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You can find Build to Rent communities throughout the UK, from Edinburgh to London and every major city in between. The British Property Federation states there are currently over 237,000 BTR units in the UK, with just over 96,000 units in London alone. Build to rent in the UK has been shaped by companies such as Get Living, Quintain Living (formerly Tipi) and Grainger. The sector is rapidly growing with household names from outside the private rental industry, such as John Lewis and Lloyds Bank, now looking to enter.

What does build to rent mean?

So, what is build to rent, and how does it work? Build to rent is the investment, development and operation of new homes for the sole purpose of renting instead of selling.

Unlike traditional private rental properties—also known as the private rental sector (PRS)—where a property investor purchases a home and becomes the landlord, the BTR model means homes are designed with renters in mind from their inception. This means the entire rental experience is at the forefront of development. You’ll notice a vastly different customer experience with BTR homes compared to traditional rentals. For example, build to rent communities often come with a full range of amenities, benefits and services to help with everything from maintenance issues to resident events.

Get Living’s neighbourhoods across London and Manchester are designed to bring people together, inspire connection, and help people to live well. That’s achieved through working with independent retailers, service providers, brand partnerships and cultural organisations that help activate the public realm. This is all supported by exclusive resident amenities*, activities, and 24/7 security.


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Build to rent companies also offer more renter-focused terms, such as standard three-year tenancy agreements, better security with resident-only lease breaks, no middlemen and no-deposit options*. Many homes will come with furniture packages so renters can pack light and focus on personal touches, plus with Wi-Fi already installed, you’re online from day one.

Most BTR schemes have an on-site team as a friendly face within the community who can help with any issues and be a go-to expert for information on your new home, neighbourhood and things to do in the wider area.

*Amenities and policies vary from community to community. Learn more about Get Living’s policies.

What are the benefits of build to rent properties?

Ultimately, build to rent communities focus more on customer experience than ‘traditional’ private rental properties. As communities built for renters are newly constructed, the quality of homes and furniture promise to beat traditional expectations and there are fewer maintenance issues. New build apartments are highly energy efficient—with EPC ratings A–C, meaning you can conserve your heating and energy usage.

If something does come up, the rental agency has on-site staff to help with maintenance or repairs. Ultimately, build to rent companies have thought of everything to make renting the simple, straightforward process it should be.

Communities built for renters tend to be strategically located, close to transport links, meaning residents can access the things they love. Those who live in East Village love being able to stroll through the 25 acres of Wetlands and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as well as enjoy East London’s mix of restaurants and bars. For when the mood strikes, it’s easy to hop on the tube from Stratford into Central London for for live music or a show.

Those at Elephant Central in South London enjoy all the perks of being in a Zone 1 location with access to the South Bank, Borough and City. Elephant and Castle’s vibrant social scene is influenced by the local Latin American community and the eclectic mix of bars, restaurants, theatres and galleries.

In Greater Manchester, New Maker Yards is within walking distance of Salford and Manchester city centre., The city’s buzzing nighttime economy is juxtaposed by a quaint canal-side setting and family-run beerhouse on-site.


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Homes built for renters

While Build to Rent may not single-handedly solve the UK’s housing crisis, it’s providing much-needed rental homes and offering more choices for people who want quality, energy-efficient homes without compromise, a sense of community, and resident-centered living. More importantly, build-to-rent is growing at an exponential rate across the UK with many developments in the pipeline in cities including London, Leeds and Birmingham.

Keen to learn more about BTR? Hear from property expert Phil Spencer in his latest Build-to-Rent series with Move iQ including a property tour of East Village and Elephant Central with general tips on renting in London.

*No deposit options subject to terms and conditions

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