Build-to-Rent Housing Explained in 5 Minutes

The build-to-rent housing market is on the rise. With developments springing up in landmark urban locations around the world, you don’t have to look hard to find one near you. These developments are often fully self-contained and locally managed. Here’s everything you need to know about build-to-rent housing. 

What Is Build-to-Rent Housing?

Build-to-rent accommodation is a new but growing area of property development. It describes apartment blocks that are built specifically for the rental market. These sites must contain a minimum of 50 homes which are all owned by the same landlord. 

Renters face many challenges in the housing market today—everything from unscrupulous landlords to sky-high rental fees. The build-to-rent market seeks to alleviate some of these difficulties with responsible landlords and accommodation prices. Although there are few build-to-rent homes at the moment, their numbers are increasing. 

What are the Benefits?

Build-to-rent housing solves some of the common problems people encounter in regular housing. In a traditional housing market, tenants prefer shorter leases. They like the flexibility and freedom that a shorter lease offers.

Landlords, on the other hand, prefer longer leases. The longer a tenant stays, the less likely vacancies are.

The build-to-rent housing market is slightly different. Build-to-rent homes offer lower rents and longer leases, which appeases both tenants and landlords. They usually have some local infrastructure in place to take care of maintenance and repairs, and the rental policies adhere to a strict formula which must be explained and followed prior to any increase.

Are Build-to-Rent Homes Better?

According to some research and surveys, there are several benefits to renters that are absent from their current rental experience. Almost half of renters prefer to pay no upfront fee except from their deposit and first month of rent, they also report a more favorable experience with a build-to-rent landlord. 

More renters said that a build-to-rent apartment was better because it adhered to safety and energy standards, and they had a more reliable understanding of how the rent worked, when it would increase, and why.

When a tenant is happy, the landlord is happy. And when a landlord is happy, housing developers experience more success. Regardless of your job title, you’ll likely benefit from a build-to-rent housing development because tenants benefit from them.

Are There Any Downsides?

Every business investment has a downside, and build-to-rents are no different. For one, build-to-rent developments aren’t currently as common as regular housing. That means fewer options if you’re looking to rent one and few examples if you’re looking to build one. 

Build-to-rent housing developments are also quite strict about their demographics at the moment, so you will have to find one that suits your situation – over 55s, people with pets, young professionals, etc.


The excellent infrastructure and benefits of build-to-rent housing don’t come cheap, you will have to pay a little extra for the communal workspaces, the laundry services, the concierge, the event spaces, and the gym. On average build-to-rent apartments are 9.3% more expensive than other homes in the area. 

While this high-spec living will definitely suit highly paid young professionals, it might still be out of the price range for many people – especially those trying to save for a mortgage deposit.