Re-writing the rental rulebook

5 March 2016 – by Alexander Peace

Best practice guidelines for building to rent have been released by the Urban Land Institute to better support the rapid expansion of the UK corporate rented sector.


Written with the input of experts from across the market, the guide looks at how PRS schemes differ, in terms of density, design and management, from housing for sale, and how developers can best tackle this.

Thousands of new rental homes and billions in investment have been announced since the first release of the guide in 2014.

“Edition one of the guide was about providing the investment case for build to rent when much of the industry was sceptical,” said Alex Notay, policy director at ULI UK.

“What we’re highlighting in edition two are all the elements you should consider to achieve a high-quality build-to-rent product and experience. People sometimes get hung up about the perceived need for high-end amenities but the crucial element is the customer service,” she added.

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What the experts say

Housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis “We are rightly putting owner-occupation at the heart of our plans for boosting housing supply – but not to the exclusion of all other tenures. The private rented sector plays a vital role in meeting the housing needs of this country and that will remain the case for many years to come. “I want to see the private rented sector respond to the nation’s housing needs by providing new forms of supply and improved quality and choice. The build-to-rent sector, although still quite new, has an important contribution to make to both those objectives.”

Richard Meier, Argent partner and chairman of the ULI UK Residential Council “The aim of this guide is to pool expertise from right across the property, design and management spheres to enable both companies and the public sector to fully realise the opportunity we have to change perceptions over renting and make a real long-term contribution to urban regeneration.”

Ian Fletcher, policy director at the British Property Federation “Build-to-rent is fundamentally about satisfying customers, and through it delivering for investors. The good practice in this guide is all about helping anyone who wants to achieve those aims. It pools expertise from across the sector and illustrates that, despite competition, the sector is collaborating to improve.”

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