Spot the difference – a look at Build to Rent v traditional renting

  • 26th Jun 23
Get Living Build To Rent Homes
Get Living Build To Rent Homes

Build to Rent has been created to fulfil a very real need to provide high-quality, professionally managed rental housing options, offering a sense of community, convenience and flexibility.

It differs from the traditional rental market in several key ways, supported by findings from the third annual report looking at Who Lives in Build to Rent Homes in the capital, using data provided by research consultancy Dataloft. The research benchmarks Build to Rent residents against a profile of wider private rented sector residents, using a sample from more than 30 developments across nine providers. 

So, what are the differences and how do they benefit you the rental customer?

Purpose built versus existing properties

Build to Rent homes are built specifically for the rental market with customers’ needs at the forefront of design. Traditional rental properties are typically existing homes, can be much older, and not designed for the ways renters want to live today.

Does this affect affordability?

Build-to-Rent residents’ incomes are broadly similar to those living in the private rented sector, with 28% of Build-to-Rent residents earning between £26-38k compared to 29% of those living in the private rented sector. Source: Who lives in Build-to-Rent?

Professionally managed

Got a problem with a leaky tap or the dishwasher? Build to Rent developments are professionally managed by dedicated property management companies to handle various aspects including property maintenance, tenant services and community management. No longer will you have to wait for individual landlords who may have limited resources or expertise in property management.

Who are attracted to the Build to Rent sector?

Residents in Build-to-Rent are professionally diverse and employed in many different industries including leisure, retail and the public sector which is comparable to the private rented sector. Source: Who lives in Build-to-Rent?

Amenities and facilities

From fitness centres to yoga studios, swimming pools, landscaped gardens, co-working spaces and pet areas, Build to Rent developments offer a wide range of amenities and shared facilities. These extensive spaces are very much at the heart of the Build to Rent ethos and something that is unlikely to be found in as much abundance in the private rental market.

Top ten amenities found in the Who lives in Build-to-Rent? report

83% Concierge
80% Social calendar/events
77% Shared garden and/or roof terrace

70% Parcel storage/acceptance
70% 24-hour security

67% Residents lounge
60% Co-working/meeting space

53% pet friendly

47% Event space
43% Onsite food and beverages

43% Gym/wellbeing centre


Flexible leases

Build to Rent developments take the stress and hassle out of moving home. From your initial view to moving into your new home, it can take less than a week, largely in part because no deposit is required, and the professional management service will support you through the entire process. You are also in control of how long you want to stay in the property. There is so much flexibility in the Build to Rent sector, allowing tenants to stay for a couple of months or a couple of years, whatever suits your situation. Compare this to the traditional market where customers don’t have nearly the same control of their lease length, and it is clear why Build to Rent attracts customers from different ages and backgrounds.

Average lease lengths

The most common tenancy lengths offered in Build to Rent are one, two and three year tenancies with 100% of schemes sampled offering these. Of the tenancies that were up for renewal, 55% of these were renewed over the last 12 months. Source: Who lives in Build-to-Rent?

Sense of community

It’s not just a place where you live, it is the chance to be part of a community. Whether it is organising social events, providing community spaces or encouraging interaction among customers through strategic design, the Build to Rent sector fosters a sense of community among residents, providing a unique rental experience.

Case study

East Village in the Olympic Park in East London created by Get Living is transforming the community and becoming a powerhouse for creativity, innovation and learning. The developer has transformed a commercial unit at the heart of the development into The Lab E20; a community space for experiential retail and culture with a focus on positive fashion and sustainable living. It brings together residents alongside creatives, collaborators and the wider community to work towards a more sustainable neighbourhood with initiatives such as the summer fete, a neighbourhood arts trail and maintenance of the unique protected Wetlands wildlife zone.


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