UK's first Build to Rent Awareness Week to launch on Monday

Property Reporter
21st May 2021
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Despite talk surrounding Build to Rent being widely heard throughout the industry for years, many consumers are still in the dark when it comes to the benefits of renting in a professionally managed, purpose-built development.

To help raise the profile of BTR and demonstrate what sets it apart from renting from the traditional private landlord, the UK’s first BTR customer awareness week - - will take place between 24-28 May and is supported by the British Property Federation and the UKAA as well as a host of operators; including Allsop, Simple Life, Folio and Fizzy Living.

Online portal, Love to Rent, aim to create an established marketplace for rental homes that customers can have confidence in. A dedicated website has been created for Love to Rent Week creating a hub of information about build to rent as well, as giving BTR operators the opportunity to promote their developments and feature case studies, incentives and events.

The tenant agenda is in the spotlight currently with the government promising a better deal for renters in the recent Queen’s speech and announcing longer notice periods will be preserved as Covid restrictions ease. The narrative around tenants’ rights has focused on protecting renters in the private rented market, but there is a big opportunity to change perceptions of renting and Love to Rent Week aims to highlight a different side of the market that promises security, flexibility and high levels of service.

The recent HomeViews National Build to Rent Report found sentiment remained strongly positive in 2020 with tenants rating the BTR experience higher than BTS in every category. Strong community, excellent management, considered design and facilities were key to sustaining the overwhelmingly positive experience enjoyed by BTR residents.

Ian Fletcher, of the British Property Federation, comments: “Renting is about people. It is about giving customers a great experience through inspiring and conscientious employees and good suppliers. The Build to Rent sector has happy customers. We know from customer feedback that people love their Build to Rent homes, the range of services they offer, sense of community, and great customer service. With an ever-increasing number of homes being delivered for a variety of needs and budgets access to the Build to Rent has never been easier. We hope the sector will therefore illustrate and celebrate what it can offer to its customers during Love to Rent week.”

Peter Sloane, Chair of Love to Rent, adds: “The build to rent sector has been gathering momentum for years but now with over 50,000 units now occupied and record investment into the sector last year, we have reached a tipping point where it has become a mainstream consumer market. Love to Rent Week aims to make build to rent more customer-friendly, providing a platform to engage and create a positive buzz around renting, so people have a better understanding of what is on offer and feel comfortable and secure when looking to rent a home.”

“The key selling points of build to rent including great customer service, longer tenancies, on-site amenities and a sense of community are what set this type of living apart. Renting has never managed to shake off that image of a slightly unreliable private landlord, but we want to dispel those myths and show there is a different way to rent.”

Lesley Roberts, President of the UKAA and Partner at Allsop, says: “We’re excited to be involved in Love to Rent’s Customer Awareness Week 24-28 May and wholeheartedly support the ethos of raising awareness of choice and quality in the rental sector. We look forward showcasing quality places to rent with superb service, great amenities and friendly communities.”

Jamie Ratcliffe, Executive Director of People and Partnerships at Network Homes, said: "2020 was a terrible year from which I’m sure we’ll draw many lessons. One of them will undoubtedly be the importance of flexibility and space in your home. Love to Rent is showcasing quality and real choice to people in choosing a home to rent. Their customers can be assured that the developments on Love to Rent are managed by reputable landlords who deliver high-quality homes with great services."

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