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Build-to-rent looks set to dominate the private rented sector in the coming years. There’s no question that it’s become more difficult to be a private landlord in the past decade. Like letting agents, landlords have had to contend with more regulation, while also being hit by increased stamp duty and the abolition of mortgage-interest tax relief, making the private rented sector a less attractive investment option for private landlords.
Letting agents and landlords will need to up their game to stay competitive with the services offered by these new developments. The “exponential rise” of BTR developments, says JLL, will mean more of the rental population “will experience living in a fully equipped PRC and begin to understand how much amenities are worth”.
“I think the market is heading towards concierge-type services for tenants, where they move in and everything is sorted for them - they won’t have to worry about anything," says Nicholas Edwards, Group Lettings Manager at Gibbs Gillespie. "Over the next five to ten years, you will start to see tenants expecting that, on the day they move in, the bed is made, there’s a towel in the bathroom and everything is ready to go.
“A lot of the build-to-rent developments are already heading towards that model - maybe not to the extent of milk in the fridge, but many of those schemes have really embraced the idea of being totally ready for tenants to move in and everything working the second you step through the door. I do think that part of the market will certainly be developing further in the next few years and any good agent now has a lot of additional strengths to their bow and will already be offering a lot of the services that tenants are looking for.”
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