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Common Misconceptions About Build-to-Rent

19 April 2021 Lucy Brice Read time: 2 min
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Lucy Brice

Build-to-Rent has made a promising start to life in the UK rental market since its inception in 2015. And it could very well become the de facto way for people to rent a home. Investment is strong, and the statistics certainly go in its favour. But even with everything looking rosy, there are still many misconceptions about what it is and how it works.

Build-to-Rent operators need to keep on addressing any misunderstanding around the sector, increasing the chances of leasing their homes and helping renters better understand the fundamentals of Build-to-Rent

But what is it about Build-to-Rent that’s not quite clear to renters and people in the lettings industry? We’ve put together a few common misconceptions around Build-to-Rent, so you can use them to educate your audience further and get modern-day renters living in your Build-to-Rent homes. 

Misconception 1: Build-to-Rent is a fad

The idea that Build-to-Rent is the latest rental trend and one that will fall flat on its face is a common misconception in the industry. The 2008 housing crisis has likely played a role in such an idea, especially as any bright new ideas in the industry are met with a level of scepticism. 

However, this is not the housing crisis. Build-to-Rent was built on solid ground, and there are record levels of investment in the sector. Last year, in particular, saw £4 billion worth of investment, up £2.7 billion from 2019. 

Renting is on the rise, and a quarter of the UK is expected to rent privately by the end of this year. Demand for private rental accommodation isn’t going anywhere, and that’s one of the reasons why Build-to-Rent is here for the long term. 

Misconception 2: Build-to-Rent is a universal term

We throw around the term “Build-to-Rent’ without much thought, and many have come to believe that it relates to a block of apartments in a purpose-built building with social spaces. But the truth is there are several types of Build-to-Rent homes, and it’s not a one-size-fits-all. 

As well as your traditional multi-family homes, which refer to the above, there are other types of Build-to-Rent. These include Co-Living, where renters have private rooms and bathrooms but share social spaces like the lounge and kitchen. The other primary option in the UK is single-family homes, which are houses built for the purpose of renting. 

Misconception 3: Build-to-Rent is only for long-term renting

While it’s true that the average tenancy is 4.1 years in the UK, not all people want to rent for the long term. Because Build-to-Rent creates a sense of community with its social spaces, many think the buildings are only designed for long-term renting. That’s not quite the case, however.

The Build-to-Rent approach is a flexible one, giving renters a choice. And that’s what it’s all about: giving power back to the renter. Most communities offer flexible contracts, with renters choosing whether or not they want to stay for the short, medium or long term.

Yes, Build-to-Rent is designed to make renters feel like they have a home. But that doesn’t mean they have to sign long-term contracts to stay for many years. 

Busting the myths

Build-to-Rent has so much going for it, but to maximise its potential, renters, investors and industry experts need complete clarity about the sector. Fortunately, you can keep spreading the good word about your communities and partnering with Build-to-Rent-friendly platforms like Movebubble, where we continue to promote Build-to-Rent to our 750,000-plus renters, so they know just how awesome it is.

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