PEOPLE ARE DEMANDING MORE CHOICE IN THE WAY THEY LIVE THEIR LIVES. WHEN IT COMES TO WHERE THEY LIVE, THIS MEANS GREATER FLEXIBILITY, IMPROVED QUALITY, AND AN ENRICHED LIFESTYLE. MEETING THIS DEMAND IS A WAVE OF BUILD-TO-RENT (BTR) DEVELOPMENTS RESHAPING OUR CITY.
BUT WHAT EXACTLY IS BTR EXACTLY? BELOW, WE ADDRESS THE MOST COMMON MYTHS TO GIVE A CLEARER VIEW AND SEPARATE FACT FROM FICTION.
“Build-to-rent is another term for the Private Rented Sector.”
This is a common misconception.
The Private Rented Sector (PRS) is an umbrella term for any residential properties owned by landlords and rented by tenants.
BTR falls under this, but refers exclusively to properties purpose-built for renters. They must include at least 50 homes, and be owned and managed by one landlord with dedicated on-site management.
Designed specifically for renting communities, there’s typically greater consideration of amenities and services, and a larger emphasis on lifestyle. At Vertus, for example, residents will have access to exclusive Club Vertus amenities including a bar, lounge and terrace, as well as a constantly updated events programme.
“It’s the same as co-living.”
With co-living, the only private living space provided is a bedroom, usually accompanied by an ensuite bathroom. This encourages use of the shared spaces, elevating the sense of community. University halls of residence are a good example.
Living in a BTR building also means benefitting from quality shared spaces but, crucially, you’re provided with your own private apartment. Vertus offers the choice of furnished or unfurnished studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, complete with high-speed broadband, fully-fitted kitchens and a private balcony.
“It’s similar to shared ownership.”
Shared ownership is when someone owns a share of a property and pays rent on the remaining value. They may start off owning a small share, and then gradually ‘staircase’ to increase their stake in the property. It’s typically aimed at first time buyers, though not exclusively.
BTR, on the other hand, doesn’t involve ownership. The rent you pay gives you access to the apartment, amenities, services and any other perks offered.
“BTR’s mainly for single people.”
Anyone can live in a BTR building. What unites the people who live somewhere like Vertus is not whether they come alone, as a pair, or with a family, but their common desire to live somewhere that reflects who they are and what they value.
“It’s a stepping stone to home ownership.”
Whether you’re hoping to one day own a place, would prefer not to, or haven’t made up your mind yet, renting in a BTR development is a choice, not a stopgap. Those who will live at Vertus, for example, will choose to do so because it provides the location, lifestyle and flexibility they want, without the hassle and limitations brought by owning.
“There are only short-term tenancy options in BTR.”
Another common misconception.
At Vertus, you have full control over the length of your tenancy. There are no restrictions other than a minimum commitment of 3 months.
“The up-front fees are even higher than traditional renting.”
In fact, there are no up-front fees whatsoever.
At Vertus, all we would ask for is one month’s rent in advance. You can also extend your tenancy at any time, at no extra cost, and with no variable terms.
“It’s a completely new concept.”
Though a relatively new idea in the UK (the first BTR scheme launched in 2013), the concept is already well-established in many European countries like Germany, where renting has historically been more commonplace.
The same is true for the US, where it’s referred to as ‘multifamily housing’. Despite the name, it’s equally for those without children, and developments range from high-rise, high-end, city centre buildings, to low-rise, family-focused, suburban models.