What is build-to-rent? 

Build-to-rent (BTR) is an emerging market in which homes are built specifically for rent, rather than for sale. Build-to-rent is quickly becoming an established sector in the UK housing market to meet demand for high-quality, well-managed rental housing.

Build-to-rent’s two-pronged approach – to provide an unparalleled tenancy experience, as well as ensuring the location and neighbourhood is prosperous and integrated - means that build-to-rent not only builds houses, but communities as well.

The build-to-rent model provides an enhanced experience for tenants including:

  • Good quality homes aimed at general or targeted demographics, with secure tenancies and predictable rents. BTR housing is mainly found in larger towns and cities, and often situated near good public transport interchanges.

  • Integrated, scheme-wide property management. Most developments will have staff on-site and they will be operating 24/7 to provide security and support.

  • Services – build-to-rent providers innovate in service delivery. Many are offering superfast broadband, helpful concierges, storage lockers and bike parking, and additional services such as car hire, dry cleaning, childcare, etc.

Build-to-rent anchors on a thriving location with good local amenities and access to jobs, services and infrastructure. For investors, the surrounding neighbourhood is linked to investment gains whilst for providers it is linked to maintaining occupancy. This includes prioritising the provision of trees and green spaces, walking and cycling infrastructure, a strong local economy with diverse retail offerings and access to transport links.

BTR in Scotland

BTR is at an early stage in Scotland but it is a growing form of development, investment, and choice of home.  

There is also a growing mid-market rental sector that is supplying a greater variety of quality affordable rental choices for households in Scotland.

SPF member, Scarlett Land and Development, maintains a BTR Development map for Scotland (This page links to an external website and will open a new window. The SPF is not responsible for the content or security of independent websites)

BTR in the UK

The BTR market is more developed across the wider UK and, by way of comparison, we provide some highlights below:

  • There are now 152,071 build-to-rent homes in the UK, including both London and the regions, of which 40,181 are complete, 35,415 under construction and 75,475 in planning

  • In London, there are a total of 76,408 units

  • Outside London, there are 75,663 units

Click on the places plotted on the map to find out more about each development, including the developer and the number of units. This research is produced by Savills for the BPF and draws on data from Molior.