The rental market in the UK has really changed shape in the last five years, there can be little doubt of that. And as part of its ever altering approach, the sector is looking more likely to adopt another American and European trait.
In the last five years, we've seen young British people start to move into rented property because they want to, because they enjoy the freedom it gives them over owning a home, in the same way the majority of European and American people live. It is this that has seen the introduction of a new type of development that we would more commonly associate with nations to both the west and east of ourselves.
Build to rent is a concept that we've rarely ever seen in the UK, where rented properties have more commonly come into the market simply because they've been snapped up by a landlord rather than being built with the specific purpose in mind. But with the first build to rent developments set to be completed by the end of this year, and more in the pipeline for the next 18 months, it seems that the impact of generation rent is changing the market once again.
A report from law firm Addleshaw Goddard and the British Property said that this can only be a good thing for the UK. With nine million people living in privately rented homes across the nation, it believes that build to rent is a concept that would work for tenants, investors and regulators alike.
Typically, homes built in this way are managed in a more corporate sense than traditional rented properties. Rather than having a landlord that deals with things, these purpose built properties tend to have an overarching management company behind them, which deals with tenancies, rent, maintenance and upkeep.
While this is a big change for the market, it can work for everyone involved. For people getting involved in rental property as an investment, it is far easier to use this tactic, because they do not have to deal with the hands-on side of things, leaving everything to the management company.
For tenants, there are also many positives to be had. Generally speaking, maintenance and repairs are dealt with a lot quicker than in the traditional rental market, while they always have someone available to talk to about problems if and when they crop up.
"What it means for your average tenant is probably a better quality of life. When for example, the toilet breaks, there are people to fix it right away. As a tenant you don’t spend time managing the property, you get someone else to do it for you and you get on with living your life," said Adam Challis, head of residential research at real estate services firm JLL.
Mr Challis said these benefits are already starting to attract the attention of people from around the world who want to invest in the rental market and see the newer, more continental model as one that would really work for them.