Build to Rent developers and investors sign up to offer three year tenancies as the norm

Leading members of the Build to Rent sector in the UK have signed a pledge to offer tenants three year tenancies in any of their new developments.

The three year pledge, but together by the British Property Federation (BPF), could mean the start of longer tenancies which research shows people in the private rented sector, especially families, want.

The signatories include 20 of the Build to Rent sector’s most active investors and developers who say they are responding to the recently published Housing White Paper in which Housing Minister Gavin Barwell asked for this new generation of purpose built, professionally managed rented homes to offer family friendly tenancies, such as for three years, for those who want longer term stability when renting.

The BPF and a cohort of the build to rent’s key players have responded and published the pledge to demonstrate the sector’s commitment to providing three year tenancies and working with Government to ensure the sector can play its part in rolling back 20 years of housing undersupply.

The Housing White Paper states that Government said it would be working with the BPF to consolidate this approach across the sector.

The BPF’s pledge says: ‘One of the benefits of the UK’s new Build to Rent sector is its ability to offer longer tenancies to its customers. We, the undersigned, therefore pledge to offer our customers the option of a three year tenancy in any of our new Build to Rent buildings.

‘Our customers will not be under any compulsion to take up this three year tenancy option, and can still opt for shorter terms. To further assist customers with their budgeting, we pledge to review rents no more frequently than once a year or at the end of the initial term, and to set out clearly at the start of the tenancy the basis on which rents will be reviewed. Such tenancies will allow the tenant to break, after a short period of notice.’

According to Ian Fletcher, BPF director of real estate policy, explained that the pledge underlines one of the many benefits of the sector to Government and the sector’s customers. ‘While many Build to Rent providers already offer longer tenancies, our aim is that three year tenancies become a trademark of the sector,’ he said.

The pledge has been welcomed by Barwell. ‘Our Housing White Paper sets out plans to create a bigger, better private rental sector for tenants and landlords, and to give renters a fairer deal. So, it’s great news that British Property Federation members have pledged to offer family-friendly three-year tenancies for renters in build to rent properties,’ he said.

‘This Government has already helped deliver more than 10,000 purpose build private rented homes since 2012. This important move gives additional security to those tenants and their families, as well as encouraging change in the wider market,’ he added.