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Build-to-Rent Developers: What Do Renters Want?

11 December 2019 Sabah Ismail Read time: 3 min
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Sabah Ismail

New research estimates that within the next five to ten years, the Build-to-Rent sector could take over one third of the private rental market in the UK, growing to be worth a whopping £550 billion from its current value of less than £10 billion today.

So what are the top things that renters are looking for in a property, as we move forward into the new year of 2020, and a brand new decade altogether?

Upon compiling data, we’ve come up with a list of the top features that are important for renters when they’re on the search for their ideal new rental home. 

Bills included

For the busy modern-day renter, bills being included in the cost of rent is really important, as it takes a massive weight off of their mind. Renters today want everything they are getting in or as part of the property included in one easy-to-handle monthly payment - they just don’t have the time or headspace to worry about multiple, separate payments to different suppliers.


Outdoor space

Since June this year,  Movebubble app users have demonstrated that renters want a mix of amenities in their rental property.

In top place was homes with a balcony or terrace. A whopping 27% of renters using Movebubble would like personal outdoor space for their new home, and with most Build-to-Rent developments being in large, densely-populated cities, there is no wonder that renters want a little bit of breathing room away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. 

Offering a private garden as part of a Build-to-Rent home may not be feasible for many developers, but having a communal outdoor space or a balcony certainly is and will see a higher demand than homes that don’t have any. 

En-suite bathroom

Across data available, in-property features such as en-suite bathrooms were very high on the list of priorities, with renters more likely to pay more for a property with an en-suite bathroom.

Dedicated secure parking

With parking costing pretty much an arm and a leg in major cities, there is no wonder that renters see having a secure parking space as part of their property, very important. A large 21% of renters want a home property with parking.

Dedicated secure parking was frequently chosen as a top-three priority across all the data that we looked at, and one of the amenities that renters would pay more for.



9% of 24,103 favourited Build-to-Rent properties listed with Movebubble were homes that offered a gym, showing that for our renters this is one of the most important factors when looking for a rental home. In another survey of ‘most searched for terms’ by renters, ‘gym’ made it into the top ten searched for terms in our country’s capital. 

If you are a Build-to-Rent developer with properties in London, offering an on-site or very local gym will definitely help to win potential renters over when it comes to choosing their new rental home.

Weekly cleaning

In this time-poor generation, renters don’t have time for cleaning or even for arranging cleaners for themselves anymore.

Weekly cleaning included in the cost of rent is another amenity that renters deem very important - again, willing to pay more in terms of the rental price if it were included.

High-end kitchen appliances

It seems that outside factors are no longer as important as in-property features for the modern-day renter. High-end kitchen appliances such as electric cookers, dishwashers, top-notch fridges and more, are now a meaningful aspect to consider when choosing a rental property.


Pets Allowed

Pets are part of the family, just as - if not more - important to some people than actual human family members themselves. So it was no surprise to see that across the spectrum, being able to have their pet in their new home was a high priority for many renters.

In London, this number was actually lower than those in other areas of the country, but still very important to some. Furry-friends are definitely something to keep in mind if you are a Build-to-Rent developer.


Considering offering homes with and without furniture could definitely appeal to a larger audience of potential renters, especially moving forward as more and more people choose renting as a long-term option. Having a place that they can really turn into a home, filling it with their own furnishings and belongings, is definitely not something to be overlooked. 


69% of the renters surveyed shared that they expected to continue renting long-term. Keeping in mind that this is over two thirds of renters, the Build-to-Rent properties built for renters should consider the preferences of renters and ensure that these are places that renters can call home for the long-term - providing stability and security for everyone involved. 

If you’re a Build-to-Rent developer and would like to know more about how to get your properties seen by the right renters, contact us here today. 😊

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