An open letter has been distributed to ask the next government to consider the potential of the Buy to Rent market to solve the housing shortages. The letter which has the support of the British Property Federation and the Better Renting for Britain campaign argues that Build to Rent could be the major driving force in solving the housing shortages and increase opportunities in the construction industry.


It’s believed that the next government could count on £30bn of private finance following the promotion of long term rentals which would equal around 150,0000 homes.

The letter calls for a “five-point stimulus” in order to create a rental market similar to the American market where individual companies own large portfolios of homes.

The letter reads: “We want to create more professionally managed rented housing, purposefully designed and built with the long term occupier in mind,”

The argument is based around the idea that the rental market is a more long term investment opportunity than a sales focussed housing model, where the key is to maximise the house price following its construction, which inevitably leads to a certain type of home being built and pushes up house prices.

Whilst houses for the open market and houses built for renting are currently treated the same during the planning process the letter suggests there should be a “genuine acceptance that Build to Rent differs from traditional housebuilding.”

The campaign seeks to make the next government to form council-led targets for the number of rented houses needed in an area and put the onus on them to partner with developer to ensure the houses are built which might include building some of them on public land.

In addition to providing the requisite housing stock, stimulating the construction industry with more construction jobs and a greater demand for building supplies, the letter suggests that this could also prove to provide an income for councils.

Martin Bellinger, chief operating officer of Essential Living, said: “Smart phones, taxi apps and the sharing economy have disrupted many things in recent years and now it’s our turn to positively disrupt the housing market.

“Renting can and should be about making people’s lives easier, offering them value for money and long-term certainty enabling them to create a home. By taking a long term view, we can do this and offer the next government a vital additional source of finance.”

Nick Jopling, executive director for Property at Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord, said: “By supporting ‘build to rent’, the future British government can encourage companies like ourselves to help increase housing supply and improve standards of living in the rental market.”