Billions of pounds pouring into U.K.’s new hotel-style rental market, as first build to rent scheme wins RIBA award

A report published today by estate agents Knight Frank will say that £70bn of institutional funding is to be invested in the U.K.’s build to rent market.

Essential Living was the first company set up to deliver hotel-style apartments for rent in London, and it won a coveted architectural prize last month for its first completed scheme in Archway, north London.

Build to rent has been heralded for offering American-style rented housing, giving fed-up renters a choice outside of buy-to-let landlords.

Investment is expected to climb from £25bn in 2016 to £70bn by 2022, according to Knight Frank. The model is well established in North America, where it is known for multifamily housing.

Essential Living, the UK’s first company to create homes designed specifically for renters, is delivering 5,000 multifamily style housing here in the UK. This means offering a wealth of spaces around an apartment complex for renters to use, which will make people happy enough to stay for years.

The company has just launched its second development, Dressage Court in Bethnal Green, east London. In additional to 104 fully-sized apartments, the building has a range of communal areas free for all residents to hang out, including a New York High Line-style roof terrace with great views of the City.

An onsite residents team is there to make customers’ lives easier, whether it’s to mount a TV or collect an Amazon parcel. Best of all, furniture, Internet and contents insurance all available from when you move in and utilities are covered in a simple monthly payment to help with budgeting. And there are no agency fees or service charges.

Essential Living launched its first development Vantage Point in September last year. Sitting directly above Archway tube station, the building’s two-storey penthouse social space boasts amazing views right across the capital. Whether you’re a yoga fan or hold regular dinner parties, everyone in the building will have access to duplex lounge and dining space that would be worth over £7m if sold off.

Darryl Flay, chief executive at Essential Living, said:

“Our ambition is to make renting aspirational one providing professional service, onsite management and a range of lounges and workspaces than enable renters to think of the whole building as their home. This is only possible because we develop and design our buildings specifically for renters, and have no plans to sell any of the apartments.”