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British Property Federation in three-year build-to-rent tenancy pledge

Some of the country’s leading property investors and developers have pledged to offer family friendly tenancies on their build-to-rent schemes.

The British Property Federation (BPF) has offered its pledge to the Government that the industry will offer three-year tenancies, with 20 of the sector’s most active investors and developers signing the pledge.

In the Housing White Paper, Gavin Barwell MP asked the Build-to-Rent sector – 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 said it and a cohort of the Build-to-Rent’s “key players” have responded and published this 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 will: “Ensure that family-friendly tenancies of three or more years are available for those tenants that want them on schemes that benefit from our changes. We are working with the British Property Federation...to consolidate this approach across the sector.”

In return, The BPF has pledged: “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.”

Ian Fletcher, the BPF’s director of real estate policy, said: “The Build-to-Rent sector welcomes Government’s multi-tenure ambitions for the housing market, as outlined in the recent Housing White Paper, and this 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.”

Housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell said: “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.

“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.”

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