ARL calls for BTR organisations to road test new Code of Practice

The Association for Rental Living (ARL) is calling on Build to Rent organisations to road test the new Build to Rent Code of Practice.

London buildings | BTR News

The ARL – formerly known as the UK Apartment Association (UKAA) – has recently introduced principles for a new Build to Rent Code of Practice that will be tested by the sector to refine its implementation.

ARL members and wider stakeholder groups asked the organisation in late 2022 to develop a Code of Practice for the sector on their behalf, which would define the standards to which urban and suburban, single and multifamily Build to Rent operates, setting the sector apart from the Buy to Let/Private Rented Sector (PRS), and communicate the culture of Build to Rent.

Since then and following extensive engagement and consultation with ARL members and stakeholders across the sector, the ARL has identified seven principles of a new Code of Practice. They are now calling for engagement across the Build to Rent sector to test how these principles will be applied, implemented and measured. The road test will run until the end of 2024 with the final version Code of Practice published in March 2025.

The principles of the Code of Practice are intended for all Build to Rent stakeholders, whatever their role in investment, development, operation and supply, with supporters committing to: 

  1. Embed professional standards across all stakeholders.  
  2. Adherence to high quality standard specification and design of homes and places. 
  3. Actively respond to the climate crisis with responsible environmental policies and practices.  
  4. Adopt fair, flexible, and responsible terms which promote lasting relationships. 
  5. Cultivate community as core to Build to Rent. 
  6. Adopt a responsible, transparent culture and robust corporate governance. 
  7. Promote adoption of this Code. 

The rationale behind the principles will now be tested across the sector to enable organisations to confirm how they will apply these principles. During this period specific supporting documents such as a customer charter and processes for dispute resolution will be confirmed. 

Throughout the process learnings, changing circumstances such as renter reform legislation and practical enforcement methods will be considered to establish the final Build to Rent Code of Practice, which will ultimately lead to the creation of a Build to Rent consumer kitemark in the future. 

“In response to demand from our members and the wider Build to Rent sector, the ARL has delivered a series of proposed principles designed to communicate a clear definition of Build to Rent and the standards to which the sector operates in terms of quality of accommodation, customer service, response to resident issues, communication, and resident wellbeing as well as clear and fair terms of tenancy. We now call for sector engagement on the practical application of these proposed principles.”

Brendan Geraghty, CEO, ARL 

A key reason that ARL members asked for a Code of Practice was to enable the sector to further engage with government, policy makers and local authorities to demonstrate the standards and culture of Build to Rent. 

The ARL will also engage with these audiences to better communicate Build to Rent as a part of the wider PRS and to ensure that such a Code is recognised by government and sets a meaningful set of standards that demonstrate quality, consumer fairness and strong governance.