Highest-ever design ratings for Build to Rent

HomeViews reports the highest-ever design ratings for Build to Rent - due to its modern feel and quality fixtures.

Vertus' 8 Water Street apartment living area with interior design by AGC BTR. The scheme was rated the best Build to Rent development in London for Design on HomeViews | BTR News
Vertus' 8 Water Street apartment living area with interior design by AGC BTR. The scheme was rated the best Build to Rent development in London for Design on HomeViews.

Residents rated the design of their Build to Rent developments the highest ever in 2021, and outshone ratings given by BTS tenants for their developments. The HomeViews 2022 National Build to Rent Report is based on reviews from 64% of completed Build to Rent developments in the UK – giving the most in-depth insight into the resident experience for this growing sector.

By Hannah Marsh, Co-Founder, HomeViews

Launched in February 2019, HomeViews has since published over 38,000 reviews from over 2,300 apartment and housing developments across the UK. We aims to provide valuable, insightful and trustworthy content from verified resident reviews.

The HomeViews 2022 National Build to Rent Report revealed that an overwhelming 88% of residents gave their Build to Rent development a Design rating of four or five out of five, and only 3% gave it a one or two out of five.  

The comprehensive annual study on the Build to Rent resident experience also looked in more detail at the developers and developments achieving the top ratings for Design – and found out more about the design features of these buildings.

Top-rated for Design

The report showed that seven of the Top 10 Build to Rent developments for Design ratings were designed specifically for Build to Rent, while two were repurposed PRS and the final building was an office-to-resi conversion. Half of the Top 10 highest-rated developments for Design were tall buildings, with 21% of residents mentioning the view from their home.

Most reviewers for the top-rated developments talked specifically about the design of their homes, with 39% describing their flat or development as ‘modern’ or ‘new’. Communal areas were a firm favourite, being referenced in 14% of reviews. ‘Quality’ and ‘furniture’ were referenced in 15% and 17% of reviews respectively and balconies in 15%.

Top-rated developments for Design

Top rated Build to Rent developments and operators for Design | BTR News

8 Water Street by Vertus was rated the best Build to Rent development in London for Design, with an average Design score of 4.92 out of five. It was also the highest-rated development overall for London in the HomeViews 2021 Build to Rent Awards.

Interiors and communal spaces at 8 Water Street were designed by AGC BTR – the interiors specialists set up by Accouter Group of Companies for the premium Build to Rent market. Working closely with Vertus, they put together a more considered and sophisticated scheme for residents, with a calming neutral palette and high-quality fixtures and furnishings. They also extended this feeling of tranquility to the outside spaces.

“Design: Sublime…the interior architects and interior design team did a phenomenal job. From the moment the reception doors open, you can tell that no detail was spared. The common elements (entry, hallways, snug, dining, etc.) are incredibly inviting…modern bones with warm woods throughout…The finishes make it feel as if we’re staying in a five-star hotel.”

Todd Steward, Verified Resident on HomeViews, 8 Water Street by Vertus (No. 1 in the Top 10 New Build Homes in Canary Wharf), Nov 2020

In contrast, reviews for the worst rated Build to Rent developments for Design predominantly focused on poor-quality fixtures and fittings, which residents said were not built to last.  

“It all looks great and very modern hotel feel but it’s not fit for purpose/not built to last. It’s form over function – eg bathroom plumbing not ideal if there’s a problem, whole flooring needs to be taken up – looks great but so many things done cheaply to cut corners then need replacing frustratingly.”

Verified Resident on HomeViews, September 2021