The UKAA is calling on experts from the Build to Rent sector to provide funding and content to build the UK’s first Best Practice Guide – a major piece of work to drive standards in the sector.
The aim of the Best Practice Guide is to harness the practical knowledge gained in the development and operation of Build to Rent schemes over the past few years. It will update the forward-looking guidance contained in the ULI Design Guide and compliment the CREFC Guide to Financing Principles. The guide will also include BTR 101 – an introduction aimed at those looking to understand the sector.
Companies committed to supporting the initiative include TLJ Control, Hoare Lea and Packaged Living – with more in the pipeline.
To be delivered online, the interactive guide will cover a wide range of topics – from funding through to development, construction and design, to mobilisation and operation. However, content will be prioritised based on three golden threads:
- Risk to the success of the scheme: what questions have to be answered to enable a Build to Rent scheme to be funded, developed or operated successfully – this will range from underwriting principles to building safety.
- Customer experience: how does this topic affect the customer experience?
- Sustainability/ESG: what impact does this content have on sustainability from the perspective of key stakeholders – the customer, investor, operator and community – the whole Best Practice Guide project will also aim to be carbon neutral itself – guided by Tim Stephen of Community Utilities, who is the sustainability champion on the steering committee.
“This is a vital step for the UK’s rapidly expanding Build to Rent industry. Sharing best practice and showing what good looks like in our sector will reduce risk for investors, make life easier for developers and operators, and tap into the expertise of those supplying products and services. Ours is still a new product in the UK and the guide will help us collectively address common issues and inform discussions with stakeholders in government, the media and elsewhere about the benefits of Build to Rent.
“We’re asking UKAA members to help fund the guide so we are all part of this important project. If all our nearly 300 members contribute as little as £500, we will raise the funds we need. However, we recognise that not all members have the same resources so we’re asking larger members to contribute more, in line with the benefits they can derive and our smaller members to invest what they can in their future and that of the sector.”Lesley Roberts, UKAA President and Partner, Build To Rent at Allsop
Project teams are currently looking at the different aspects of the three golden threads, which include Single Family Rental, Measuring Customer Service, Building Safety and Discounted Market Rent. With over 30 volunteers, more are needed.
“The editorial and project team are ready to go, and our web design partner is starting the discovery process. Now we need our members and friends to commit the funds to develop the platform and their knowledge and curiosity to deliver the guide. Together we can make a real difference to the future of Build to Rent.”Andrea Smith, UKAA Best Practice Guide Project Manager