Seven Principles of the BTR Code of Practice

Seven Principles of BTR Code of Practice

In the UK’s ever-evolving property landscape, Build-to-Rent (BTR) developments have emerged as a significant trend in urban and suburban housing strategies. Unlike traditional Buy-to-Let schemes, BTR developments are purpose-built rental properties managed by professional firms, offering tenants long-term housing solutions with premium services. As the BTR sector expands, a standardised approach to managing these properties becomes essential. The Association of Rental Living (ARL) aims to define standards and enhance the operational quality of BTR developments across the UK with their latest Code of Practice.

At InStyle Direct, we specialise in providing bespoke furnishing and interior design solutions tailored for the BTR sector. With nearly 20 years of experience, we have collaborated with London’s leading developers and investors on numerous successful projects. We welcome the new Code of Practice introduced by ARL and its seven guiding principles, which will be tested, implemented, and refined by the end of 2024. Here’s an overview of these transformative principles and how they align with our services:

1. Embed professional standards across all stakeholders

This principle focuses on fostering a ‘safety-first’ culture that prioritises customer loyalty. It underscores the importance of health, safety, and security, directing property management teams to maintain an accessible and responsive approach. At InStyle Direct, we support this by ensuring our teams are always accessible and responsive. As an active member of ARL, we advocate for their recognised qualifications and continuous professional development programs for our employees, ensuring high technical competencies in all tasks.

2. Adhere to high-quality standards in the design of homes

Ensuring high-quality BTR homes is central to this principle, prioritising safety, security, health, and well-being of residents. At InStyle Direct, we align with these standards by offering adaptable, and durable furnishing solutions that enhance operational efficiency and reduce embodied carbon through effective and well monitored sourcing strategy.

3. Actively respond to the climate crisis with responsible environmental policies

This principle acknowledges the importance of environmental stewardship and demands a clear, structured and published approach to decarbonisation and minimal use of natural resources. The goal is to benchmark and improve sustainability and environmental standards within the BTR sector, promoting a healthier planet. The rationale behind this principle is to spread awareness about new and emerging policies and provide clarity to suppliers and contractors about their responsibilities. At InStyle Direct we integrate sustainability into our services by promoting recycling and upcycling of excess stock units and utilising eco-friendly materials and practices, ensuring our furnishing solutions contribute to a healthier planet.

4. Adopt fair, flexible and responsible terms

Fairness and flexibility are the hallmarks of this principle, which calls for variable tenancy term lengths, tenant-only break clauses, and a transparent approach to fees and rent increases. It emphasises responsible revenue generation that prioritises long-term stewardship over short-term financial gains, ensuring fair and consistent treatment of all customers. At InStyle Direct, we fully support this ideology. We prioritise long-term relationships over short-term gains, consistently going above and beyond to ensure our clients and their tenants receive fair, top quality and consistent treatment.

5. Cultivate community as core to BTR

Building vibrant, inclusive communities is central to the BTR ethos. This principle involves engaging with local communities to ensure that developments are relevant and beneficial in the long term. It supports economic and social opportunities, aiding local businesses and fostering a sense of belonging among residents through targeted engagement programs. At InStyle Direct, we understand the crucial role of community needs in BTR establishments. Our people-first approach means our sales and design team dedicates significant time to researching local communities and their needs. This allows us to tailor our services to best serve our clients and their tenants, ensuring our offerings are relevant, add great value to their lives, and are beneficial in the long term.

6. Adopt a responsible, transparent culture and robust corporate governance

This principle focuses on the importance of robust governance and accountability structures, including performance reviews at the Board level and the adoption of ISO Standards. It aims to foster a transparent, ethical culture that supports continuous improvement and effective risk management.

7. Promote the adoption of this Code

Finally, signatories are encouraged to advocate and educate others about the standards outlined in the Code, integrating these principles into their corporate values and practices. This cooperative effort seeks to elevate the overall quality and perception of the BTR sector.

The new Code of Practice is more than a set of guidelines. It is a tool that will enable the BTR sector to engage more effectively with governments and policymakers. By showcasing the high standards and culture of BTR, it aims to enhance the living conditions of tenants and contribute positively to the broader housing market in the UK. As these principles are embraced and implemented, the future of BTR looks promising, setting a benchmark for quality, sustainability, and community-focused living in the urban landscape.

At InStyle Direct, we’re committed to improving the Build-to-Rent experience with our top-quality furnishing and interior design solutions. Whether you’re a developer creating beautiful, functional spaces or a property manager focused on happy tenants, our expert team is here to help.

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