London must at least double its rate of housebuilding if it is to adequately house its growing population. Failure to do so is not just a social issue: it poses a threat to the capital’s economic competitiveness. There are a complicated set of factors which makes increasing housing supply in London challenging, but it is clear that new ways of working with all those who build homes in London is required. One of these ways is to construct high-quality, purpose built homes for private rent that are professionally managed – commonly referred to as ‘build to rent’.
This report provides an overview of why build to rent is relevant to London and the many housing challenges the city faces, the benefits that such development can bring such as helping to increasing housing supply, and an explanation of key issues that boroughs will need to consid-er when thinking about build to rent schemes in their areas.
London is becoming a city of renters. In 2016, approximately 28 per cent of all households in London lived in the private rented sector. By 2025, this figure is projected to rise to just under 40 per cent and to overtake owner occupation as the most common form of housing in London for the first time since the 1960s. The vast majority of homes in the private rented sector are owned by small scale, amateur landlords. Many of these landlords provide an excellent service, but this is not a universal picture with too many tenants dissatisfied with their experience. Effective property management and security of tenure are therefore variable for too many Londoners.