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Graham Awards


Landlords told to 'up their game' to compete with Build To Rent

A furniture firm which supplies to some Build To Rent operators has told buy to let landlords to up their game - and to make their homes more ‘Instagrammable’. 

Hatch Interiors works with developers including Taylor Wimpey, Hill, Bellway and the Berkeley Group to create show homes and to dress Build To Rent properties. 

Hatch’s head of Build To Rent - Jodie Wardell - says: “How can landlords compete in this shifting market? We think the answer is by making rental properties as welcoming and inviting and importantly, Instagrammable as possible.” 


A survey by the firm shows that 82.6 per cent of tenants currently rent from a landlord, but 40.8 per cent of those - apparently - want to move into a BTR development.

Some 59.8 per cent of renters expect their place to be furnished “to some degree” although 88.4 per cent of those wishing to move into a BTR scheme don’t want a “cookie cutter home”, expecting developments to use different design schemes throughout.

Some 50 per cent of renters want kitchenware included, whilst 54.7 per cent expect cleaning equipment to be provided, and 41.9 per cent want the property to be well decorated. 

Those wishing to move into BTR developments demand a sense of community with 42 per cent wanting a wellness facility like a gym or yoga studio, and 31.4 per cent wanting a communal working space.

Wardell says: “The growth of the BTR industry in the UK is exponential. A huge group of people - 40.8 per cent - say that if they were to rent, it would be in a professionally managed BTR development and this is a number we expect to steadily grow over time. The figure is even higher for families at 43.9 per cent.” 

She goes on: “ Consumers expect more, renters expect more. We have become a demanding society that votes with its feet. BTR has raised the bar and landlords need to keep up if they want to compete. 

“Modern renters want more than mismatched furniture and a landlord who takes weeks to get things fixed. They want, and expect beautiful homes and great service. Whatever side of the rental market an operator is on, they want to maximise their income. 

“That means properties being filled with minimal void periods, people who can afford the rent, and residents staying longer-term. Using our insight, we design schemes that make empty properties feel like home and create impactful spaces that people are proud to live in. 

“Hatch Interiors are experts in the market, we know what tenants want, and we help landlords and property developers to get the return on investment they want.”

The questionnaire found that 44 per cent of respondents regularly or frequently use their homes to WFH, with 82.8 per cent viewing them as “a sanctuary” and 74.1 per cent using them for family time.

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  • George Dawes

    What a pile of condescending drivel

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    What people think they may theoretically like and what they are willing and able to pay for aren't necessarily the same thing.

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    Another day another survey this time trying to sell letting inferior furniture to more Landlords which is all I have seen from those type of Suppliers.
    We won’t loose any sleep about this opposition with their Sky high blocks of Flats only (mostly) even though its not a level playing with their favourite Gov’ cronies.
    They are treated as a business and everything tax deductible, no S24 for them, no double Stamp Duty Land Tax for them as they won’t be selling, so
    much rub of the green for them. Their Rents are much higher than ours maybe we should be increasing our Rents because of the inferior competition multi stories up some even 50, people doing real work don’t need gyms when would they have the time. We have private individual properties for most part many with private gardens not communal or have they got any. Why am I even replying to this nonsense article from a B2R / B2L furniture supplier where have they been suddenly now the experts telling us what we should be doing, still wet behind the ears.

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    Wow, I'm just looking at some build to rents in London. I can see why these are appealing to young people in comparison to the limited stock of flats and houses, most of which are dated and poorly maintained. Young people do like communal living and all the lifestyle perks that go with it. With a housing shortage we need high rises and this sort of modern housing, so bring on more build to rent. And I do agree private landlords need to up their game if they want to appeal to younger people.

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    Just an advert isn't it with figures picked out of the sky

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    Sounds like they want fully serviced accommodation! Not even BTR are going to supply kitchenware!

    Biggest problem with all this is whilst it may all be perfect for the first tenant, by tenant number 3 things are missing, broken or trashed!

    If you want nice, new, matching items - buy them yourself!

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    Brian Hardbound, you sound as though you are selling these overpriced matchboxes in the sky !

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    I can't see the BTR being competition. It is a completely different market with much higher rents. I can see it appealing to some people, but also other people will hate it or can't afford it. I don't think small landlords have anything to worry about from BTR, they have far bigger issues to worry about!


    I agree, BTL isn't a worry to me


    I agree. Very high demand locally for the type of properties I have, so quite happy to see BTR, makes mine look very good value for money!! I had 2 nicely furnished shared houses with kitchen equipment etc provided, and professional tenants who broke everything and could wreck a new frying pan with one use, so not missing that game at all.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    I can't believe Landlord Today is publicising this blatant advertisement, masquerading as an article ( how much did they pay Landlord Today ? )

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    The article looks like a marketing pitch but an important point sits behind this. There is enough turnover in the renting market today to pull in large companies who can exploit economies of scale. The corner shops of the 1970's were high priced, poor service and had limited stock. Then the supermarkets moved in and things changed. Corner shops went out of business but then came back as chains owned by the big players. It is about upping the game because the supply demand imbalance will not last indefinitely.

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    Echis R, you seemed to have missed the point, BTR accomodation is expensive. It's going to lead to another sub prime crisis.

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    Edwin Morris, sub prime happens when income on the debt fails to cover the debt repayments. If renters opt to pay more for better service and accommodation, that is market economics. That might look like a sub prime crisis for some but it is not. Lenders have become more careful these days, hopefully.

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    In my experience the majority of younger people want to pay as little rent as possible, and keep their money for car, mobile phone, going out, holidays etc etc. There may be a market for this in London and a few other cities and that's fine. I don't think it will offer much competition for the majority of landlords.

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    Echis R
    You are very naive. It's exactly the same principle as the sub prime crisis. The banks and financial institutions are playing pump and dump, with these grotty flats. Do some research.


    Edwin, the sub prime crisis was what it says. Sub prime debt was taken on and then passed to third parties. That is much more difficult now and large lending organisations will not get exposed the same way now. If you are an over leveraged borrower, it is your problem, not theirs.
    This is about market competition. If large BTR players move in, they are the competition. They will raise the game because, like supermarkets, they have the advantages of scale. The supply demand imbalance at the moment is so much in favour of landlords that they cannot lose, no matter how badly they manage their properties. It will not stay this way and that is down to market forces. This is about upping the game (and accepting that the article was sales hype).

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    Simply marketing spin, as another has said…. I am surprised that Landlord Today published this, they are no competition, in the same way that “ Sandals” exclusive holidays are not in competition to the charter holidays to Ibiza !

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    Wow, Brian I disagree I have always given them good quality furniture & fittings but now the younger generation likes modern look so I give them IKEA. However a change in taxation letting allowance means most Landlords are now letting unfurnished (bad for standards) so I am surprised you found enough to survey & that goes for many B2R as well.
    Sorry did you say what Developer you work for, is your name really Hardboard no offence.


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