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Investors need to ‘up their game’ – tenant demand shifts to BTR

Hatch Interiors, a UK specialist in furniture collections, bespoke interior design and build-to-rent (BTR) schemes, has carried out a 1,000-strong UK-wide survey to provide an insight into the minds of tenants.

It says landlords and investors need to ‘up their game’ as modern renters expect beautiful homes and great service.

A push for modern living


“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,” says Jodie Wardell, head of BTR at Hatch Interiors.

The survey by the Essex-based interiors business showed that 82.6% of renters currently rent from a landlord, but 40.8% of those want to move into a build-to-rent development.

Some 59.8% of renters expect their place to be furnished “to some degree” although 88.4% of those wishing to move into a build-to-rent scheme don’t want a “cookie-cutter home”, expecting developments to use different design schemes throughout, with 37.9% being likely or highly likely to pick somewhere that is professionally designed.

And 50% of renters want kitchenware included, whilst 54.7% expect cleaning equipment to be provided, and 41.9% want the property to be well decorated. A further 38% of those surveyed want a concierge on hand, and 68.4% want outdoor space.

Those wishing to move into build-to-rent developments demand a sense of community with 42% wanting a wellness facility like a gym or yoga studio, 31.4% wanting a communal working space, 31.3% wanting a socialising space, and 33.7% saying that having facilities to spend time with neighbours is appealing or very appealing.

Build-to-rent growth accelerates

Wardell says the growth of the build-to-rent industry in the UK is 'exponential'. "A huge group of people - 40.8% - say that if they were to rent, it would be in a professionally managed build-to-rent development and this is a number we expect to steadily grow over time," she comments. "The figure is even higher for families at 43.9%. Meanwhile, 82.6% currently rent from a landlord, so it seems that these renters may be looking to jump ship if something better comes along. How we use our homes is changing, as we know.”

“Digital nomads can work from anywhere, for one thing. After the heights of the pandemic, when we were all desperate for a sliver of outdoor space to call our own, 69.9% now say that if they had a communal space, they want some of it to be outdoors. In our view, the developers offering outdoor communal spaces and individual balconies are on the right track, as are landlords whose properties come with gardens.”

The survey of 1,000 people, aged 18-64, across the UK also revealed that of those who are keen to move into build-to-rent, 32.5% want it to be “move-in ready” and 37.9% want somewhere that is professionally designed, with these numbers increasing to 41.2% and 39.7% respectively for urban renters living in cities.

“Consumers expect more, renters expect more,” Wardell continues. “We have become a demanding society that votes with its feet. Build-to-rent 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 ROI they want.”

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

An aesthetically pleasing home

Based on the findings, Hatch Interiors say that renters value the aesthetics of their homes, with an overwhelming 70.4% of all respondents saying that the overall interior design of their home is important or very important. A total of 29.7% of all renters interviewed say they agree or strongly agree that they want their place professionally designed by an interior designer. And 28.6% of all renters surveyed say they’re willing to pay more rent for higher quality furniture - and that jumps to 36.9% for the most socially active within this group.

The Hatch Interiors bespoke design team has worked on high-end residential interior design and refurbishment projects across London and the South East, as well as working with top developers such as Taylor Wimpey, Hill, Bellway and the Berkeley Group to create stylish show homes. Thanks to this success, Hatch Interiors now occupies a 51,000 sq ft warehouse in Harlow, Essex near to the M25. 

Investors need to ‘up their game’ – tenant demand shifts to BTR

Hatch Interiors has over 20 years industry experience and has the extensive ability to create luxurious, unique interiors to meet your exact specification. Its team of in-house designers are dedicated to creating bespoke interiors to meet your individual brief whilst skilled joiners and upholsterers create exclusive furniture to further enhance your scheme.

Wardell concludes: “Our award-winning interior design team works collaboratively with private clients and leading commercial developers to create impactful spaces that people are proud to live in. Our thinking goes much deeper than the visual appearance of the project, we propose practical solutions to bring our clients’ ideas and dreams to life. From initial ideas to a beautiful, contemporary finish, our designers help to transform your space.”

“Furniture collections are curated by our design team, and a convenient, cost-effective way to fully furnish a property. To be truly move-in ready, our turnkey solution gives tenants and homeowners everything, down to details like bath towels, hand soap, kettle, cookware, wall art, and cutlery.”


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