What issues build-to-rent tackles in Australia today.

Build-to-rent projects prioritise renters’ liveability and enjoyment and are increasing in popularity because they offer a truly modern renting experience. 

This article forms part of our Build-to-Rent guide, which looks at the build-to-rent concept in Australia, the benefits for renters and where this development style is headed in future. Check out the full series today.

After decades in a largely unchanged private market, Australia’s build-to-rent sector is creating change and attempting to challenge key frustrations felt across the country.

Today’s build-to-rent developments hold several advantages over the inflexibility of the current market.  More security and choice than a conventional lease, met by access to services, hotel-like amenities and a community vibe are just the beginning.Here are a few ways that Australia’s growing build-to-rent market is quietly tackling some of our biggest property peeves:

Not only do BTR developments allow pets, they create facilities for them

What it’s tackling: Pet-friendly homes are difficult to find (and secure) in today’s private market, and pet ownership doesn’t always help your application strength.

Arguably, one of the biggest selling points and differentiating factors between build-to-rent and the normal private sector is how pet-friendly the former can be.

While a large proportion of landlords are hesitant or totally against allowing pets into their properties, build-to-rent developments are busy making ‘pet-friendly’ a key feature in a community where people are happy – with or without pets!

Build-to-rent lets you live, play and work under one roof

What it’s tackling: A growing work-from-home market and cost-saving with all amenities under one roof.

Build-to-rent communities tick off all the boxes, affording renters the work-play-live lifestyle they want.

In Australia, these buildings offer multiple amenities like gym facilities, coworking spaces, yoga rooms, relaxation areas, movie areas and communal dining spaces.

HOME Southbank in VIC is one such example. Along with providing 24-hour support, on-site maintenance and same-day service, their professionally-managed services free up your time so you can devote it to things that matter most.

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BTR developers are keen to accept longer leases because of a long-term ownership strategy

What it’s tackling: Issues with lease insecurity and a 12-month lease cycle.

This is a pretty huge win for renters in Australia when you compare it to the private market, where it’s normal to only rent a home for a year at a time.

When you consider you can avoid the dreaded 12-month leasing cycle that has you searching for a new home each year, build-to-rent makes a pretty enticing offer.

Encouragement to customise, tinker and personalise

What it’s tackling: Inflexibility around making your rental your home.

Build-to-rent agreements tend to feel more like home ownership than a standard rental contract. Many build-to-rent developments encourage renters to express themselves at home. Whether that’s through painting the walls or hanging their own pictures, long-term leases provide the opportunity to make your home your own.

Reduced costs from frequent moves

What it’s tackling: High moving costs from rental bonds, rent in advance and moving

Improving certainty and security for renters also has financial benefits. Build-to-rent leases can help reduce the costs that commonly come with the private market and frequent moves.

More than that, there’s also a good emotional benefit off the back of letting people put down roots and embrace their community.

Rental bonds aren’t part of the game for many build-to-rent developments, one less major cost to factor into your move. 

BTR developers have skin in the game and will ensure it’s professionally managed

What it’s tackling: Difficulties getting hold of your property manager/landlord for support and maintenance.

For renters, this means access to a far wider range of amenities than you’d get in a normal lease, like onsite building managers, concierge services and maintenance teams.

Some build-to-rent developments like LIV also provide fitness and recreational facilities, along with coworking spaces, a cinema room, parcel lockers and car wash bays.

In conclusion… 

Short-term, it’s unlikely that Australia’s private market will feel the impact of build-to-rent, simply because there isn’t enough of them to have a significant impact or make a dent in the traditional sector.

It will take years of continuous investment for build-to-rent property volume to challenge the traditional sector, but even in its early stages, i’s encouraging to see a small challenge to the established norm.


Rent.com.au is Australia's largest company dedicated to renters and is owned and operated by ASX-listed Rent.com.au Limited (RNT:ASX). For over 15 years, Rent.com.au has exclusively focused on making renters' lives easier by making it easier to find a property, secure it, move in and pay rent.