It’s time for a rental revolution

BTR properties are large, multi-unit residential developments typically owned by corporate investors and managed by specialist operators.

Build to Rent is a new type of ‘commercial living’ usually located in city centres within walking distance of key transport links. Tenants have the option to stay as long as they want in multi-unit, professionally managed, quality homes that offer a range of amenities and bespoke lifestyle options.

It is a paradigm shift – the tenant becomes the customer, and the rental is the service. Amenities like on-site maintenance staff, lounges, gyms, and lobby cafés are attractive drawcards.

Build to Rent is a sustainable approach to living, with a clear focus on achieving positive environmental outcomes. This is often reflected in sustainable approaches to construction as well as a focus on achieving high Homestar and Greenstar ratings. One way of reducing our emissions is to encourage high quality intensification of our housing supply. Build to Rent is typically located in or near towns, cities and key public transport routes.

Living in a Build to Rent development means living in a quality home where maintenance requests will be dealt with promptly, and where service and quality is of upmost importance.

Residents get high-quality, convenient living without the costs associated with buying; investors get stable rental revenues without the hassle of managing new leases every six months. Build to Rent offers residents long-term contractual certainty, so they can put down roots and be part of a community.

Build to Rent homes aim to make adulting easier.

Working together to solve our housing shortage


Over the last few decades, New Zealand’s population growth, the availability of land, building materials and skill shortages, and the current planning system has resulted in housing supply not meeting demand.


We need to expand the choice and availability of rental housing to meet the needs of New Zealand’s growing population and the increasing proportion of New Zealanders who rent.

The focus should be on increasing housing supply through various typologies within existing or new communities to reduce price pressures and working towards the creation of a vibrant build-to-rent housing sector.

Build-to-Rent housing has been proven internationally as a successful option that improves the resident’s experience. It is purpose-built rental housing, offering longer-term tenure and professional lease management.

To achieve this, we call on the Government to work with the sector to define what constitutes ‘Build-to-Rent’ for New Zealand and make the necessary legislative amendments to reduce impediments for potential Build-to-Rent investors. Aligning the tax treatment of the Build-to-Rent sector with similar large-scale commercial property investment assets will help to encourage investment. Ideally, all this could be achieved by the creation of a new asset class similar to that enjoyed by the retirement village and student accommodation sectors.

  1. Good quality, professionally managed long-term housing for New Zealanders who rent.
  2. An increase in the supply of affordable rental housing.

Further reading

Previous articles
Previous submissions
Related links


For further information or to get involved with the Build-to-Rent working group, contact:

Denise Lee | Advocacy Consultant |