ARL calls on BTR sector to road test new Code of Practice

The Association for Rental Living (ARL) – formerly known as the UKAA (UK Apartment Association) – has today introduced principles for a new Build to Rent Code of Practice that will be road tested by the sector to refine their implementation.


As the representative body for the institutionally backed, purpose-built rental living sector including Build to Rent (BTR), ARL members and wider stakeholder groups asked the organisation in late 2022 to develop a Code of Practice for the sector on their behalf which would define the standards to which urban and suburban, single and multi-family BTR operates, setting the sector apart from the Buy to Let/Private Rented Sector (PRS), and communicate the culture of BTR.


Since then and following extensive engagement and consultation with ARL members and stakeholders across the entire BTR sector, the ARL has identified seven principles of a new Code of Practice which communicate the culture of BTR. 


The ARL is now calling for engagement across the BTR sector to road test how these principles will be applied, implemented, and measured.

“In response to demand from our members and the wider BTR sector, the ARL has delivered a series of proposed principles designed to communicate a clear definition of BTR and the standards to which the sector operates in terms of quality of accommodation, customer service, response to resident issues, communication, and resident wellbeing as well as clear and fair terms of tenancy. We now call for sector engagement on the practical application of these proposed principles.”

 Brendan Geraghty, CEO, ARL 


The principles of the Build to Rent Code of Practice are intended for all BTR stakeholders, whatever their role in investment, development, operation, and supply, with supporters of this Code committing to: 


  1. Embed professional standards across all stakeholders. 
  2. Adherence to high quality standard specification and design of homes and places.
  3. Actively respond to the climate crisis with responsible environmental policies and practices. 
  4. Adopt fair, flexible, and responsible terms which promote lasting relationships.
  5. Cultivate community as core to BTR.
  6. Adopt a responsible, transparent culture and robust corporate governance.
  7. Promote adoption of this Code.


The rationale behind the principles will now be tested across the BTR sector to enable organisations to confirm how they will apply these principles.  During this period specific supporting documents such as a customer charter and processes for dispute resolution will be confirmed. 


Throughout the process learnings, changing circumstances such as renter reform legislation, and practical enforcement methods will be taken into account to establish the final BTR Code of Practice which will ultimately lead to the creation of a BTR consumer kitemark in the future.


To take part in this road test on behalf of the BTR sector, visit to register and receive the documents.


Wider stakeholder engagement


A key reason that ARL members asked for a Code of Practice was to enable the sector to further engage with government, policy makers and local authorities to demonstrate the standards and culture of BTR. 


The ARL will also be engaging with these audiences to better communicate BTR as a part of the wider PRS and to ensure that such a Code is recognised by government set a meaningful set of standards that demonstrate quality, consumer fairness and strong governance.


The road test will run until the end of 2024. The final version of the BTR Code of Practice will be published in March 2025.


Important Dates:
Start 2 April

End 13 Dec 2024

Report back  – quarterly

Final version – Q1 2025


For more information, please visit