A NSW Government website

Build-to-rent housing

Build-to-rent housing is large-scale, purpose-built rental housing that is held in single ownership and professionally managed. Build-to-rent housing can provide more rental housing choice in areas where people want to live.

The introduction of build-to-rent housing into the NSW planning system in February 2021 supports changes to the taxation settings for this development type that were introduced in July 2020. The build-to-rent housing provisions were transferred to the Housing SEPP when it was made in November 2021.

On 14 December 2023, the NSW Government implemented minor changes to bring the B3 Commercial Core/E2 Commercial Centre zone in line with all other zones where BTR housing is permitted. This change allows the subdivision of the non-tenanted component of a build-to-rent (BTR) housing building in the B3/E2 zone. These settings also now apply to the SP5 – Metropolitan Centre zone.

The build-to-rent housing provisions:

  • allow development to be used as build-to-rent housing anywhere that residential flat buildings or shop-top housing are permitted, as well as in E2 Commercial Centres, MU1 Mixed Use, B3 Commercial Core, B4 Mixed Use, B8 Metropolitan Centre and SP5 Metropolitan Centre zones
  • include minimum car parking rates and apply councils' maximum car parking rates where relevant
  • apply council height and floor space ratio standards
  • prevent residential subdivision for 15 years in all zones, except the E2 and SP5 zones where build-to-rent housing development can never be subdivided into separate lots
  • require active uses at street level in business zones for any part of a build-to-rent housing development that faces a road
  • support the flexible application of the Apartment Design Guide, encouraging consideration of the amenity provided by common spaces and shared facilities
  • include a state-significant development pathway for build-to-rent housing developments that have a capital investment value of more than $50 million for the Greater Sydney region (except in the City of Sydney) and more than $30 million for development on other land.

NSW Treasury has released build-to-rent guidelines setting out the eligibility criteria that need to be met to qualify for tax concessions.

Guidance on flexible design

Build-to-rent developers tend to focus on shared facilities and services and more communal space than build-to-sell. Tenants may also enjoy the security of a longer-term lease and convenience of on-site management.

The build-to-rent housing and flexible design fact sheet (PDF, 129 KB) provides information on the criteria and guidance for design and assessment of build-to-rent residential apartments. It also explains when consent authorities may support flexible design.

For more information, email [email protected] or phone 02 8289 6700.