Delivered 654 Units | Advising on 3,000 Units | 1600 Managed Units

Build to Rent (BTR) projects are playing an increasingly important role in the Scottish housing market and are attracting significant interest from investors and developers. At Rettie, we are at the heart of the Scottish residential development and rental market. We have the information, understanding, contacts and expertise to make BTR work north of the border. We are the team that will help you reach your project goals.

We know that the efficient operation of a BTR scheme requires a clear understanding of the factors that differentiate such projects from other residential housing developments. We believe that a determined focus on an enhanced resident experience is the key to success.

Our team provides key research, development, design, marketing, management, monitoring and exit strategy services. In this way, we help our BTR clients build flourishing and profitable rental communities that deliver long-term sustainable returns.


Rettie & Co’s BTR team is built around the resources of Scotland’s largest private sector property research team, led by Dr. John Boyle, who has over 15 years of experience as a property economist. The Research Team provides thorough and bespoke analysis, based on reliable and up-to-date information.

We believe that perceptive, detailed and reliable analysis, at the local, regional and national levels, has never been more important. For our BTR clients, we undertake research on a wide range of issues, for example, we carry out in-depth analysis on the characteristics of potential tenants; we undertake wide-ranging studies on key trends in the rental housing sector; and we deliver detailed analysis on the market trends in specific locations.

Our researchers provide the very best market intelligence and work across a broad range of projects nationally. Their considerable experience ensures that our clients get an unrivalled insight into the drivers of the Scottish BTR market alongside the focused, project- and location-specific information they need for success.

Recent BTR publications from our Research team:

Case Studies


“Rettie & Co’s deep multi-layered understanding of Scotland’s housing market has been vital in supporting this deal. The firm’s market leading position, strategic thinking and its understanding of the legislative and political context was vital in supporting such a major milestone for Moda Living and for Edinburgh’s property market. We look forward to working with the team in the years ahead.”

Tony Brooks

Managing Director of Moda Living

“We are very pleased to secure Rettie and Co to achieve the successful marketing of such a prime development site.  Their expertise is this sector is well-recognised and we are confident of a positive outcome for the site that will see bring forward future development.”

Pauline Mills

Land and Planning Director for Taylor Wimpey East Scotland

“Since partnering with Rettie & Co. in mid-2016, Pinnacle Places has been nothing less than impressed with the way they have conducted the day-to-day management of the Greenlaw Park site in Newton Mearns.  Led by Portfolio Manager Katrina Westhead, under the supervision of Letting Manager Grace Reilly, Rettie has been both attentive and conscientious to tenants’ needs and to Pinnacle Group’s business needs as a whole. We very much look forward to a continued and productive working relationship in the future.”

Nick Marston

Property Manager, Pinnacle Places

“We are delighted with the outcome of this initiative. Rettie & Co brought us the investment proposal, backed by detailed analysis and research. Their team has delivered on the project on time and on budget. The exceptional demand for the homes that have been built underpins the viability of this type of collaborative development, which is delivering precisely the long-term yields our institutional investors are looking to achieve, as well as developing the available site at Western Harbour to the benefit of the local community.”

Stuart Paterson

Chief Financial Officer at Forth Ports


At Rettie & Co we are often asked to give our advice and to write on the latest developments in the BTR sector. In this section you’ll find the latest articles and comments about this dynamic and fast moving field. Check back often to keep up to date with developments.

‘New dawn’ for Scottish private renters

Major changes to the law have come into effect for Scotland’s 760,000 private renters.

The private residential tenancy rules will bring an end to fixed-term rentals, meaning leases will effectively be open-ended.

Edinburgh to get new £215m build-to-rent ‘village’

Edinburgh’s city centre is to benefit from a £215 million development that will deliver more than 500 new homes for rent in the Fountainbridge area, as well as the purchase of nearly 50 existing private rented homes.

Rettie builds up private rented team with senior hire

Property specialist Rettie & Co has hired industry veteran Hazel Sharp Webb to head up its private rented sector (PRS) and build-to-rent (BTR) team. The move comes after the Edinburgh-based firm advised on Scotland’s largest-ever BTR deal – a £215 million development in the city’s Fountainbridge area that will see joint venture partners Moda Living and Apache Capital deliver more than 500 new homes.

‘Build to rent’ could plug housing shortfall

Build-to-rent (BTR), or institutional investment in the private rented sector (PRS), is now emerging as a major new way of providing housing across the UK. This type of housing is common across Europe and the US where, by way of example, around 25 million people live in the BTR sector.

Rental sector built on solid foundations

The build to rent, often referred to as BTR, has grown at an incredible rate in recent years – to the extent that industry commentators now agree it will come to be seen as one of the single largest defining factors of the Scottish housing market in the 21st century.


We’re very approachable and would love to speak with you. Feel free to call, send us an email, Tweet us or simply complete the enquiry form.

0131 220 4160

Edinburgh Head Office
Office 0131 220 4160

Edinburgh Lettings & Management
0131 622 4160

Glasgow Lettings & Management
0141 248 4160

Site Acquisition

Granular market knowledge.

Our forensic knowledge of the Scottish market means that we can pin-point sites that will make successful BTR projects.

Our services include:

  • Site sourcing / acquisition.
  • Land values.
  • Granular market knowledge.

We have the expertise and market knowledge to identify and secure sites appropriate for BTR product.

Contact Patrycja Wroblewska: 0131 624 4084 patrycja.wroblewska@rettie.co.uk


Advanced modelling, funding support and due diligence

Our team has a successful track record in structured finance in the Scottish market, with over 654 BTR units developed on behalf of clients. They can give you advice on the various different financing options available.

There are a wide range of funding mechanisms that can be used for Build to Rent projects. Major banks, equity investors, insurance funds and real estate asset managers are all becoming involved in the financing of this rapidly growing sector.

  • Winner of Saltire Award for Financial Innovation.

Our track record and credibility means we have contacts and working relationships with many of the key players, and will use these links to help you lay down a firm financial foundation for your BTR project.

Contact Matthew Benson: 0131 624 9031 matthew.benson@rettie.co.uk


Due diligence to ensure project viability

Our in-depth knowledge of the Scottish development and rental and investment markets means that we can provide accurate and vital input for the viability assessment and due diligence phases of your BTR project.

We’ll ensure that your due diligence process is well-informed, comprehensive and robust. We’ll also be able to test your project performance assumptions and highlight the best consumers to target for your site.

Our services include:

  • Rental, yield and return analysis.
  • Rental growth and tenancy duration forecasting.
  • Forecasting operating budget, lifecycle costs and gross-to-net leakage.
  • Detailed socio-demographic analysis of target consumers.
  • Analysis of competing supply pipeline both in traditional and purpose built BTR.

Our consultancy advice will allow for an effective and dynamic product mix and pricing strategy to be established to maximise initial and longer term returns, for example maximising initial take-up rates.

Contact Dr. John Boyle: 0131 624 4073 john.boyle@rettie.co.uk

Design & Layout

Maximising the appeal of your development

Thanks to our long-term involvement in the Scottish rental sector, we know exactly what the nation’s renters want and importantly, how this is rapidly changing in this evolving market. We can therefore provide clear guidance throughout the design phase of any BtR project.

Our advice goes far beyond issues of layout, unit mix or parking allocations. It will ensure that your scheme embodies the lifestyle of your target consumer. It will maximise the appeal of your development to potential renters, stimulating demand and aiding customer retention.

Our services include:

  • Development of the design brief with a clear focus on the end-user.
  • Advice on the specification of the amenities the project should offer (eg. games rooms, gyms, co-working spaces etc).

We can also provide invaluable design advice to ensure that your development can be operated efficiently. This will minimise lifecycle costs and ensure the highest level of customer experience for your residents, ultimately driving higher returns. This input can be as simple as advice on the most appropriate floor coverings or as complex as providing whole-life costs for different central heating options.

Contact Nick Watson: 0131 624 9042 nick.watson@rettie.co.uk

Lease Up

Maximising the uptake of your scheme

We are one of the most trusted names in Scotland in terms of property letting and have proven expertise in the branding and marketing of some of the country’s most high-profile rental developments. This means that you can trust us to maximise the initial take up of your BtR project.

Our services include:

  • Brand development and marketing.
  • Dynamic pricing to maximise initial revenue.
  • Applicant vetting, referencing and tenant selection.
  • Strategic marketing to target suitable residents.
  • Ongoing demographic profiling and reporting.
  • Ongoing competitor bench marking.
  • RICS accredited and regulated.

We will aim to generate a significant wait list prior to the completion of your development. This will allow applicants to be prequalified. Detailed vetting and referencing can then be carried out and insurance-backed rental guarantee policies can be put in place, where appropriate.

Contact Karen Turner: 0131 624 9065 karen.turner@rettie.co.uk


Building a satisfied rental community

At Rettie & Co we are known for our exceptional property management service and attention to detail. Our BTR property management services go far beyond that provided by traditional letting agencies. We work to build an engaged and satisfied resident community using technology, by managing shared amenity space and through reputational risk management.

Our services include:

  • Holistic management of individual units, amenity space and communal parts.
  • Recruitment, training and management of on-site staff.
  • Resident satisfaction measurement and reporting.
  • Reputational risk management.
  • Health and Safety compliance management.
  • Detailed revenue accounting and credit control.
  • Provision of bespoke management reporting.
  • 24/7 Emergency management.

We believe that monitoring is key, as the only way to know if your scheme is truly delivering, in terms of customer service and building your brand, is to continually measure and report on customer satisfaction.

Contact Karen Turner: 0131 624 9065 karen.turner@rettie.co.uk

Asset Optimisation

Maximising project profitability

Across Scotland, our landlord clients trust us to deliver long-term returns and profitability. Drawing on this successful track record, our BtR team provides a range of services that will optimise the profitability and sustainability of your investments.

Our services include:

  • Insurance management.
  • Cyclical maintenance planning.
  • Capital investment forecasting.
  • Modelling and reporting of lifecycle costs.

Contact Karen Turner: 0131 624 9065 karen.turner@rettie.co.uk


Ensuring a smooth and profitable exit strategy

Our Development team has built up a strong track record of sale/acquisition for UK institutional and overseas clients including TH Real Estate, Moda/Apache, Artisan, Telereal Trillium and Clearbell. With long experience and a regular presence in London, combined with a large and experienced Research Team, we have the proven ability to deliver.

Our services include:

  • Market assessment.
  • Viability assessment and scenario modelling.
  • Private client access.
  • Yield analysis.
  • Sale/acquisition.

Contact Patrycja Wroblewska: 0131 624 4084 patrycja.wroblewska@rettie.co.uk

Andrew Meehan

Associate Director

Andrew re-joined the Rettie & Co Research Team at the start of 2015 having originally worked as a researcher for the company from 2005 to 2010. In the intervening period Andrew has spent time in Australia working on web based projects and having returned to the UK working for house builder CALA Homes as their in-house market researcher.

Andrew has an MA (Hons) from Edinburgh University and an MSc in Surveying from Reading University and works across the research, land & development and marketing teams.

0131 624 9051

Becky Lindsay

Chief Operating Officer

As the Rettie Chief Operating Officer, Becky is responsible for the Marketing, IT and Human Resource departments as well as Compliance matters for the organisation, acting as the company’s Complaints Officer, MLRO and Health & Safety representative. She joined the company in 2004 and worked for seven years in the Development Team, latterly as the Director of New Homes, before taking up the full time operations role. Her experience working within the sales side of the business has provided Becky with in depth understanding of the Rettie goal to deliver excellence in all aspects of service to our customers and clients. This insight has provided her with the ability to ensure the operational aspect of the business is aligned with our commercial objectives. Prior to joining Rettie, Becky had nine years’ experience working in retail, the majority of which were with IKEA UK, working in both the stores and for the UK Store Build Team.

0131 624 4060

Grace Reilly

Lettings Branch Manager – Glasgow

Grace joined our Glasgow Lettings team in September 2013 following our acquisition of the Ryden Lettings Portfolio. Grace has been working in the lettings industry since 2000 and brings with her a wealth of industry knowledge and experience. Grace has passed the ARLA technical award and also the APIP inventory qualification.

0141 223 7887

Hazel Sharp MRICS MCIM

Head of PRS & BTR Services

Hazel is a chartered surveyor and business professional with over 10 years executive business management and UK-wide residential investment management experience.

Hazel is actively involved in a number of voluntary committees and forums:
- SPF Residential Investment and Management Committee chair
- SPF Policy Board member
- RICS (Scotland) PRS Forum member
- PRS (Scotland)Working Party member and Tenancy and Regulation Sub-Group chair
- ULI UK Residential Council
- Link Group Board member and Development Sub-Committee member

Key achievements include:
- establishing Allsop Letting and Management’s Scottish (Glasgow-based) operation
back in 2008
- developing Allsop Letting and Management's build to rent consultancy and capability
- engaging in the first ULI UK study tour of US multi-family operations (Boston and Washington)
- co-authoring the management chapter of the 2nd edition of the ULI UK's Best Practice
Guide for the Build to Rent sector
- playing a pivotal role in representing the private rented sector in numerous
consultations and lobbying with Scottish Government
- building and nurturing an extensive network of PRS contacts and experts across the
UK mainland

Rettie and Co are delighted to have Hazel working alongside and advising our PRS and build-to-rent teams.

0141 223 7883

Jamie Macfarlane

Associate - Consultancy and Structured Finance

Jamie returned to Edinburgh in 2016 to join the Development Services team at Rettie & Co following three years in London working in real estate development finance following his RICS accredited MSc in Real Estate Management & Development from Heriot-Watt University.

During this period with an international investment firm Jamie worked in acquisitions and asset management covering the residential, hospitality, care and student accommodation sectors throughout the UK and abroad.

Prior to working in real estate finance Jamie worked in construction throughout Scotland and London.

0131 202 0055

Dr John Boyle

Director – Research & Strategy

John joined Rettie & Co from DTZ, where he was employed as a Senior Economist and Associate Director. He led DTZ's work with the Scottish Government and its residential research in Scotland and the north of England. He is also the socioeconomic adviser on a number of major developments across Scotland for a range of public and private sector clients. John leads the Rettie & Co research team, providing a cutting edge research and consultancy function that informs clients on sales, lettings, investment and development opportunities and their viability, as well as providing analysis of where property markets are at and likely to be going.

0131 624 4073

Karen Turner

Director of Lettings

With over 25 years of experience in the Scottish and Edinburgh property market, Karen has retained a real passion for every aspect of her role, from ensuring that each individual client receives the first-class service they deserve to the fizz of excitement when finding just the right property for a client. Karen have extensive knowledge and experience in the Scottish and Edinburgh property market, working with private individual and investors. Karen is a former board member of a Scottish Law Practice.

0131 624 9065

Katrina Westhead

Lettings Portfolio Manager – Glasgow

Katrina previously worked at ARIM (Allsop Residential Investment Management), one of the private sectors' largest management companies, for 11 years and passed her NFOPP. Katrina also worked in the accounts department for 3 years and looking after block management.

0141 248 4160

Kenneth Reid

Development Services Associate

Kenneth joined Rettie & Co in 2016 as a Graduate, adding to the expanding Development Services Team. Kenneth holds an MA in Business Management from the University of Edinburgh and brings three years of previous sales experience within the Residential Property Market to the role. Kenneth completed an MSc in Real Estate Investment & Finance at Heriot-Watt University in August 2016, graduating with distinction.

Matthew Benson

Director – Development Services

Matthew graduated from Oxford University and began his career with Morgan Stanley, working in international finance in London. Matthew then established his own consultancy business focused on the structuring and planning of high quality residential and leisure projects before joining Rettie & Co in 1998 where he has overseen the expansion in Land and Development, New Homes and Research teams.

More recently, he has been working closely with the Scottish Government and regeneration agencies south of the border to look at new ways of stimulating house building and delivering mixed tenure affordable housing in this low grant environment. Matthew developed much of the thinking behind the National Housing Trust initiative and has been developing parallel private sector led initiatives.

Matthew is also Chair of Ectopharma Ltd; and on the board of Springfield Homes, the Edinburgh Arts Festival, and Project Scotland the volunteering charity, as well as being a member of the Advisory Board of Kleinwort Benson Private Bank.

0131 624 9031

Nick Watson

Director – Structured Finance & Consultancy

A Director of the firm, Nick heads up the New Homes Sales Department as well as managing the Structured Finance and Development Consultancy teams. A core role over the last 5 years has been managing the successful delivery of 654 build-to-rent units in Scotland. Nick originally joined the Lettings department of Rettie & Co in 1998 before transferring to the Land and New Homes Department in 2000. He qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 2003.

0131 624 9042

Ros Mills

Lettings Portfolio Manager – Edinburgh

Ros joined Rettie & Co in 2005, and since then has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience of the lettings industry through the various roles she has undertaken. These have included Lease Administrator, Letting Agent, Business Development and Lettings Department Manager. After taking some time off on maternity leave, Ros returned to work in summer 2014, and has since taken on a new challenge as Portfolio Manager, dealing with all aspects of the letting and management of a large portfolio of properties. Prior to this Ros was an events manager for a national charity and graduated from Aberdeen University in 2002 with an MA (Hons) in Sociology.

0131 624 9066

Sharon Ross

Lettings Portfolio Manager – Edinburgh

Sharon has worked in New Build mixed tenure (Mid-Market Rent, Shared Ownership, Shared Equity) and New Build sales as well as launching and managing some large Mid-Market Rent Developments for an RSL in Edinburgh. Previously Sharon lived and worked in Singapore for Agents and Developers, returning to the UK in 2012. Before going abroad, Sharon worked with two large Developers in New Build Sales.

0131 624 4160

Shirley Courtenay

Lettings Portfolio Administrator – Edinburgh

Shirley is responsible for the administration of Rettie & Co portfolios in Edinburgh. Shirley joined Rettie & Co in 2007 and brought with her a vast knowledge of the client services field having worked in a credit control position previously and as a Customer Liaison Manager for an internet design company.

0131 624 4068

Simon Rettie RICS

Managing Director

Simon began his property career in 1985 when he joined Strutt & Parker and qualified as a chartered surveyor. In 1989 he formed Edinburgh & Glasgow Investment Company Ltd where he was Managing Director until 2003. During this period Simon was also a Director of Residential Estate Agents Limited (REAL). Simon is a fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and also a Trustee of the Scottish Civic Trust.

0131 624 9047

© Rettie 2017