skip to content

Centre for Digital Built Britain completed its five-year mission and closed its doors at the end of September 2022

This website remains as a legacy of the achievements of our five-year foundational journey towards a digital built Britain

Reinventing renting: The use of digital technology in housing for ‘generation rent’. ECR project by Kathryn Muir, Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research, University of Cambridge

Kathryn Muir, University of Cambridge (presented by Dr Gemma Burgess)
'Explore the use, uptake and barriers of digital technology in shared housing'


The private rented sector (PRS) has grown dramatically in recent years. The percentage of people aged 25 to 35 renting in the PRS increased from 27% in 2007 to 46% in 2017. A significant minority of this group are renting in shared houses. Within the private rented sector, digital technology is increasingly being used to facilitate greater access and convenience, efficiency in management and sense of community. As the availability of this technology increases, and intersects with other societal shifts such as nomadic working patterns and later family formation, it is likely that future generations are going to live together in dramatically different ways.  

This research project will investigate the use of digital technology in different models of rented accommodation for young professionals. Interviews will be carried out with housing providers offering new models of renting, including ‘build to rent’ properties and co-living’ projects, which aim to create communities for urban professionals. Interviews will also be carried out with technology providers and tenants who have experience with this technology, to understand how it works in practice. The research will focus on the ability of new technology to transform three key areas: access to propertiesmanagement of properties and lived experience.