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Rent to Buy

Rent-to-Buy

Rent to buy is a rent first, buy later scheme which allows you to rent a home at a reduced rent, allowing you to save a deposit to buy your home later. 

You can rent a home from us for 80% of the market rent for five years.  This gives you the opportunity to save the 20% you are not spending on rent towards your mortgage deposit. At the end of the five years you will then be in a strong position to purchase your home outright and take your first step on the property ladder

Note: All Homes England funded schemes have a 5 year rental period

Stage 1 - Check you are eligible

To be eligible for rent to buy you must meet the following criteria:

Rent to Buy Criteria

  • Aged over 18 years old and have a bank, post office or building society account
  • Be a first time buyer or returning to the market following a relationship breakdown
  • Have an income of less than £80,000 per annum
  • Be working at the time of letting (at least one applicant where there is a joint tenancy)
  • Have insufficient funds/deposit to purchase a home on the open market
  • Able to afford the rent to buy property without hardship or access to housing benefit 
  • Have no outstanding credit issues (i.e. unsatisfied defaults or county court judgements)
  • Have the ‘right to rent’ according to government standard guidelines

Stage 2 - Apply for rent to buy

If you meet the criteria you must complete an application form which will be submitted to our Housing Team.  If your application is successful we will notify you of this and request:

  • Proof of household income
  • Copy of your credit score
  • Proof of ID

This information allows us to assess the likelihood of you being able to afford the rent and secure a mortgage in the future.

 

Rent to buy FAQ's

How long do I have to rent the property?

Our rent-to-buy properties are let over a five-year period. You will be given a 12 month tenancy  which will be renewed annually until you have lived in the property for the five year period. 

How much will the rent be?

Before your home is advertised we will value it using a qualified charted surveyor and determine the market rental value. A discount of 20% will then be applied, which will be your weekly rental figure. Your rent will be reviewed annually and may be subject to an annual increase dependent on the rental market. But will always be below market rates during the rental period.

How do I save the deposit to buy the home?

Saving to buy your new home will be up to you. We recommend you seek independent financial advice to decide on the best savings account available or get advice online from independent companies such as The Money Advice service  

Can I move out before the five year period?

You will be given a fixed term tenancy that will be reviewed annually. You can, at the point of renewal decide not to renew however rent-to-buy properties are let with the view that you will remain in your home for five years. If your circumstances change during your rental period you can request to end your tenancy and we will consider this on a case by case basis. 

 

Do I have to buy the home at the end of the five years?

There is no obligation to purchase your home at the end of the five-year rental period. However if you decide not to purchase your home Livin have the right to sell or rent to someone else meaning you may not be able to stay in the property. 

Can I sublet my property?

You are not permitted to sublet your property, however, you are able to take in lodgers subject to gaining written consent form Livin. 

Can I decorate my home?

Yes you are able to make your house your home by decorating it, however you are not permitted to paint or change the exterior of your property. 

Can I make alterations to my home?

It is detailed in your tenancy agreement to what extent you can alter your property but you are able to do this subject to written consent from Livin. 

Who is responsible for repairs?

 We will be responsible for all repairs and maintenance including an annual gas service of your boiler while you pay rent on the property.  After you purchase the property all repair obligations pass to you.

 

Can I stay in my home after the five-year period even if I don’t buy it?

If you are unable to purchase your home at the end of the five year period but would like to remain in your home you will need to make a request to do this. This will be considered but, it is not guaranteed and we reserve the right to rent or sell your home to someone else. 

I rent a home from you at the moment, can I use the rent to buy scheme on my current home?

Only certain homes are identified as rent to buy.  Homes currently available can be viewed at livin.co.uk/findahome.

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