Not everyone is in a position to look for a home to buy straight away, and there are a number of affordable rental options tailored to those who intend to get on the housing ladder in the next few years.
Intermediate rent offers you the opportunity to rent a brand new or refurbished home, or a home that is being re-let at less than the market rate. The rent is subsidised, normally at approximately 20% lower than what you would expect to pay for a similar home in a similar area if you were renting on the private market. As well as being more affordable, you have the assurance that your home is built, managed and let by a Registered housing Provider.
Intermediate rent is designed to give people a chance to use the saving made on the subsidised rent to save for a deposit to purchase a home within the next five years.
Intermediate rented homes are usually let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy basis with a 6 month contract period. You may have the opportunity to rent a home for longer than this initial contract period but this will depend on your landlord’s future plans for the home.
Rent to Save
With Rent to Save you have the opportunity to rent a newly built home on an Intermediate Rent basis. This allows you to rent a home at a rate which is subsidised at approximately 20% lower than you would expect to pay for a similar home on the open market. You can do this for up to five years with the option to buy the home through Shared Ownership when you are ready to buy in the longer term.
If you rent a home through Rent to Save, you can make an offer to buy the home on Shared Ownership terms when you can afford to; this can be done at anytime during the tenancy provided. When you decide to buy, your housing provider will assess what share of the property can be bought, based on an independent financial assessment of what you can afford. Terms and incentives may vary by development.
The key features of Rent to Save are:
- Let at up to 80% of the equivalent market rent for that property, with a fixed rate of inflation.
- The property would be let on an assured shorthold tenancy for a fixed term, up to five years, linked to (but not necessarily the same as) the required savings period. The period can be extended if you still want to buy but need a bit more time.
- The tenancy can be ended, subject to the terms of your tenancy agreement and initial fixed terms being spent, at any point.
- A savings plan will be put in place to help you raise a sufficient deposit to purchase on either Shared Ownership or equity loan terms within five years.
- The housing provider will discuss with you their regular reviews to check your progress in saving for a deposit.
You can purchase on Shared Ownership or equity loan terms at any point in the tenancy, subject to still being eligible.
Intermediate Rent and Rent to Save Eligibility
There are some general eligibility requirements that anyone wishing to become an Intermediate Rent or or Rent to Save tenant must meet. The general eligibility criteria is as follows:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- Outside of London your annual household income must be less than £80,000
- In London your annual household income must be less than £90,000
- You should generally be a first time buyer, i.e. you don’t already own a home. If you do already own, you must be in the process of selling it
- You should not be able to afford to buy a home suitable for your housing needs on the open market
- You must show you are not in mortgage or rent arrears
- You must be able to demonstrate that you have a good credit history (no bad debts or County Court Judgements) and can afford the regular payments and costs involved in buying a home
Please note: You should always check the eligibility required with the housing association renting the property, as they may have specific criteria.
London Living Rent
London Living Rent is, as the name may suggest, only available to those living in London.
London Living Rent homes are for middle-income households who now rent and are aiming to build up savings to eventually buy a home, either through Shared Ownership or outright purchase. Landlords are expected to encourage their tenants into home ownership within ten years.
The homes are offered on tenancies of a minimum of three years. Tenants will be given support to save and have the option to buy their home on a Shared Ownership basis during the period of their tenancy. They will also be given extra priority for other Shared Ownership homes across London.
London Living Rent eligibility
To be eligible for a London Living Rent home, you must:
- be renting in London
- have a maximum household income of £60,000
- be unable to currently buy a home (including through Shared Ownership) in your local area.