Rent to buy mortgage

Rent to Buy is a government scheme to help clients move from renting to buying a new home by providing subsidised rent.

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Rent to Buy Housing Scheme

The Rent to Buy Housing Scheme could be the key to making your property ownership dream a reality. This is your guide to understanding this scheme, complete with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to address your queries.

What is the Rent to Buy Scheme?

The Rent to Buy scheme is designed to help you take the first step towards homeownership. It allows you to rent a brand-new home at a discounted rate, giving you the chance to save for a future purchase. Here’s how it works:

  • You rent a property at a reduced rent, often around 20% below the market rate.
  • During this period, you can save for a deposit, improve your credit, and get your finances in order.
  • You have the first option to buy the property at current market value at the time of buying it.
  • If your landlord decides to sell whilst you are the tenant, they must give you the option first.

How the scheme works

  • You find a property to rent that is in the scheme and apply for it.
  • Your initial tenancy agreement will be for up to 2 years.
    • If you need more time to save for a deposit, an extension might be agreed.
    • The maximum tenancy is normally 5 years.
  • If you do not pay your rent on time and follow the terms of your tenancy agreement, you may not be allowed to stay in the scheme.
  • You can buy the home as soon as you have enough deposit.

Mortgage application process

4 simple steps for applying for a mortgage. See more about the mortgage application process here

Complete our
pre-qualify form

Let us know a few details about the mortgage you require

A mortgage specialist will call

One of our brokers will call and get a few more details of your requirements

We search for your perfect mortgage

We will search the market for the best rates for your circumstances

A Decision in Principle is made

We will secure a DIP with a lender, if you approve we move forward with a full application.

How to apply

  • If you live in England (excluding London), you can search for organisations that have Rent to Buy homes using the shared ownership scheme service.
  • Properties in London are covered by a separate scheme called London Living Rent.
  • Some local councils and housing associations advertise Rent to Buy homes.

Scheme availability based on location


To be eligible for Rent to Buy, you must be:

  • In full or part time employment
  • A first-time buyer
  • Able to pay your rent and save for a deposit at the same time

You may also be eligible for Rent to Buy if you are returning to home ownership following a relationship breakdown.

A landlord may check your income and credit history to decide if you’re eligible.

Whatever your mortgage goal, there will be something for you​

goal to save money

We're on a mission to save you money on your mortgage

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We specialise in helping people find a mortgage and remortgage.

We require your details only once and we’ll know the best lenders for your circumstance and give you the best rates.

What should I do next?

There are many ways to contact us

Enquire online – our simple online form takes just a few minutes.

Give us a Call – our qualified advisers will assess what you are looking and do all the hard work for you searching the market – 0800 197 0504.

Ask for a callback – havent got time now? Ask us to call you back and a time / day convenient to yourself. Call me back.

LiveChat – message us here and tell us what you are looking for our agents are on hand to help.

FAQ for first time buyers

The scheme is open to first-time buyers, existing shared ownership homeowners, full or part time employees. Also, options following a relationship breakdown.

You can search for Rent to Buy properties on various property websites, through housing associations, or local authorities. Keep an eye out for “Rent to Buy” or “Affordable Rent” listings.

Yes, most schemes allow you to personalise your rented home as long as you seek permission from your landlord, typically the housing association or developer.

Always check with you landlord before you make any changes to the property.

If you decide not to buy the property after the rental period, you can simply move out when your tenancy ends. There is no obligation to purchase.

Yes, most people use a mortgage to finance their purchase. You can seek mortgage advice from various lenders or a mortgage broker to find the best option that suits your financial situation.

There are some key differences

  • Rent could be set at a third of the average for the area
  • There is usually a 3 year minimum tenancy
  • Shared ownership home take priority

You may be able to buy the home you’re renting through the shared ownership scheme if:

  • Your landlord agrees
  • You’ve saved enough deposit to buy a share
  • You can get a mortgage
  • You meet the shared ownership eligibility requirements
  • Check with your landlord whether buying the home you’re renting through shared ownership is an option.

Below are some of the lenders we work with