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Can anyone apply for Rent to Buy?

Rent to Buy is available to the following:

• First-time buyers
• Applicants returning to the market due to exceptional circumstances, such as a relationship breakdown, which means that they can’t afford to buy a home on the open market.

Applicants must be ‘working households’ and intend to buy their own home in the future at time of letting. Note: You must be UK resident to apply.

What checks will be required to support my application?

All applicants will be required to complete an application and be assessed to ensure that they are suitable for the scheme and that they cannot currently afford to buy outright on the open market. Applicants will be subject to affordability, Right to Rent, Credit References and Landlords checks.

What will I need to pay upfront?

You will be required to first signup on our platform - We have both free and paid access options.

After approving your property for Rent to Buy, Your Getting Started Money (GSM) is all will be needed at move-in.

What is a Service Charge?

A service charge is the payment collected to cover any external or internal communal costs, such as gardening, external/internal lighting, pavement/road repairs.

Should a service charge be payable for your property, you will be provided with a breakdown of the works included in the costs. Your rent will be calculated to ensure that the rent including any service charge does not exceed 80 percent of the open market rent.

You will need to pay the service charge while you are our customer. The service charge will also be payable once you purchase your home on either a freehold or shared ownership basis and we will provide you with an up-to- date schedule at that time.

Are there any other costs associated with Rent to Buy

If you choose to purchase your home, you will be liable for the following costs:

• Solicitors fees, including disbursements
• Stamp Duty (if applicable)
• Mortgage arrangement fees

If buying on a Shared Ownership basis, you will be liable for:

• Shared Ownership rent
• Shared Ownership Management Fee and Buildings Insurance

If you decide to end your tenancy and move out of your home, you will be liable for:

• Removal costs
• Any costs for damage or repairs, which will be deducted from your security deposit
• Any rent or service charge arrears, which will need to be cleared before the end of your tenancy.

What would the ongoing costs be?

In addition to your rent payments, you will also be responsible for all utilities costs associated with the property from the day you move in. Meter readings will be taken at the handover meeting to allow for you to set up accounts in your name. You will also be responsible for Council Tax and any telephone, Wi-Fi and TV subscriptions.

What Tenancy Agreement will I be entering in to?

An Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) will be granted, which will run on a periodic basis, for a maximum period of five years. The agreement will be fixed for the first six months.

Can anyone else live at the property?

Only applicants approved for Rent to Buy and included in the application can live in the property. Sub-letting is not permitted within the terms of the tenancy agreement. You must notify us of any change to the household details during the tenancy period.

Can I carry out work to the property and decorate?

If you would like to carry out decorating or works to the property, you will also need to notify us beforehand in writing. We would, however, request that due to the properties if newly built and settling, you refrain from hanging wallpaper and decorating the walls as this may affect the defects period stipulated by the Builder and may cause issues when the end of defects inspections are carried out.

Can I keep pets at the property?

Under the terms of your tenancy agreement, you will need to seek our permission if you wish to keep pets at the property. Please notify us at the time of application, to allow for your request to be considered and for our consent to be granted in writing.

Who maintains the property?

As your landlord, RTB365 is responsible for maintaining the property under the terms of the tenancy agreement. When you move into your home, you will be provided with a handover pack, which will include instructions on how to report a repair or property defect to us.

You also have your own responsibilities within the tenancy agreement to keep the property in good order. RTB365 will not be held responsible for costs relating to damage caused to the property by customers or visitors. These costs will be deducted from the security deposit at the end of the five- year term, or sooner should you vacate the property during the five year term.

Who do I contact if I need any other assistance during my tenancy?

Once you move into your home, you’ll be provided with a handover pack which should provide all the information you require. You’ll also be given access to set up a ‘My Account’ profile.

My Account allows you to check your personal information, your rent statements and also report repairs. You can also request help and information and report any anti-social behaviour issues through our website.

You’ll also be given information about your Local Housing Officer, who’ll also be able to provide help and advice when required.

What will happen if I choose to buy my home at the end of the five(5) year term?

Firstly, a valuation by a RICS Chartered Surveyor will be required. RTB365 will arrange for the valuation to be undertaken on your behalf and you will be responsible for the cost. The valuation will confirm the current open market valuation of the property. We will check to ensure that this isn’t less than the initial value detailed within your Option Agreement and that we’re able to sell the property to you.

If you live in a house, you will be able to buy the freehold of the property. If your home is an apartment, the property will be sold on a leasehold basis and a lease will be granted.

Should you proceed to buy your home, we will require an Agreement in Principal (AIP) from your mortgage lender, confirming that you’re able to secure a mortgage.

Can I buy my home before the end of the five-year term?

Yes, you can purchase your home outright even before the end of the five-year term.

What happens if I can't buy my home at the end of the five year period?

If you decide not to purchase the property or are unable to purchase the property due to your current circumstances, notice will be served to end the tenancy agreement, under the terms of the Option Agreement.

During the five year period, we will contact you on an annual basis to review your financial status and check that Rent to Buy is still suitable for your needs.

If you’re unable to buy your home, you’ll need to inform us six months before the end of the five-year term, to allow you adequate time to secure alternative housing, before the end of the tenancy term.

Can I leave the property before the end of the five-year term?

You will be unable to end your tenancy agreement within the first six months. After this time, you will need to contact us and complete a Tenancy Termination Form, giving no less than one month’s notice to end your tenancy.

We will then arrange for the required end of tenancy inspections to be carried out. You must ensure that the property is returned to us in the same condition as when you moved in and that your rent account is not in arrears.

If your circumstances change and you’re no longer able to fulfil the Rent to Buy agreement, we would strongly advise that you contact us at the earliest opportunity.

Can I transfer to another property?

Once you move into your Rent to Buy home, you won’t be able to carry out a mutual exchange to another property.

What happens if I want to sell my home in the future?

If you have purchased your home on a Freehold basis, without any ongoing service charge payments to ourselves, then you can sell your home at any time on the open market without contacting us.

If you own your home outright with an ongoing service charge, you’ll need to let us know when you are selling. This is because your purchaser will need to enter into an agreement with us to continue to pay the service charge and their solicitor will require a Leasehold Pack from us.

There is a standard administration fee charge for the pack to be provided, which will be confirmed at the time.

If you own the property on a shared ownership basis and wish to sell your share, then you will need to contact a member of our Asset Sales Team, prior to placing your home on the market for sale.

A member of the team will provide you with the required information and guidance on how to sell your share and will confirm the fees payable as outlined within your lease.