Are you facing financial difficulty and struggling to meet mortgage repayments? You’re not alone. According to The Money Charity, the average debt per household (including mortgages) sits at £56k. That equates to approximately £30k per person and is 113.6% of the average yearly salary in the United Kingdom.
Many people in the UK are taking on significant debt. The threat of home repossession is a very real prospect. Losing your home can significantly damage your credit rating and impact on your ability to borrow again in the future. Plus, there is often significant disruption to your family, children’s schooling, social circles and general lifestyle.
However, there is an alternative and immediate solution that you should be aware of called: Sell and Rent Back. This concept allows you to sell your property for cash, clear any debts and continue living in the property as a renter.
This guide will help you understand the concept of sell and rent back, why it can be a viable option and the advantages/ disadvantages of using this type of service.
Sell and Rent Back
What is it?
Sell and rent back is an attractive concept for people. It involves a transaction where a homeowner sells their property, although instead of moving out, they enter into a rental agreement.
Homeowners are therefore able to release quick equity from the property and reduce the monthly accommodation expenses, all while staying in the same home. Often the rent is much lower than the owner’s previous mortgage repayments, as it is in line with local rates. In rare cases, where the rent is higher than mortgage repayments, the tenants are often able to negotiate a lower rate with the new owner. Many people, especially established families, find the idea of staying in their existing home and paying rent, rather than a mortgage, highly appealing.
Sell and rent back is especially useful for homeowners who are struggling to meet mortgage repayments or are facing repossession. The seller will receive a lump sum for their property, albeit slightly below market value. The money can then be used to clear any outstanding debt and settle the balance of the mortgage.
Using a sell and rent back service has no additional costs, and many buyers will cover all legal, surveyor and administration costs which means the money you receive is yours to keep.
Is Sell and Rent Back Safe?
Historically, the sell and rent back concept was largely unregulated. Unethical companies operated and targeted financially challenged homeowners who were often in extreme distress. The homeowners typically entered into an agreement without the opportunity to consult legal advice. As a result, the chosen option may not have been the best for their circumstance.
To compound the issue, companies also convinced desperate homeowners of a guaranteed tenancy after the sale. This often resulted in short-term (6-12 month) rental agreements, strict eviction ‘trigger’ clauses and unsubstantiated rent increases. On some occasions, there was also a delay in paying the homeowner after a completed sale, due to firms holding funds for ‘repairs’ or ‘improvements’ to the property.
As a result of these unethical and unlawful practices, the Financial Services Authority conducted a major review of the sector in 2009. The investigation led to tighter industry regulations to protect homeowners.
Companies that engage in sell and rent back now owe a duty of care to the owner, which ensures a fair valuation of the property and security of tenancy after the sale. This ensures all homeowners are provided with a minimum five-year lease of the property.
Why Clients Choose to Sell and Rent Back
Stay in your home after the sale: There is no need to leave your home or cause undue disruption to your life. The transaction is completed quickly and easily without the stress of packing up and relocating. It is particularly enticing for families with young children, as they do not need to disrupt schooling and move communities.
Private and non-intrusive: The sell and rent back concept is useful if you don’t want questions raised about your financial status or personal arrangements. All transactions are completely private. Furthermore, the ability to keep living in your own home means no-one needs to know how close you came to having your home repossessed.
Long term tenancy agreement: Recent regulation passed by the FSA (Financial Services Authority) has helped to ensure homeowners are not disadvantaged by unethical firms and unfairly evicted after selling. As a result, a guaranteed long-term rental agreement of five years has been introduced. This helps sellers to ensure ongoing home security.
Debt Elimination: A sell and rent back option can provide you with immediate cash relief to clear any financial debt, including settling your mortgage. Homeowners receive a lump sum payment immediately after selling, which many use to pay off outstanding balances. Sell and Rent Back can be the perfect solution if you’re currently living week to week or those unsure of how they will meet their next mortgage repayment.
Stop Repossession: Repossession is the last resort taken by lenders to recover money. It can have a significant impact on your credit rating and your ability to borrow again in the future. If you’re facing repossession, engaging in the sell and rent back option can put an immediate stop to court proceedings and allow you to keep your home.
Your property is sold for less: One of the major drawbacks is that your property is sold for less than you would get on the open market. However, if you are in substantial debt and facing the prospect of repossession, time is crucial. A quick cash buyer can get you back on track- without you even having to leave the house!
You will no longer own the property: If you decide to proceed you will be able to stay in your home; however, you will no longer be a homeowner. It can make matters tough as owning a home is a dream for many. One of the positives is that any major structural repairs required will no longer be your problem. The new owner will take on this responsibility.
Rent may be altered after the initial tenure agreement: FSA regulation of the industry ensures that all companies offering a ‘Sell and Rent Back’ service must guarantee a fixed term rental agreement of five years. However, after that initial term, the firm is under no obligation to continue with the lease agreement. The original homeowner can, therefore, be legally evicted. It’s important to discuss your intentions and get all the facts before proceeding.
The possibility of eviction if the rental agreement is broken: While recent regulation ensures a fixed term rental agreement of five years, some ‘trigger’ clauses come into effect if the terms of an agreement have been violated. As an example, if you fall behind on rental payments.
Accelerate Homes: Our Commitment to Clients
Accelerate Homes (we buy any house company) partners with a select group of property buyers who abide by all regulations set by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Our partners ensure all customers who engage in their sell and rent back service receive fair valuations, transparent processes and an honest approach. They will advise you if we believe the sell and rent back service is not appropriate for your situation.
Our partner ensure:
- Fixed tenancy agreement for five years.
- All homeowners can afford our sell and rent back service.
- Ongoing entitlement to benefits checked. These can change as a result of your living arrangements.
- All clients receive a consumer key facts Illustration sheet that clearly outlines all risks associated.
- An independent valuation of your property from an RICS surveyor.
- A 14-day cooling off period.
Our partners are active members of The Property Ombudsmen, and operate according to a strict Industry Code of Practice set out by the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB).
Sell and Rent Back: Is it Right for me?
Sell and Rent Back can be an excellent alternative for homeowners that are facing financial difficulty and are under the threat of repossession. As every situation is different, we can connect you with the appropriate company who can help guide you in the right direction. They will only recommend a Sell and Rent Back service if they believe it is the best solution for you. Contact us here to get connected with a potential buyer.