You want to save for a home so you can stop renting, but because rent’s so expensive, it’s difficult to save for home...

🙃 Your landlord laughed when you asked for a rent reduction.

🏡 You can’t move back in with your parents.

🐻 And you definitely don't have the survival skills to go feral and live in the woods.

So what are you supposed to do? Pay someone else’s mortgage forever!? Let’s talk about the Rent to Buy scheme and how it could help you get a home.

👀 What is the Rent to Buy scheme?

With the Rent to Buy scheme, you can rent a home that’s around 20% cheaper than average rent in your area. This means you can put more money towards your home.

This photo was created with:
AMOUS™ ANALOG 01 for Adobe Lightroom.
Photo by Jarek Ceborski / Unsplash

🔧 How does the Rent to Buy scheme work?

You’ll apply to rent a home from a registered Rent to Buy landlord or housing association. Typically it’s a new build.

You can rent the property for an agreed short-term period that can be anything from 6 months up to 5 years. The idea is that the money you save from the 20% rent discount goes towards your deposit.

Usually, after 2 years, you’ll be given the option to buy the property you’re renting. But you have until the end of your agreed tenancy to save your deposit and make any decisions. Once your lease is up, you typically have 2 options:

1) Buy the property you’re renting or

2) Move out and buy somewhere else.

It’s rare for Rent to Buy landlords to extend your lease beyond 5 years, but if they do, they’ll likely put up the rent.

📝 Who’s eligible for the Rent to Buy scheme?

For now, the Rent to Buy scheme is only available to people in England (except London).

You’re eligible for the Rent to Buy scheme if:

  • You’re able to save for a home while you pay rent
  • You’re a first-time buyer
  • You are in full or part time employment
  • You have a total household income of £60,000 a year or less (but could be more in some areas)
  • You have a good credit history

The government website also says that you could be eligible for the Rent to Buy scheme if you owned a home with a previous partner, but after breaking up, can’t afford to buy a place on your own. The exact criteria can vary slightly depending on which housing association you rent with, so do some digging.

I thought our apartment was so cozy in this moment, I just had to capture it.
Photo by Roxanne Joncas / Unsplash

👍 Pros of the Rent to Buy scheme

  • 20% discount on rent 🔥
  • Try before you buy (handy for one of the biggest purchases of your life)
  • Your landlord has to give you first dibs on the property if you want to buy (no bidding wars!)
  • You can buy part of the home through shared ownership
  • Typically, you don’t have to buy the home you’re renting if you don’t want to

👎 Cons of the Rent to Buy scheme

  • It’s not available in all areas
  • Rent to Buy properties are in really high demand and can be hard to come by.
  • The criteria can be different by housing association/landlord — some aren’t as flexible as others
  • There’s pressure to save your full deposit before your lease is up. You might not be ready to buy your home at that time
  • If you want to buy the home you’re renting, it’ll be priced at the current market value, which could be higher than it was when you first started renting
  • You can only buy the home you’re renting if your landlord agrees — it’s not always guaranteed

💻 How do I apply for the Rent to Buy scheme?

You can search for a Rent to Buy home on these Help to Buy agent websites:

Photo by John Mark Arnold / Unsplash

🗺️ Are there other Rent to Buy schemes?

Yep, there are similar Rent to Buy schemes all over the UK. Some are official government schemes and others are products offered by private companies.

A few of these are:

(Links above are not official endorsements: we have no affiliations with any of these schemes or brands and we don’t give financial advice )

⚡️ Supercharge the Rent to Buy scheme with Nude

The Rent to Buy scheme helps you put more money towards your first home, and we created Nude to do the same.

With a Nude Lifetime ISA, you can boost the money you save through Rent to Buy by another 25%. You could get up to £1,000 from the UK government every tax year — that’s sure to help you reach that deposit goal before your lease ends 🔥

Remember, if you want to use your Lifetime ISA to buy your first home – through Rent to Buy or through a more traditional route...

  • The total purchase price of the home has to be £450,000 or less
  • It has to be bought with a mortgage (aka... not all cash)
  • It has to be for you to live in
  • It has to be in the UK
  • You have to buy it after you've had your Lifetime ISA open for 12 months

What’s more, you get a whole bunch of tools that are designed to help you buy your home sooner. We’re talking personalised money-saving ideas, monthly cash giveaways, a progress tracker for couples saving for a home together, a link that your friends and family can use to send you money and so much more.

Join 300,000+ first-time buyers who are using Nude to help them buy a home 🏠