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Mr lex

Thinking of selling your house and renting it back, BE VERY AWARE !! Can the goverment help you ?? Updated 22.09.2015

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Sale-and-rent-back

 

If you are facing repossession, there's no doubt you will be exploring every possible avenue to avoid it. You may have run out of options by the time you are approached with an offer to not only buy your home but then rent it back to you. But is this really the helpful solution it appears to be? Quite possibly not according to the Office of Fair Trading which has launched an investigation into 16 firms operating these schemes. But how do they work?

 

Sale-and-rent-back agreements allow homeowners to sell their property at a discount price to a company, which will then rent it back to them. The property will be bought for around 60% or 70% of its market value, with the sale-and-rent-back company usually covering all fees and costs and then rented back at market value. Their big selling point is that home owners can use the cash to pay off their mortgage and debts and remain in the home they love. Some companies even offer the opportunity to buy the house back at market value at a later date.

No one seems to know how many sale-and-rent-back firms are currently operating but some estimates put the number at more than 1,000.

 

The sell

 

These firms know just what buttons to press. Often, they promote the fact that they can wrap the whole thing up within a week - ideal if you are at the end of your tether and have nowhere else to turn. They also promote discretion, saying that neighbours won't know you have lost your home and your children can continue to attend the same school.

They may say that you will only get 85% of your property's value if you sell it on the open market. But as they are paying for the survey on your home, there is an incentive for the house to be undervalued, giving them a chance to offer you less money. It's important to remember that the way they make money is by paying as little as they can for your property.

 

The drawbacks

 

Well for starters you lose out on the value of your home by selling it cheaply. For example, if your home is worth £150,000 and you accept 60% of its value then you are losing a massive £60,000. Then by renting it back you are also paying the new owner's mortgage for them. Much more scary is the small print which could see you evicted after six or 12 months as some of these firms make short term tenancy part of the agreement but may not make this clear. Many of these firms sell their properties on to other people such as buy-to-let landlords. If the new owner decides to sell or finds they cannot keep up mortgage payments themselves then you will be at risk of losing your home again.

 

As a relatively new market, there is more than the fair share of people trying to make a quick buck operating alongside those who want to do things properly and preserve a reputation for longer-term business. But there is no way of telling which of these you are dealing with. Bear in mind that it takes no time at all to get a website and advertising campaign together. These companies are currently unregulated (more on this below) and offer no security in terms of tenancy or rent levels.

Adam Sampson of housing charity Shelter said some pay homeowners only half the market value. He said others did not honour promises that former homeowners could stay in their property as a tenant for life: "People are being ripped off. We are seeing people who are getting only 50% or 60% of the value of their homes instead of the 70% to 90% they should be getting. Many of the promises that are made that people can stay in their homes for the rest of their lives are not being honoured.

 

The investigation

 

In October last year the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) recommended that the sale-and-rent-back sector needs statutory regulation with better protection for consumers. The OFT's report says that:

  • Some consumers enter into sale and rent back transactions when it might not the best option for them
  • Some sale-and-rent-back firms may mislead customers as to the value of their property or the security they have as tenants. This includes telling people they will be able to stay in their home for years, when in reality the tenancy may only be guaranteed for six to 12 months
  • There are examples of firms imposing substantial rent increases or even evicting tenants after a short tenancy period. It is also possible that tenants may lose their homes if the landlord defaults on the mortgage, and
  • Some consumers may be evicted because they cannot afford the agreed rent, which suggests staying in their property may not have been sustainable in the first place.

The OFT has called for regulation of this sector by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and requests that new regulation should include an obligation on sale and rent back firms to be more transparent about the initial valuation and sale price, the terms of the tenancy and the amount of rent to be paid. In particular, firms must offer forms of tenancy that match the assurances they give to customers, and a requirement of firms to tell consumers about the free, independent advice available to them before they decide to sell. They would also like to see firms who fail to honour their commitments offer redress to customers.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Yvette Cooper, said: "Many people are worried about their homes and their mortgages right now. Unscrupulous companies must not be allowed to exploit people when they are vulnerable with dodgy deals that end up pushing people out of their home. The OFT found some shocking cases. That's why in this consultation the Government is proposing tough new regulation to give vulnerable homeowners better protection when they need it.

 

Regulation of sale-and-rent-back

 

The good news is that from July 2009, these firms will be regulated by the FSA and the firms will need 'interim permission' if they want to carry on trading in the meantime. Of course the reputable firms will welcome this regulation.

The consumer organisation Which? welcomed the FSA's new role, and said people should avoid going into sale-and-rent-back schemes until formal regulation begins. "In the current economic environment, consumers are at significant risk of not getting a fair price for their home and facing the risk of eviction in as little as six months," said Dominic Lindley of Which?. This was supported by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, which said it had been calling for formal regulation for the past two years. "Lenders cannot always avoid repossession action through the courts, and sale and leaseback could potentially be a realistic alternative for some people as a last resort," said the CML's Michael Coogan. "But basic regulated standards of fair treatment and redress are essential, to avoid vulnerable households being exploited by unscrupulous operators," he added.

  • Haha 1

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Advice & opinions given by me are personal, are not endorsed by the Consumer Action Group or the Bank Action Group. Should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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UPDATE

 

Goverment Mortgage Rescue scheme.

If you are having difficulty making your mortgage repayments and at risk of becoming homeless you could get help to stay in your home. Find out if you are eligible for the Mortgage Rescue Scheme.

 

What is the Mortgage Rescue scheme?

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll need to meet the eligibility criteria to get help from the Mortgage Rescue scheme. The Mortgage Rescue scheme won’t help people in ‘negative equity’, which is when the amount owed on your mortgage is more than the value of your home. If you are in negative equity or having any difficulty making your mortgage repayments, you should:

  • get advice as soon as possible to avoid repossession
  • keep making payments if you can
  • talk to your mortgage lender or an independent advice agency as soon as possible

See ‘Mortgage worries – get advice to keep your home’ for more information.

The Mortgage Rescue scheme is available in England only. Separate schemes are either in place or being developed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Search your local council’s website for more information.

Who can get help from the Mortgage Rescue scheme?

 

 

 

 

 

 

To be eligible for the scheme your household must include someone in 'priority need'. This could be:

  • a pregnant woman
  • someone with dependent children
  • someone who is vulnerable because of old age or a physical or mental impairment

You’ll also need to meet the following criteria:

  • all owners of your home must agree to be considered for the Mortgage Rescue scheme
  • you must have received debt counselling and advice and agreed to arrangements to repay your debts
  • you should have discussed all other options to meet your repayments with your bank or mortgage lender
  • your household must earn less than £60,000 a year
  • the value of your home shouldn’t be higher than certain levels set for each region – ask your council about the level for your area
  • you must have a clear need to stay in your home, which means it’s not practical or reasonable to move somewhere smaller or cheaper
  • your home must be suitable for your needs, for example, it's not overcrowded with too many people sharing the same space
  • you shouldn’t own a second home, including a home abroad
  • the value of the part of your home that you own must be enough to pay off any outstanding debts

Owners of freehold and leasehold properties are eligible for the Mortgage Rescue scheme.

 

 

How the Mortgage Rescue scheme works

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can be referred for help through the Mortgage Rescue scheme by advice agencies, courts or lenders. You can also contact your local council for advice.

If you are eligible, the council will arrange for you to meet with their money advisers. They will agree with you a plan to manage your debt or some other way that you can meet your housing costs.

Then, the council may involve a Registered Social Landlord (RSL) or HomeBuy Agent who will assess your home. Depending on your circumstances, the RSL may help you either with a ‘shared equity loan’ or through a ‘Government mortgage to rent’.

Shared equity loan

 

The RSL can provide a shared equity loan, which means they will pay off a proportion of your mortgage. In return they receive a share in your property’s ‘equity’ – the market value of your home minus the outstanding mortgage balance. The RSL will agree on the proportion, which could be between 25 and 75 per cent of the total mortgage. It will be based on the assessment of your household’s finances. This will reduce your mortgage to a more affordable level so you can continue to make repayments.

 

Government mortgage to rent

 

The RSL may suggest a Government mortgage to rent, which means the RSL will pay off your mortgage completely by buying the property. You’ll be able to stay in your home and make repayments to the RSL as their tenant at a level you can afford.

You’ll continue to receive advice after you have entered the scheme to help you manage your finances.

More useful links

 

 

 

 

Edited by citizenB

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Please don't rush, take time to read these:-

 

 

&

 

 

This is always worth referring to

 

 

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by me are personal, are not endorsed by the Consumer Action Group or the Bank Action Group. Should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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As of 24th March 2015

 

https://www.gov.uk/mortgage-rescue-scheme

 

The Mortgage Rescue Scheme is no longer available.

 

Other information contained in this thread is still relevant.

 

SCOTLAND

 

For those living in Scotland however, help may still be available as the pilot scheme has been extended until 31 March 2016.

 

http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Built-Environment/Housing/privateowners/Repossession/hosf-1


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Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

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