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London Living Rent: Affordable Housing for First Time Buyers

Buying your first home is very exciting but saving for a deposit can be a problem. Help is at hand though, with London Living Rent.


HOW IT WORKS AND ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility for London Living Rent is restricted to existing private and social renters with a maximum household income of £60,000, without sufficient current savings to purchase a home in the local area.

General eligibility is:

  • You must be currently living or working in London
  • You must either have a formal tenancy (for example, in the private rental sector) or have an informal arrangement with family or friends as a result of struggling with housing costs
  • Priority will be given to applicants who live or work in the development host borough
  • You must be unable to currently buy a home (including through shared ownership) in your local area – see “Allocations and priority” below for more details on how this works
  • You must provide one month rent in advance and one month rent as a security deposit
  • You must demonstrate the ability to pay the rent without using savings
  • You must demonstrate the ability to save toward a purchase deposit
  • The apartment will be your primary residence
  • You must not already own a property either in the UK or abroad
  • You must supply three months’ payslips, or if self-employed, a full year of accounts or the past tax year’s SA302 form, and six months of the latest bank statements
  • You must meet lenders’ general criteria to obtain mortgage finance
  • You must have no history of rent arrears from previous properties within the past 12 months
  • You must not have breached the terms of a tenancy agreement.

Priority Policy: To reflect the Mayor of London’s Homes for Londoners programme, priority will be given to serving military personnel and former members of the British Armed Forces discharged in the past two years. Additionally, for the first eight weeks following the full market release of the development, priority will be given to applicants from the following groups, in priority order:

  • Council or housing association tenants meeting the London Living Rent eligibility criteria living in the development host borough
  • Applicants meeting the London Living Rent criteria living or working in the development host borough

Network Homes – Making Homeownership Attainable

Network Homes is passionate about helping every first time buyer and because it realises it can be tough to raise a deposit, it is offering London Living Rent at some of its developments, which is the perfect way to save and buy. Funded by the Mayor, the idea behind London Living Rent is to help people switch from renting to shared ownership. It is designed for people who want to build up their savings to eventually buy a home through shared ownership. London Living Rent offers affordable homes for private rent on shorthold tenancies for up to three years.

SIMPLY:

  • Find a London Living Rent home that suits you and your needs
  • Rent the home at a discount
  • Save the discount for your deposit
  • Buy shares in your home through shared ownership

Discounted rental contracts can be renewed if needed, for up to 10 years after the launch of each scheme; during which time, you will be able to gradually build up your deposit. When you’re ready, you have the option to buy the home you’ve been renting (or another eligible Network Homes property) on a shared ownership basis. The good news is that when you buy is flexible and Network Homes will support you to save during your rental stay, so you can buy at your own pace.

Juliana Goode, Senior Build to Rent Manager


Do I Qualify for a London Living Rent Home?

To qualify for London Living Rent, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Your annual household income must not exceed £60,000
  • You must live or work in London
  • You must be unable to buy a home, including through shared ownership, in the local area
  • You must not own a residential property in the UK or overseas
  • You must meet the minimum income required for your preferred property
  • You must meet lenders’ general criteria to obtain mortgage finance

The full eligibility criteria and priority policy for a particular development can be found on the advertised listing.

How do I Register my Interest in London Living Rent? You can register your interest online through the London Living Rent scheme adverts. This is where you can find an enquiry form and eligibility criteria.

How long does it take to complete the process? As we complete a thorough vetting process before you view the property, we can usually move you in within two to four weeks subject to the property’s availability.

How long is a London Living Rent tenancy for? We ask you to sign an assured shorthold tenancy for three years. Usually, you will have a two-month break clause from the 12th month, so you can move out after 12 months if your circumstances change. At the end of the tenancy, and if you’ve been a reliable tenant, you will be offered a tenancy renewal.

How long can I stay in my London Living Rent home? If you fulfill your obligations as a London Living Rent tenant, you are entitled to remain in your home for the duration of the London Living Rent term. The London Living Rent term is separate from your tenancy term and usually lasts between five and 10 years from the date the development was completed. This term can vary between developments. So, if a scheme with a 10-year term was completed on 1 January 2020, the London Living Rent term would end on 31 December 2029.

Can I move to an alternative London Living Rent apartment once my term ends? You can’t move to an alternative if you’ve completed the stated London Living Rent term (usually five to 10 years).

Are bills included in my rent? Only service charges are included in your rent; you will need to pay for all other bills.

Must I save a minimum amount each month? You are the best judge of what amount is affordable for you to save each month. By renting through London Living Rent, you benefit from a below-market rent so will have the ability to save based on the minimum income requirement for your London Living Rent home. The more you save, the quicker you will raise the deposit required to buy your first home. We are happy to discuss your saving options with you.

Must I deposit any saving with you? No, you will need to manage your savings.

How soon after moving into my London Living Rent apartment can I purchase my first share? You can buy the first share after six months as long as you have the deposit and income to meet repayment obligations.

Must I buy the apartment I am living in? No, as a London Living Rent resident, you will be considered a priority applicant (along with other housing association and council tenants) for shared ownership apartments across London.

Link to London Living Rent


Ready to embark on your homeownership journey? Explore more in the latest issue of First Time Buyer Magazine. Read for free here.

First Time Buyer is an exciting bi-monthly glossy which takes a stylish and comprehensive look at all the options available, setting them out in an entertaining and informative way, and helping potential customers navigate their way through what is often a daunting and complex process. We dispel the myths, reinforce the facts and arm the reader with the tools necessary to make their homeownership dreams a reality.

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