Rent to Buy

  • Ownership: Either 100% or on Shared Ownership terms
  • Headline benefits: Tenants are offered an intermediate rent (up to 80% of the market rate), for a minimum of five years, to provide them with an opportunity to save for a deposit to buy their first home.
  • Headline requirements: First-time buyer

Availability: England only


Rent to Buy is typically offered by housing associations. The scheme offers working households the chance to rent a home at Intermediate Rent providing them with the opportunity to save for a deposit over time to purchase the home. Rent to Buy will usually be offered on new build homes.  

Tenants will pay an Intermediate Rent, which is rent that must not exceed 80% of the local market rate (including service charges). This discounted rent should be available to tenants for a minimum of five years. 

At the end of this initial five-year period, the tenant will be offered the chance to buy the home either outright or on Shared Ownership terms. If the tenant requires more time to save for a deposit, the housing association can also continue letting the home on existing terms but is not required to do so.


You can apply for Rent to Buy if you are a first-time buyer.  

There may also be other local eligibility criteria attached to Rent to Buy schemes. As a result, it will be important to check with the housing association offering the scheme. 

How to apply

If you are renting outside London

Find a Rent to Buy home outside London (GOV.UK). 

If you are renting in London

The Greater London Authority operates a Rent to Buy scheme called the London Living Rent.