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Market rent

Market rent properties are usually private rental sector, with affordable and social rents being from housing providers and councils.

Market rent homes are those whose rent is set by the going market rate. It is the amount of rent that a willing landlord might reasonably expect to receive, and a willing tenant might reasonably expect to pay for the tenancy, in comparison with rent levels for similar properties in similar areas.

Intermediate market rent

Intermediate rent (IMR), also known as affordable rent, offers you the opportunity to rent a brand new or refurbished home at less than the market rate. With IMR the rent charged is usually 20% lower than what you would expect to pay for a similar home and area if you were renting from a private landlord.

An Assured Shorthold Tenancy with an initial commitment of six months is normally offered. It is a great option for those who may not want to commit to buying a home right now, or perhaps are struggling to secure a mortgage at the moment but are planning to save to buy a home within the next five years.

Rent to buy

Rent to Buy (England and Northern Ireland) is a government scheme offering the opportunity to rent a newly built home which is charged at approximately 20% lower than you would expect to pay for a similar home on the market rate for up to five years (this can vary per property).

During this period, you will have the option to buy your home depending upon the property time scales. This scheme is also referred to as intermediate rent, rent to save and rent to own. You may also have the option to buy this property on shared ownership terms.

In Wales, the scheme is known as Rent to Own; this allows you to rent a property and pay the going rate for up to five years. After two years you have the option to buy the property. If you choose to purchase, you will receive 25% of the rent you have paid and 50% of any increase in the value of the property since you moved in as a means of providing a deposit.

Please note that rent to buy is not available in Scotland.

Private Rent

How does private renting work?

Just like in social housing, when you move into your new home you will get a tenancy agreement. You would normally receive Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) but there are other types of tenancy.

A tenancy agreement is a legal contract that defines your rights and responsibilities as a tenant and is usually a written document.

Help with finding and paying private rent homes

If you’re on a low income, it can be difficult to save for a deposit. There could be help available through a rent deposit scheme or rent guarantee scheme through your housing provider.

You might be able to get extra help to pay your rent through housing benefit (please note: universal credit (UC) is a new benefit replacing HB), and you may be able to claim the housing benefit under UC.

Not all landlords accept tenants who claim benefits.

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is the form of Housing Benefit for tenants renting privately.
To find out how much LHA will pay according to the size of your accommodation you can check here or on your local council's website


Check to see other schemes available in your area

Visit the database of schemes around the UK to find out if there is a private rent access scheme in your area that can assist you. 

If there is not a private rent access scheme in your area you may be able to get assistance from your local authority, Shelter or Citizens Advice. 

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