Rent to Own Applicant Criteria

Before you apply it’s important that you check out our criteria and make sure that you meet it. Once you apply, the first stage of your application fee, £100, will be charged and is non-refundable.

AgeYou must be over 18 to apply.
Residency statusYou must live in the UK. You may be asked to provide evidence that you have adequate right to reside in Northern Ireland. You have to live in the property as your only residence.
Home ownerYou can’t apply for Rent to Own if you currently own property which includes owning property or land, or being named on any property, in Northern Ireland or elsewhere.

We may consider previous Co-Owners if you meet our qualifying criteria. Remember you must not be able to get a full mortgage or our shared ownership product, Co-Own, to be eligible for Rent to Own.

Joint ApplicantsIf you are married, civil partners, or couples living together or intending to live together in your new home, then we would normally expect you to apply together.
Outstanding property debtYou must not have any debt to any third party which was secured on a previous home.
Previous relationshipsYou must have concluded any settlement arrangements from all previous relationships.
Credit AssessmentWe use Experian to review your credit history and to help us make the decision on the credit worthiness of your application. We will look at your debt levels and how you are managing your debt.

Your credit report is a record of your financial history and will include records of payments on loans and credit cards and any other financial commitments. You should get a copy of your credit report before applying and check it.

Things that will affect your credit assessment include, but are not limited to:

  • The level of credit commitments that you have
  • Any late/missed payments
  • Any defaults
  • Court judgments, bankruptcies, individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs).
Credit CommitmentsYou must be able to service your current credit commitments as part of your outgoings, including your monthly rent. You will need a plan in place to reduce your household debt to a level whereby you will be able to get a mortgage or Co-Own by the end of your tenancy.
Debt managementBefore making an application to Rent to Own, any of the following arrangements must have been settled for the stated period:

  • Debt Relief Orders – 3 years
  • Bankruptcy – 3 years
  • Individual Voluntary Arrangement – 3 years
  • Payday Loans & Home Credit – 6 months

The following arrangements also need to have been settled and will affect your credit score:

  • Debt Management Plans
  • Money Judgements
  • Defaults

Just remember that you can have no adverse credit at the time of making a Rent to Own application.

EmploymentThe following types of employment are acceptable and you must be with your current employer for at least the following period before you apply as indicated below:

  • Permanent – 3 months plus
  • Fixed Term – 6 months plus
  • Temporary – 6 months plus
  • Zero Hours Contract – 6 months plus
  • Self Employed – 1 year plus
  • You must declare all income for the household at the time of application. We require evidence of the amount and nature of all income.
  • We require payslips for at least the last 3 months of employment.
  • If you’re self-employed you’ll need to provide SA302 summaries for the last full year. In addition company directors must provide 3 months’ payslips.
  • We may accept income from more than one employment. Our general criteria applies to all jobs.
  • We accept income earned from overtime, bonuses, commission and allowances up to 50% where regular.
Other incomeWe will consider the following other income:

  • Pension – both private and state pensions
  • Working Tax Credit – If there is more than one applicant, we’ll need to know whether the award is made jointly or to one person.
  • Child Tax Credit – For up to 2 children in the household if they are aged 14 and under at the time of application. If there is more than one applicant, we will need to know whether the award is made jointly or to one person.
  • Pension Credit
  • Employment And Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Child Benefit – For up to 2 children in the household if they are aged 14 or under at the time of application.
  • Universal Credit – can consider child and disability elements (if available).
  • Maintenance – we may accept maintenance payments from a former partner for up to 2 children in the household aged 14 or under at the time of application. This may be a private arrangement or court approved.
    You must provide evidence of the amount and payment history.
  • Foster Income
  • Housing Benefit – sorry but we do not accept Housing Benefit as other income.
SavingsYou must provide evidence of any savings.
All applicants must prove they have been able to afford their current lifestyle. They must also prove they will be able to afford the commitment of renting their home through Rent to Own from their current disposable income.
Change in circumstancesIf your circumstances change during an application you must let us know about this. We will review your circumstances. This may result in your application being revised.
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