Will someone buy my house and rent it back to me?

Selling a house and renting it back can be an attractive option for homeowners facing financial difficulties or those wanting to stay in their homes without the responsibilities of ownership. This arrangement, known as a “sell and rent back” scheme, can provide immediate financial relief while allowing you to remain in your property. This guide explores the feasibility, process, and implications of such schemes in the UK.

Understanding Sell and Rent Back Schemes

What is a Sell and Rent Back Scheme?

A sell and rent back scheme involves selling your property to a third party and then renting it back as a tenant. This allows you to release equity tied up in your home while continuing to live in it.

Legal Framework

The sell and rent back market is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to protect consumers from unfair practices. Regulations were introduced in 2009 following concerns about the potential for abuse and exploitation.

Potential Buyers

Private Companies

Private companies often offer sell and rent back schemes. These firms buy your property at a discount and lease it back to you under a tenancy agreement.

Housing Associations

Some housing associations provide sell and rent back schemes, usually aimed at helping people in financial distress or those at risk of homelessness.

Local Councils

While not common, in some circumstances, local councils might consider such arrangements, especially if they help prevent homelessness or support social housing initiatives.

Individual Investors

In rare cases, individual investors might be interested in such schemes, particularly if they see long-term rental income potential.

Benefits and Drawbacks


  1. Immediate Financial Relief: Selling your home releases equity, providing you with a lump sum to settle debts or address financial needs.
  2. Continued Residence: You can remain in your familiar home and community, avoiding the disruption of moving.
  3. Long-Term Security: Some schemes offer long-term tenancy agreements, providing stability and security.


  1. Loss of Ownership: You lose ownership of your home, forfeiting any future appreciation in property value.
  2. Potential Lower Sale Price: Properties are often bought at a discount, meaning you might not receive full market value.
  3. Tenancy Conditions: As a tenant, you will be subject to the terms and conditions of the rental agreement, which may include restrictions on property modifications.

The Process

Step 1: Research and Initial Inquiry

Begin by researching companies and organizations offering sell and rent back schemes. Ensure they are FCA-regulated to avoid scams or unfair practices. Contact them to discuss your situation and explore potential offers.

Step 2: Assessment and Valuation

The buyer will assess your property and financial situation. They will conduct a valuation to determine a fair price for your home, which may be lower than the market value due to the nature of the scheme.

Step 3: Offer and Negotiation

If the buyer is interested, they will make an offer. It’s crucial to negotiate the terms, including the sale price, rental amount, and length of the tenancy agreement.

Step 4: Seek Independent Advice

Before proceeding, seek independent legal and financial advice. This ensures you fully understand the implications of the agreement and can make an informed decision.

Step 5: Sale and Tenancy Agreement

Once you accept the offer, the sale process begins. Upon completion, you will enter into a tenancy agreement with the new owner. Ensure the agreement provides adequate security and aligns with your needs.

Step 6: Transition to Tenancy

After the sale, you will continue living in your home as a tenant. Adhere to the tenancy terms and maintain good communication with the new owner to ensure a smooth transition.

Key Considerations

Financial Implications

  • Sale Price: Be prepared for the sale price to be below market value. Assess if the immediate financial relief justifies the potential loss.
  • Rental Costs: Ensure the rent is affordable and sustainable long-term. Compare it with local market rates and your current mortgage payments.
  • Equity Release: Understand how much equity you will release and how it will impact your financial situation.

Legal and Regulatory Aspects

  • FCA Regulation: Verify that the buyer is FCA-regulated to ensure consumer protection.
  • Tenancy Rights: Familiarize yourself with your rights as a tenant under UK housing law.
  • Contract Terms: Review the tenancy agreement carefully, including clauses on rent increases, eviction conditions, and property maintenance.

Long-Term Considerations

  • Future Property Value: Consider the potential appreciation of your property and how losing ownership might affect your long-term financial position.
  • Alternative Housing Options: Evaluate other housing options, such as renting from the private market or moving to a more affordable area.
  • Emotional Impact: Reflect on the emotional implications of losing ownership of your home and the potential stress of becoming a tenant.

Alternatives to Sell and Rent Back Schemes

Equity Release Schemes

Equity release schemes, such as lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans, allow homeowners to access the equity in their property without selling outright. These options are regulated by the FCA and can be a safer alternative.


Selling your property and buying a smaller, more affordable home can release equity while maintaining ownership. This option might involve moving but can provide financial stability without the risks associated with sell and rent back schemes.


Refinancing your mortgage to extend the term or switch to an interest-only plan can reduce monthly payments and provide financial relief. Consult a financial advisor to explore this option.

Government Assistance Programs

Various government programs, such as Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI), provide financial assistance to homeowners struggling with mortgage payments. Check eligibility criteria and application processes for these programs.

Case Studies

Case Study 1: A Lifeline for a Struggling Family

The Johnson family faced mounting debts and the risk of repossession. They contacted a reputable, FCA-regulated sell and rent back company. The company offered to buy their home at a 15% discount from the market value. After seeking independent advice, the Johnsons accepted the offer, released equity to pay off their debts, and signed a long-term tenancy agreement with affordable rent. This arrangement provided them with financial stability and allowed them to stay in their community.

Case Study 2: Avoiding Homelessness

Mr. Clark, a pensioner, was struggling to keep up with his mortgage payments. He approached his local housing association, which offered a sell and rent back scheme. The association bought his property at a fair price, and Mr. Clark became a tenant with secure, affordable rent. This solution prevented homelessness and ensured Mr. Clark could remain in his home for the foreseeable future.

Case Study 3: The Risks of Unregulated Schemes

Ms. Davis, facing financial difficulties, sold her house to an unregulated private company offering a sell and rent back scheme. The company bought her home at a significant discount, and the rental terms were unfavorable, with frequent rent increases and poor maintenance. Ms. Davis eventually faced eviction due to the company’s practices. This case highlights the importance of dealing with FCA-regulated entities and seeking independent advice.


Sell and rent back schemes can provide a viable solution for homeowners facing financial difficulties, offering immediate financial relief and the ability to remain in their homes. However, these schemes come with significant risks and considerations. It is crucial to thoroughly research potential buyers, seek independent legal and financial advice, and understand the long-term implications of such arrangements.

Always verify that the buyer is FCA-regulated to ensure consumer protection. Consider alternatives, such as equity release, downsizing, or refinancing, which might offer better financial outcomes without the risks associated with sell and rent back schemes.

By carefully weighing the pros and cons and seeking professional guidance, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your financial needs and personal circumstances, ensuring stability and peace of mind.

Additional Resources

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

The FCA provides information on sell and rent back schemes and regulates firms offering these services. Visit the FCA website for more details and to check the authorization status of potential buyers.

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice offers free, confidential advice on housing and financial issues. They can help you understand your rights and options when considering a sell and rent back scheme.


Shelter is a housing and homelessness charity that provides support and advice to homeowners facing financial difficulties. They offer guidance on sell and rent back schemes and alternative housing solutions.

Independent Financial Advisors

Consulting an independent financial advisor can help you explore all available options and make an informed decision. Ensure the advisor is regulated by the FCA for reliable advice.

Legal Aid

If you need legal assistance but cannot afford it, you may be eligible for legal aid. Visit the government’s legal aid website to check your eligibility and find a solicitor.


Selling your house and renting it back can be a solution for those facing financial distress, offering the benefit of remaining in your home while relieving financial pressure. However, it is not without risks and should be approached with caution. Ensure any company you engage with is FCA-regulated, seek independent advice, and thoroughly understand the terms and implications of the agreement.

Alternatives such as equity release, downsizing, refinancing, or government assistance may provide more favorable outcomes. By carefully considering all options and consulting with professionals, you can make a decision that best suits your financial situation and long-term needs, providing stability and peace of mind.

This comprehensive guide should provide you with a detailed understanding of the sell and rent back process in the UK, helping you navigate the complexities and make an informed decision.

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