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Can't Pay Mortgage - Sell And Rent Back

Topic: Mortgage

1. How much will you receive?

Sell and rent back companies tend to offer, on average, 85% of market value on buying your home although this can be as low as 70% and as high as 100%. Some companies can offer 100% by giving you 70% upon completion of the sale and then 30% at the end of the tenancy.

2. Are they a reputable company?

Selling your house can often be far from a relaxing process. For your peace of mind, it's important know the sell and rent back company you are dealing with is reputable, ethical, in good financial standing and will still be around at the end of your tenancy period. Make sure you do plenty of research on a sell and rent back company before you enter into any agreement with them. An independent personal recommendation is ideal if you can find someone who has gone the process, but as sell and rent back is still an emerging sector of the property this may be tricky. Searching the internet may also reveal some more information on the range of companies entering the sector.

3. Are you guaranteed long-term rental? What happens when you become a tenant?

Look for companies which offer a long-term contract, this will give you peace of mind that you cannot be evicted after a short period. When you become a tenant you will generally have to pay for council tax and the normal gas, electric bills as any tenant would.

4. Will you have to pay valuation costs and legal fees?

Most companies will pay the valuation costs and legal fees for you. Some companies will do this to make the offer seem more attractive but only buy the property for a lower percentage. This is not true for all companies as some will pay for the costs and fees whilst offering a high or full percentage.

5. Will your details be kept private/confidential?

All of the sell and rent back companies should keep your details private and confidential although ensuring the company is reputable beforehand should eliminate any risk of breach of confidentiality. Unless expressed otherwise, the only people who will know about what happened will be you, the company you dealt with and the solicitor handling the case, not even a "sold" sign should appear outside your house.

6. Will rent stay at pre-agreed levels?

Some sell and rent back companies will offer a fixed rate for the first few years, after then the monthly rental payments may increase. Others will not guarantee a fixed rate and leave you open to increased payments later on in your tenancy. Often the best deal will be the sell and rent back firm who will offer you 10 years (or whatever the length of tenancy agreed) at a single fixed rate which is signed into the contract.

7. Will the valuation be independently calculated?

It is always advisable to go with a sell and rent back company that offers an independent valuation, especially by a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

8. How long is the process likely to take? How quickly could you receive your money?

Companies can offer a 24 hour service if that is what's required and as long as the legal paperwork is fine, although most will take 3-4 week to get everything sorted. Your money is usually released after the transaction has been completed.

9. Who will own and maintain the property?

After the transaction has taken place, your landlord will generally be the company who bought the property from you and they will be responsible for taking care of any maintenance or emergency callouts that occur. That is why it is essential to ensure the landlord is reputable or is using an experienced and reliable property management company to quickly address any issues you may have. As for the contents, the "moveable furniture" is typically still owned by you, unless you negotiate a deal with the company to sell them the furniture as well.

10. Buying Back?

Some companies will offer a deal where you can choose to buy your house back off them at the end of the rent period. This is very useful for those who are having a difficult time financially but expect things to improve in two years or more when they can afford mortgage payments again.

04/27/2008
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