Sale and rent back Sale and rent back advice and regulation
Regulation of sale and rent back
Sale and rent back schemes are now regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). An interim regulatory scheme was in place from 1 July 2009 and a full version has been in operation since 30 June 2010.
While some firms are large organisations offering certain guarantees, many are small operations looking for cheap buy-to-let purchases.
In a market study published in October 2008, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) recommended that sale and rent back be regulated. The equity release organisation Safe Home Income Plans (Ship) also wanted sale and rent back to be regulated.
The Office of Fair Trading wanted to see these firms forced to produce contracts that are transparent about the value of the property and terms of tenancy.
As a result regulators:
- banned exploitative advertising and high-pressure sales techniques and prohibited the use of emotive terms like ‘mortgage rescue' in promotional literature
- introduced a 14-day cooling-off period to give consumers more time to make decisions on sale and rent back
- banned cold calling and prohibited firms from dropping promotional leaflets through letter boxes
- confirmed rules to ensure consumers have security of tenure for a minimum of five years
- introduced an affordability and appropriateness check across all sales to check that the sale and rent back deal is right for the consumer
- put in place measures to ensure all risks are clearly signposted to the customer, via FSA literature and during the sales process.
Independent money advice
If you are in difficulty, contact your lender and speak to an independent expert:
Citizens Advice England and Wales - see website or telephone directory for regional telephone numbers
Citizens Advice Scotland - see website or telephone directory for regional telephone numbers
Citizens Advice Northern Ireland - see website or telephone directory for regional telephone numbers
Consumer Credit Counselling Service - 0800 138 1111
Financial Ombudsman Service - 0845 080 1800
The Insolvency Service - 0845 602 9848
National Debtline - 0808 808 4000
To find an independent financial adviser, search on Unbiased.
Read our report on dealing with mortgage arrears and the threat of repossession for more.