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Graham Awards


Many renters want to buy out their landlord, survey shows

A large scale survey of over 4,000 private and social tenants suggests that a significant proportion would like to buy their home from their landlord if circumstances allowed.

Amongst the private renter cohort, the proportion wanting to buy is 45 per cent. 

Interest peaks between the ages of 25 and 34, with more than half of tenants keen to buy the home they’re currently living in. This compares to just under one-in-three of those aged between 65 and 74, the age group least motivated to buy out their landlord.


Regionally, London sees the highest proportion of tenants keen to buy their current home at 53 per cent. 

The research - by Wayhome - suggests several factors driving tenants to buy out: the home’s location tops the list on 51 per cent while over a third of respondents say they do not want the hassle of a physical move.



Meanwhile, the survey also discovered that a quarter of current homeowners with a history of renting say they would have considered buying the last home they rented, if it had been possible at the time.

Wayhome chief executive Nigel Purves says: “Renting a home could effectively be like taking a car for an extended test-drive. Renters get under the skin of the property by living there and will soon know whether they’d like it as their long-term home.

"If it’s a home the tenant can afford to rent on an ongoing basis and the landlord is open to selling, surely there should be some way of helping to finance a deal with two willing parties?”

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    Theoretically it would be great if there was a sensible way in which tenants could buy their rental homes. It would allow people to have children at a biologically more advantageous stage in life, rent a suitable house, put down roots in the community and buy their home when promotions and pay rises allow.

    However, with the current tax situation for landlords it isn't going to happen. We would have to pay 28% CGT on the house we sold to them and then the extra 3% SDLT on top of the already eyewatering SDLT if we bought another house to replace the one we sold. Also there may be an early redemption penalty on the mortgage. If we are long-term landlords why would we want to lose a good rental property?

    There's lots of potential benefits for tenants to be able to buy their rental such as saving the cost of moving, saving the cost of potentially multiple surveys on properties that fail to complete, saving on the cost of getting new furniture to fit a new house, etc.
    There doesn't seem to be any incentive for the landlord to sell unless they were planning to scale down as a landlord.

    If the tax treatment was more favourable it's certainly something I would seriously consider. I already buy specific houses for specific tenants (who are unlikely to ever qualify for a mortgage) as long-term homes.

    David Saunders

    Surely the biggest problem to this idea is that after the outlawing of section 21 (no fault eviction) creating Assured tenancies/sitting tenants which will no doubt shortly be followed by rent controls, then the only likely buyer in town for the occupied property will be the tenant and if past experience is anything to go by they will be looking to pay 50% or less of the properties true value with vacant possession.

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    'If circumstances were to allow' probably refers to their financial situation as much as if the LL would sell. Given that renters have chosen their home & in many cases personalised it it is pretty obvious they would want to own it 'if circumstances allowed'!

    Daft survey!


    Very daft survey. Bit like a "many people would like to buy a Porsche 911" kind of survey.
    And yes, as others have pointed out, CGT rules it out. 28% tax without taper relief is a non starter unless it's part of a planned sell down/consolidation

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    Nice idea, but CGT rules this out as a total non starter

  • Bill Wood

    Very occasionally I used to send an email to a tenant asking if they would like to buy the property they are in.
    My wife (who has never owned her own property) pointed out that an email like that could upset the tenant, who would like to buy, but stands no chance of doing so.
    I have been much more careful ever since.


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