Exclusive: Rent to Home – The Cambridge Building Society returns to its mutual roots to help a lucky First-Time Buyer

September 24, 2020

Cambridge Building Society has announced the launch of its 2020 Rent to Home Scheme, and will be welcoming applications from 23 September.

The scheme provides a successful applicant (selected via a ballot) with a newly refurbished property owned by the Society that can be rented for a maximum of three years. After this term, 70 per cent of rent paid (up to £18,900) is returned to the tenant to be used as a deposit for a mortgage with The Cambridge Building Society.

This unique scheme is the first of its kind and is hoped to create a focus on first time buyers and their need for additional support, enabling them to step on to the property ladder.

Those applying for the initiative must by a first-time buyer, be or become a member of The Cambridge Building Society, receive a modest income and only apply as a single or joint applicant.

Society Chief Executive, Peter Burrows, said: “As a member owned organisation, we have been dedicated to helping people own their own homes for 170 years. This initiative goes back to the roots of building societies where money was pooled to help build the next home. We are passionate about supporting first-time buyers and we felt we needed to lead by example in doing something different.”

He added: “I feel that there is more to do in our sector to support first time buyers in to the market. The average age of first-time buyers is steadily increasing year on year and more needs to be done. I’m keen that we continue to play our part and push the boundaries of what is possible.”

The property that is being made available is a fully refurbished apartment in Cottenham – perfect for those needing to commute into the City. Rental cost is in the region of £750 per calendar month. During the term, the tenant is supported on their journey by a personal Relationship Manager, with the view to guiding them through the complexities from renting to home ownership.

An overview of the timeline is as follows:

  • 23 September 2020 – applications are open
  • October 2020 – during October (Saturday 17 October and 21 October) there will be two open days to allow applicants to view the Cottenham flat to ensure it’s suitable for their needs
  • 30 October 2020 – applications for the Rent to Home initiative will close at 5.00pm. Should the initiative receive 25 applications prior to Friday 30 October 2020 it will close sooner
  • 6 November 2020 – by 6 November 2020 the ballot will have been held and the successful applicant(s) will have been contacted
  • Within three months of the draw – tenants move in to the property
  • Six months on – six months on from moving into the rental property, the tenant will be given the opportunity to sit down with their personal Relationship Manager and experience a mock mortgage interview. The purpose will be to support them in understanding the requirements of a mortgage
  • One to three years on – if the tenants are still renting our properties after two and a half years their personal Relationship Manager will be in contact to support them with their mortgage application and the final step of moving from Rent to Home.

The scheme is part of the Society’s ‘Making the Difference’ initiative that aims to positively impact the communities it serves. Other aspects of the initiative include a £500,000 Community Fund that provides grants of between £2,000 and £10,000 (launched last week), and local partnerships with charities and community groups who support those with homes or housing needs. The Society has confirmed its commitment to finding new ways to help people have a home and to work with the community to support those who offer services for shelter and housing.

For more information, potential applicants are encouraged to visit the Society’s website cambridgebs.co.uk.