Living in London? You might be eligible for a 20% rent discount

Written by Alice Porter

The rising cost of living in London is something we’re all aware of. But with something called the London Living Rent scheme, you might be able to find discounted properties to rent in London while you save to buy your first home.

If there’s one thing everyone knows about living in London is that it’s expensive. Moaning about your rent is even more of a rite of passage for a Londoner than getting lost on the Tube or making Pret part of your daily routine. But that doesn’t have to be the case, as a scheme called London Living Rent could allow you to rent a home at up to 20% off the market rate.

Daniel Copley, consumer spokesperson at Zoopla explains: “The scheme applies to households struggling to meet market rents, while there are also some schemes dedicated specifically to key workers. Intermediate rent can sometimes lead to home ownership through schemes like ‘rent to buy’ which assumes that by paying less rent the tenant has the chance to save for a deposit, and eventually buy the property outright or through shared ownership.”

Here’s everything you need to know about the London Living Rent scheme, including whether or not you’re eligible and how to access it…

What is London Living Rent? 

The London Living Rent – also known as intermediate rent – is an affordable housing scheme for middle-income Londoners. It’s designed specifically for people who are looking to build savings in order to try and buy a home.

The scheme provides high quality rented homes on stable tenancies, with rents based on a third of local household incomes. The idea is that the money you save on your rent can be put towards savings for buying a home, but there is no requirement that you must save money for a mortgage while renting.

When was London Living Rent introduced? 

The scheme was first introduced in 2017 by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. London Living Rent was re-pushed during the pandemic as key workers were offered rental prices around 20% lower than what you would expect to pay for a similar home in a similar area if you were renting from a private landlord. However, the scheme is now available to people in all professions.

Am I eligible for London Living Rent? 

The intermediate rent scheme is designed for people who can’t currently afford to buy a home. To be eligible for a London Living Rent home, you must:

  • live or work in London;
  • either have a formal tenancy (for example, in the private rented sector) or live in an informal arrangement with family or friends as a result of struggling with housing costs
  • have a maximum household income of £60,000
  • not own any other residential home
  • be unable to currently buy a home (including through shared ownership) in your local area

How can I find a London Living Rent home? 

London Living Rent properties are advertised via the Homes for Londoners website, where you can search for homes based on area, size and price. You can also find London Living Rent Homes via Share To Buy, which advertises homes available to rent via the intermediate rent scheme.

There are only a limited number of homes available under the scheme so try to check these websites as regularly as possible and express your interest quickly for the best chances at securing one.

Are there any fallbacks to London Living Rent? 

The intermediate rent scheme sounds too good to be true – right? Well, there are a few things you should know about the scheme before getting involved. Firstly, tenancies are offered for a minimum of three years so the scheme won’t work for people looking for short-term rental properties.

The discount you are offered will also depend on the area you live in. According to the London Assembly, the Mayor publishes benchmark London Living Rent levels for every neighbourhood in the capital, updated annually. These are based on a third of average local household incomes and adjusted for the number of bedrooms in each home. This means that living in some areas of London will still be out reach for a lot of people, while others will be more accessible.

Images: Getty

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