The Government has given their approval to a new initiative which aims to get the property market moving again. The new scheme helps first time buyers through a “rent to buy” system.

The Minister of housing and local government, Grant Shapps, has expressed the support of his department to any solutions from the private sector which can help the current housing issues.

He made the comments after a new website was launched which introduces potential buyers to the concept of renting to buy properties. This covers the whole of the UK and also the opportunities which are available overseas.

The launch of is the brainchild of David Riley a property entrepreneur from Lancashire, and is specifically aimed at homeowners unable to sell their property and purchasers unable to secure a mortgage.

Designed as a dedicated ‘rent to buy’ property portal, the website matches homeowners with potential renters and future buyers across the UK. Properties currently featured range from one and two bedroom homes priced from £400 per month to executive properties at £1,750 per month.

As its name suggests, ‘rent to buy’ is a simple solution which bridges the gap between renting and home ownership. However, in today’s current housing climate, it may be the only alternative for homeowners needing to move to larger properties or relocate for work reasons. First time buyers are equally at home with the scheme, as it provides a stepping stone to a deposit and a mortgage towards home ownership.

The concept is already catching on with both homeowners and new homes developers, because there’s no catch. Both the monthly rental payments and option to purchase price are agreed up front together with flexible timescales, and a proportion of the rent can also be used to offset the final purchase price.

The merits of the ‘rent to buy’ concept enable individuals to tailor the agreement from the outset to suit their personal circumstances. This means that you can live in the property, check out the neighbourhood and lifestyle but without the commitment.

David Riley has sought inspiration from the automotive market as well as likening the rent to buy concept to the government’s existing Home Buy initiative. However in the case of, the properties are not exclusive to first time buyers, as the proposition works in exactly the same way that new and second hand cars are currently purchased using a lease purchase plan.

As he explained: “Now this popular concept with motorists has triggered a niche opportunity and a solution to get the struggling housing market moving. It also works particularly well for overseas property purchasers, as the opportunity to live in a new country on a trial basis is the best route to a sound investment.

“And just like purchasing a car through a personal lease purchase plan, you can choose to walk away from the property at the end of the contract”, he added.

The new property portal lists ‘rent to buy’ properties in the UK and overseas from individuals, as well as estate agents and developers. can also put individuals in touch with professionals to provide advice on both the rental and purchase agreements.

Properties can be registered on the website for a one-off fee of £99 and registration is free to home seekers.