A ‘rent to own’ platform has launched after several months of development that promises to revolutionise the way first-time buyers and young professionals get on the property ladder in England and Wales.
Keyzy buys properties on behalf of prospective buyers after they identify their desired home and then rents it back to them until they are ready to buy it back via a traditional purchase and mortgage.
The platform locks in the original purchase price, effectively protecting the prospective owners from rising house prices. If they decide to walk away from the arrangement, they can find a new buyer and keep any of the price uplift that has occurred since they moved in, as well as up to 25% of their rental payments.
The service is a ‘rent to own’ solution similar to, but more appealing than, the government’s own products offered via its Help to Buy platform.
“UK consumers can move into the property of their choice, save as they rent, and buy it later when they can afford it,” says Keyzy co-founder Simon Groll.
“We are tackling the housing crisis of our time, and have built a stellar team to prepare our product, platform and distribution ahead of our full launch in the coming weeks.”
Buyers can register to join a ‘wait list’ to gain early access to the service, while Keyzy is also building distribution partnerships with mortgage brokers and estate agents to offer it to prospective buyers. Keyzy supports the clients during the application process, saving time for mortgage brokers who receive an unspecified referral fee.
David Venn, senior business development manager at Keyzy, adds: “Brokers love to work with Keyzy, because they finally provide a solution for clients they previously had to decline because of limited savings, or because they couldn’t get a big enough mortgage from their bank”.
Groll says there are already has significant numbers of wannabe homeowners registered on his firm’s waitlist.
The company is not the first to try and crack this nut – in 2019 platform RenterBuyer received funding and support from PiLabs. It later pivoted to become a ‘mortgage coach’ service for first-time buyers and is now called Mortgage Ladder.