What is intermediate renting?
Intermediate renting is a form of affordable housing. It allows tenants to pay rent levels below the normal market rent level in their area, although rents are higher than what a tenant would normally expect to pay in social housing. Starting rent levels in the first phase of the NHT initiative are set at around 84 per cent of the March 2011 Local Housing Allowance rate. Having considered feedback to our summer discussion paper on the lessons learned from Phase 1, a degree of local flexibility has been introduced to rent setting in the second phase of NHT. In this second phase starting rents are at the discretion of Councils providing that these do not exceed 100% of the relevant Local Housing Allowance rate. Tenants normally get a short assured tenancy, which is the same type of lease as most tenants get when they rent privately in Scotland but, as well as lower rents, Government or Council-supported intermediate rent homes can offer tenants comfort that they will be getting a good quality home with a landlord who offers good standards of customer service.
Intermediate rent housing could be available to a number of different types of people as each Council has its own policies depending on levels of need and demand for housing in its area, but it can particularly help households who are struggling to afford private renting or home ownership, but are unlikely to be given priority on a social housing waiting list.
As well as the NHT initiative with Councils and developers, which will offer tenants homes for intermediate rent for a five to 10 year period, some housing associations are also offering intermediate rent homes over the longer term to individuals or families on moderate incomes.
There are only a fairly small number of homes provided for intermediate rent at the moment, but that number is expected to increase over the next few years. If you are interested in intermediate rent, you may wish to contact your local Council's housing department to find out whether there are any of these homes currently available in your area, or whether there are any plans for intermediate rent homes in future.