10:53 AM, 19th October 2011, About 12 years ago
I listened to a programme on Radio 5 Live a few days ago that investigated how “Property Investor and Guru” Phil Martin had left a couple close to bankruptcy after agreeing a lease option on their property.
In a nutshell he agreed to take an option to buy the property at a future date and pay their mortgage until he bought it. Not only did he fail to make the mortgage payments but he rented the property to a tenant who didn’t pay the rent and can only be evicted through the usual slow legal process!
People sometimes ask me if our Rent to Buy scheme is a “lease option deal” under a different name.
The short answer is no. There are a number of important differences, for example:
Kirsty Allsop of Location, Location, Location fame hit the nail on the head in the programme when she said that Lease Options are as risky as the person doing them. No doubt lots of lease options are being done that benefit everyone, but sadly there’s little control or protection against the unscrupulous. As someone who believes in fairness I feel a lot more comfortable offering a Rent to Buy solution rather than a Lease Option.