FIRST STEPS Intermediate Rent (IMR)

Intermediate rent offers you the opportunity to rent a brand new or refurbished home, or a home that is being re-let at less than the market rate. The rent charged is normally approximately 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. As well as being more affordable, you have the assurance that your home is built, managed and let by a Registered housing Provider.

Intermediate rent has traditionally only been available to key workers, although this choice is now available to other home seekers who are not high priority for social rent or affordable rent homes (homes usually allocated to those in the most urgent housing need) and who cannot afford to buy a home of their own outright but who would like to save to buy a home in the next five years.

Intermediate rented homes are usually let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy basis with a 6 month contract period. You may have the opportunity to rent a home for longer than this initial contract period but this will depend on your landlord’s future plans for the home.


Rent to Buy offers the opportunity to rent a newly built home on an Intermediate Rent basis; allowing you to rent a home at a rent which is charged at approximately 20% lower than you would expect to pay for a similar home on the open market. You can do this for up to five years with the option to buy the home through FIRST STEPS Shared Ownership when you are ready to buy in the longer term.

If you rent a home through Rent to Buy, you can make an offer to buy the home on Shared Ownership terms when you can afford to; this can be done at anytime during the tenancy provided. When you decide to buy, your housing provider will make an assessment of what share of the property can be bought, based on an independent financial assessment of what you can afford. Terms and incentives vary by development.