The Rafiq Family

After 7 years in the private rental sector in Stoke in Plymouth, the Rafiq family finally have a home to call their own. Before moving into their new two bedroom Rentplus home, Muhammad Rafiq and his wife Marina found it impossible to save for a deposit.  Muhammad and his family are not alone - saving for a deposit continues to be one of the biggest obstacles to home ownership. Research from Shelter reveals that 86% of people say they would like to own their home, but 75% of renters are unable to save more than £100 a month towards a deposit. 

The Rafiq family have set a goal of purchasing their new home in five years; they plan to save the difference between their private sector rent and their affordable Rentplus rent to ensure they can put more towards the 10% gifted deposit from Rentplus and to cover their other purchase costs. 

Muhammad Rafiq said: “Our dream has long been to own our own home but with the high costs of renting combined with the need to save thousands of pounds for a deposit it’s never been in reach for us. This model is ideal for our needs as we have the certainty of living in the home which we will one day own and the reduction in rent is making a huge difference to our lives. 

“We love living in Plymouth – our daughter attends a local nursery and both the sea and local countryside are on our doorstep. Our quality of life has vastly improved. 

“Owning your own home is one of the greatest things in life – knowing that we won’t have to move again because of rising rents or at a landlord’s discretion ensures that we can plan ahead and establish real roots in the local community.”

Zoe moved into their new Rentplus home with her partner and four month old baby. She said: “Before moving into our new Rentplus home we were living in a two bedroom bungalow with my partner’s father. With so many of us in the house it was getting way too cramped and we really wanted a space of our own. To date, we’ve just not been able to afford getting onto the property ladder in the traditional way.

“I first heard about Rentplus and their rent-to-buy homes through the council. As well as being affordable, the location really attracted me– it is so close to town and we have good schools right on our doorstep, which means that we won’t have to rely on public transport.

“We are aiming to buy our new home after 5 years. The affordable rent means that we are able to save at the same time so we will be able to put more towards the deposit than the 10% Rentplus will give us then. 

A and R spent several years in the private rented sector. The home they lived in was damp and did not have a garden. They desperately wanted to move, but as a consequence of rising rents in Plymouth they couldn’t afford to find somewhere new to rent.  Their story is not unusual; many tenants are increasingly priced out of moving to better accommodation within the rental market. In the South West alone average rents have grown by at least 2.5% in the last 12 months according to the ONS Index of Private Housing Rental Prices.

When they found out about Rentplus and the homes at Palmerston Heights they described it as “a dream come true”. They now have a two bedroom house with a spacious garden that they are looking to buy in 15 years’ time. The couple said they never thought they would get the chance to own their own home.

S is a 45 year old disabled man who has been allocated a ground floor 2 bedroom apartment.  He is going through a divorce and is sorting out his finances. He has a clear plan to pay off all related debts and enter the next chapter of his life. He recently moved jobs and he is training in the civil service and is expecting a promotion once his probation is over.

K is a 39 year old single father to a 13 year old boy who has been allocated a ground floor 2 bedroom apartment. K was previously privately renting and unable to save but really wanted to get onto the property ladder; Rentplus gives him that opportunity to save and later purchase his home.

A is a 32 year old single man with learning difficulties who has been allocated a 2nd floor 2 bedroom apartment.  A works part time and also volunteers with the British Heart Foundation.  He was living with his parents.  Having a Rentplus home means he is independent and can plan for his future without the support of his parents. He has a trust fund that will allow him to buy in 5 years’ time.

Z and J are 23 and 28 living together as a couple. They have recently had a child and were living with parents. They have been allocated a 2nd floor 2 bedroom apartment and plan to buy in 5 years. Rentplus allowed them to move into their own home and be totally independent.  Their ambition is to own their own property.  J has a daughter from a previous relationship and the location of his new home makes it easier for him to visit and care for his daughter.  Their own space means she can also come and visit which was not possible before.  The scheme will bring their whole family together and they are very excited about the opportunity they have been given.

T and N are 32 and 31. They have recently had a child and were renting privately. They have been allocated a 1st floor 2 bedroom apartment and plan to buy in 10 years.  Rentplus allows them to move into their own home with their independence and own their home in due course. 

D and H are 26 and 25. They have a 4 year old and were previously in Armed Forces accommodation. They have been allocated a 1st floor 2 bedroom apartment and plan to purchase in 15 years.  D has recently left the Army to start his own locksmith business and therefore had to vacate his tied accommodation with the Army. Having a Rentplus home has prevented them from becoming homeless as they were subject to eviction and will allow D to build his new business and save.  This is a great opportunity to support him and his family now when it is most needed.  This will give him and his partner an opportunity to save, secure their finances and eventually buy their home.  

E is a 52 year old single mother who has been allocated a 2nd floor 2 bedroom apartment. E works full time and has a grown daughter who is living with her. Rentplus gives her the opportunity to purchase the property with her daughter.