In response to the launch of tryitbuyitproperty.com, Shapps expressed his department’s support for private sector solutions that address current challenges in the housing market.
The website is the brainchild of property entrepreneur David Riley and is aimed at homeowners who are unable to sell their house as well as purchasers unable to obtain a mortgage.
It matches potential renters and future buyers across the UK, claiming rent to buy is a solution that bridges the gap between renting and homeownership.
Monthly rental payments and the option to purchase price are agreed up front by the two parties, and a proportion of the rent can be used to offset the final purchase price.
Riley likens the initiative to the way cars are purchased using a lease plan.
He says: “Now this popular concept with motorists has triggered a niche opportunity and a solution to get the struggling housing market moving.
“It also works particularly well for overseas property purchasers, as the opportunity to live in a new country on a trial basis is the best route to a sound investment.
“And just like purchasing a car through a personal lease purchase plan, you can choose to walk away from the property at the end of the contract.”