Help for Sunderland first-time buyers to get on the property ladder

HOME HELP: John Paul of Castle Dene and Adele Crocker of Interlet with Laura Yates and family.
HOME HELP: John Paul of Castle Dene and Adele Crocker of Interlet with Laura Yates and family.
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LAURA Yates and Stephen Patterson have taken their first steps on to the property ladder, thanks to a new scheme to help would-be buyers afford their dream home.

Laura, 24, and 29-year-old Stephen from Castletown, moved into their new home in Gleneagles Road in Grindon last week, thanks to the Rent to Own scheme from letting agency Interlet North East.

The couple have moved into a £106,000 three-bedroom terrace house, along with children Ty, two, and 17-week-old Dakota.

They have been together for five years, and had previously lived with their parents, as well as renting, which meant that despite the fact they both work – Stephen for John E Laing, and Laura for Jennings Ford – their mortgage application was refused by a single credit point.

It was while househunting online that they came across Rent to Own.

The service allows potential homeowners to move into a new home straight away and pay rent, as well as a small additional fee which goes into a secure account and becomes a deposit on the property at the end of the rental period.

It is particularly aimed at people having problems getting on to the housing ladder, whether because they are self-employed with less than three years of accounts, don’t have enough savings for a deposit or have a poor credit rating, CCJ or arrears. Buyers are able to repair their credit rating while they save for a deposit.

“Rent to Own is brilliant for people looking to buy a house,” said Laura.

“The service is quick, and we were able to move within two weeks of us choosing the property. The staff were really helpful and friendly, and in five years’ time we will end up owning the property so we can make as many changes to it as we like.”

John Paul, managing director of Interlet parent company the Castledene Group, said: “Purchase options have been used in commercial and land transaction for hundreds of years, but we have only started to see them being used for residential transactions quite recently.

“We have put our own modern twist to the scheme by designing policies that are aimed at being transparent to both buyers and tenants. Although we only recently rolled out the service, we have already received a great deal of interest from both tenant buyers and vendor landlords alike, and we anticipate huge interest over the coming months further afield from across the region.”

For more information, contact Adele Crocker, Interlet North East, Blandford Place, Seaham, call 581 5709 or visit