Sale and rent-back firms ‘must back up claims’

A move by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to demand that 16 sale and rent-back firms back up claims they make in their adverts has been welcomed.

Andrea Rozario, the director general of Safe Home Income Plans (Ship), said the action would help consumers to make an “informed decision” on whether to sell their houses to the companies.

“There is no comparison between regulated equity release plans, with which consumers have the full protection of the Financial Services Authority … and the non-regulated sale and rent-back sector,” she commented.

She said that those thinking of releasing equity in their properties should note that they have the right to live in their homes for life if they take up a Ship-approved scheme.

The OFT has issued formal notices to 16 sale and rent-back outfits asking them to substantiate information included in adverts, such as whether sellers are allowed to stay in their houses and if tenants will have low rental payments.

By Jamie Price

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