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Information for Rent to Buy customers

Rent to Buy is a government backed initiative that allows eligible working people to rent at 80% of the market rent, while the tenant saves for a deposit to buy.

  • How it works
  • Living in your home
  • What you can expect from Torus
  • FAQs

How does Rent to Buy work?

All Rent to Buy tenants are expected to pay advance rent and a deposit before signing up for their tenancy.  The deposit which will be held with the Deposit Protection Scheme.

Download the Torus Guide to Rent to Buy here (pdf)

What are the benefits of Rent to Buy?

  • Lower Rent: Tenants pay 20% less than market rent making it easier to save
  • New home: You get the benefit of a new or recently built home
  • Responsible regulated landlord: You have a professional landlord who is regulated by the government – that’s us!
  • Security: If we decide to sell the property, the Rent to Buy tenant will be given the first option to buy.
  • No rent-rise shocks: Your rent only will rise by inflation+ 1% a year, so no unexpected hikes.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for Rent to Buy you must:

  • be working
  • have completed our Rent to Buy application form
  • provided supporting information we’ve requested
  • have satisfied any landlord reference or credit checks we undertake
  • satisfy us that you’ll be able to afford the rent payments
  • have the Right to Rent a home in the UK
  • be able to pay a deposit and rent up front
  • be a first-time buyer or returning to the market after a relationship breakdown (but not own another home by the time you let).

Who isn't eligible?

Some of the reasons people may not be eligible include:

  • you’re not working
  • you will require housing benefit to help pay your rent
  • you earn more than £80,000
  • you’re clearly in a position to buy a home right away without support
  • you intend to sub-let
  • the property won’t be your main home
  • you’ll continue to have legal interest in another property
  • the number of people in your household means the property would be overcrowded
  • you’re in rent arrears or in breach of your current tenancy agreement

If you have any tenancy management or rent queries please contact our Leasehold Team:

As a tenant, you are responsible for the property from the date on your tenancy agreement.

We are responsible for obtaining gas and electricity certificates before you can move into your new home. You will find copies of these in the information pack.

  • Gas: We will register you with the current supplier for the property and you will be responsible for any charges from the date of your tenancy.
  • Electricity: We will register you with the current supplier for the property and you will be responsible for any charges from the date of your tenancy.
  • Water: You must tell United Utilities as soon as you move in so they can register you as the tenant(s).  They will let you know how much you have to pay and how you can pay.  You are responsible for any water charges from the date of your tenancy.

Unless we advise you otherwise you are responsible for ordering and, where applicable, paying for all waste/recycling bins.  You can find lots of useful information on recycling, bin collections and replacement bins on your local Council’s website:

If you decide to move out of your current home, your tenancy agreement means that you must comply with the following:

  • Continue to pay rent until your tenancy ends
  • Give at least one calendar months’ notice of leaving.
  • Return all keys no later than midday on the day your notice period ends to avoid being charged further rent.
  • Not leave anyone living at the property.
  • Take all furniture and belongings with you to avoid being charged for removal.
  • Remove any rubbish from the property and garden to avoid being charged for removal.
  • Leave all decorations in the property in the condition it was rented to you in.
  • Leave no outstanding tenant responsibility repairs.
  • Leave all services in place and in working order.
  • Have your meters read, your water supply turned off and leave any gas and electricity equipment in a safe condition.

If you don’t comply with any of these conditions, you will receive a bill for any costs incurred by us to rectify the situation.  This may result in you losing some, or all, of your deposit.

Tenants living in flats should co-operate with each other to keep halls, stairways and landings clean and tidy. We maintain the gardens.  You are responsible for the behaviour of people living with you or visiting your home.

By signing your tenancy agreement, you have accepted all the responsibilities and rights explained in it. You should look carefully at the section about nuisance and anti-social behaviour in your agreement.

You must not keep or allow anyone else to keep any domestic pet or any animal in your property without first obtaining consent.

As a general rule, pets are not allowed in flats with communal areas.  Please refer to your tenancy agreement for further information about pets and animals.

If you notice the need for a repair in any of the communal areas of the block, please report the repair by contacting the Torus Customer Hub:

To help us provide an efficient service, please report any problems as soon as possible, provide as much information as possible, provide your contact details and ask for a job number.

If your block has a door entry system, make sure you only allow people in who are visiting your flat.  If you feel someone is acting suspiciously in or around your block, contact us or if necessary, the police.

Always ask any visitor who claims to be on official business for the appropriate identification before you let them into your home or into the block.

When you enter or leave the building, make sure the doors are closed properly.

As your landlord, we aim to provide a quality repairs service, on time and with the highest standards of customer care. We will only repair items that we supply, and you should refer to your tenancy agreement for further information.

Your repairs responsibilities

  • You must tell us when a repair need doing in your home.
  • You must allow reasonable access to your home for the purposes of repairs and maintenance.
  • When you buy and fit your own fixtures, fittings and appliances it is your responsibility to repair and maintain them.
  • If items are damaged or missing due to wilful misuse or neglect, you will be expected to replace or repair them, or you may be recharged for the cost of the work.
  • You must remove rubbish from the inside of the property (including the loft) and from the outside of the property both during and at the end of your tenancy.
  • You must not carry out any improvements or alterations to your home without our prior written consent.

Reporting repairs

If you have a repair to report, contact us on 0800 678 1894 and provide as much detail as possible about the repair and include your contact details.  If the repair is our responsibility, we will confirm the category of your repair so that you know the maximum time you can expect to wait for it to be completed. You will also be provided with a unique reference number which you should quote in any future communication.

How quickly will the repair be done?

All repairs are prioritised as either Emergency, by Arrangement (Priority or Routine) and or Programmed (Major) Repair:

  • Emergency Repairs – These are faults that could seriously damage your health or the property, we aim make safe any emergency repairs within 4 hours and will aim to complete the job within 24 hours. In an emergency you should call 0800 678 1894 at any time, you can report emergency repairs 24/7.
    Find out what are emergency repairs here.
  • Priority Repairs – These are not emergencies, but repairs, which need to be carried out quickly to prevent further damage to the property and improve customer’s quality of life. We aim to complete the job within 48 hours.
  • Routine Repairs - For all non-emergency jobs we will offer an appointment within 20 calendar days. The quickest way to report a non-emergency repair is online.

Rechargeable Repairs

We will charge you for any repairs that need to be carried out due to deliberate damage or neglect caused by you, members of your family or visitors to your home, or damage caused as a result of police enquiries. Please refer to your tenancy agreement for more information.

Your tenancy agreement will stipulate that you must not carry out any improvements or alterations to your home without our prior written consent, this includes internally or externally.

Please refer to your tenancy agreement for further information improving your home.

By law, we must carry out an annual gas safety check of your home.  This check must take place even if you do not have a live gas supply.

This leaflet explains our responsibilities as a landlord, your responsibility as a tenant and how to avoid putting yourself at risk from faulty gas appliances.

Our duty as your landlord

We will ensure that:

  • Your gas fittings (appliances, pipe work and flues) installed by us are maintained and in a safe condition
  • All work is carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer
  • A gas service is carried out on each appliance/flue in your home every year which is required by law (for a new tenancy, all gas appliances/flues will be checked when you move in)
  • We keep a record of each annual gas service and issue you with a copy
  • You have a copy of your home’s current gas safety certificate (for new tenants, this is included in your welcome pack).

Your duty as a tenant

As a tenant, you must:

  • Allow us and our contractors access to your home to carry out vital maintenance and safety checks on our gas appliances every year, even if you don’t use gas.
  • Please note: Failure to give us reasonable access to your home to check gas appliances is dangerous for you, your family and your neighbours.  It is also a breach of your tenancy agreement, and it could result in legal action to enforce access, or we could end your tenancy.
  • Ask us for permission if you want to replace a gas appliance, by law you must use a suitably qualified Gas Safe engineer to carry out any work to a gas installation in your home.

Contact us if you see the following danger signs

  • Sooting or staining marks on or around the appliance.
  • A yellow or orange lazy flame – not crisp and blue.
  • More condensation than normal in the room where the appliance is installed.
  • Anyone in your household suffering from drowsiness, headaches, nausea or pains in the chest when using a gas appliance.

If you notice any of these signs, turn off the appliance immediately and contact us on 0800 678 1894.

Find more gas safety tips here.

Frequently asked questions

When you become a Rent to Buy tenant you sign a tenancy agreement which is a legal document that sets out what are our landlord responsibilities and what your responsibilities as the tenant. By signing the tenancy agreement, you are only committing to rent the property in accordance with the tenancy terms. You are not committing to buy the property and we are not committing to sell.

Rent to Buy tenancies can be anything from 6 months up to 2 years.  Please refer to your tenancy agreement for the length of term for your tenancy.

The rent is detailed in the Tenancy Agreement. The rent is calculated as 80% of the market rent for the property, which is inclusive of any service charges.

Rent to Buy tenants are required to pay their rent on the 1st of each month, through Direct Debit.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties or anticipate your direct debit may fail, please contact us urgently to discuss this.

Remember – If you don’t keep up rent payments then you may lose your home. We will also not sell to you if you are in rent arrears.

As a tenant, you’re expected to look after your home, but you can report repairs to us as your landlord online or over the phone. Different repairs will be dealt with in different timescales depending on seriousness and urgency. Details of our repair timescales are detailed above.

Any damage caused to the property or any shared areas, by either your household or your visitors, will be recharged at the time or be taken from your deposit in accordance with the Deposit Protection Scheme conditions. This will also be the case if you purchase.

Remember this is just a guide, your tenancy agreement will explain yours and our responsibilities in more detail.

Roebuck Plaza, Warrington statement

Updated: 17 January 2023

Torus recently explored proposals to move office-based services from Bank Park House in Warrington to the ground floor commercial spaces at Roebuck Plaza in Warrington town centre.

Following an extensive review of the options and costings, a decision has been made by Torus to not proceed with the move.

Torus is still committed to providing much needed affordable homes and putting customers at the heart of everything that we do and providing great places for our colleagues to work from. Being at the heart of where people need our support and services is still a priority for the organisation and we would like to reassure our customers that all our essential support services in the area will be unaffected by our decision to continue to operate from Bank Park House.