Rent-To-Own A Home

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Rent-To-Own A Home?
How does Rent-To-Own A Home differ from renting?
Who is Rent-To-Own A Home suited for?
How does your Rent-To-Own A Home Program work?
What makes the Rent-To-Own A Home strategy successful?
What are the benefits of the Rent-To-Own A Home Program?
What if I have a poor credit score or no credit history at all?
How will you determine how much I can spend on a home?
Are the monthly payments the same as rent payments?
Do I get to choose my own home?
Do I own the house during the Rent-To-Own Program term?
Do I need a deposit?
Will your program help me save a down payment?
How much will I pay for the home at the end of my rental term?
How long is your Rent-To-Own A Home Program? Do I have a choice?
What kind of agreements do you use to protect all parties involved?
Do I need to hire a lawyer?
Who will be responsible for the house maintenance and repairs?
Who will be paying the utility bills?
Who will be paying the property taxes on the home?
Who will be paying for the insurance on the home?
Do I need to purchase content/tenant insurance?
What if I decide not to exercise my option to purchase?
At the end of my rental period, what if I still can’t purchase the home back?
What are main reasons for being declined enrollment in your Rent-to-Own Program?
Can I choose any city in Ontario to live in?
When is the purchase price of the home set?
Your Program mentions that you are “forcing” us to save the 5% down payment and the 2.5% closing costs (total 7.5% of the future purchase price of the home) through our deposit and monthly option credits. Will we receive a cheque for that amount when it is time to buy the home?







What is Rent-To-Own A Home?

Rent-To-Own A Home is a program that helps people achieve their dream of home ownership. It allows them to choose the home of their choice, move in today, and then rent it from us for one, two, or three years, giving them time to save a down payment, rebuild damaged credit, and qualify for a mortgage.

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How does Rent-To-Own A Home differ from renting?

You have an immediate interest in the property in the form of an option to purchase agreement, a deposit and monthly option premiums that will be your down payment when you purchase the home. You are also considered the “owner” when you move in and have the freedom to decorate or upgrade the house to make it your own.

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Who is Rent-to-Own A Home suited for?

If you are unable to qualify for a traditional home mortgage through your bank or a mortgage, our Rent-To-Own A Home Program might be the solution you are looking for. The Program is meant to help those who do not have a high enough down payment, or those who have poor or bruised credit, or those who are at risk of losing their existing home. Often, those who take advantage of this Program:

  • Have No Credit.
  • Are New To The Country.
  • Have Been Through Bankruptcy.
  • Have Past Health Issues.
  • Have Been Through A Divorce.
  • Are A Victim of Identity Theft.
  • Made Some Dumb Decisions.
For more information and to learn how to qualify for our Rent-To-Own A Home Program, visit our Rent-To-Own A Home: Tenant Buyers How To Qualify page.
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How does your Rent-To-Own A Home Program work?

Below is a brief overview of our how our Rent-To-Own A Home Program works in Ontario. For more detailed information and our application, visit Rent-To-Own A Home: How It Works.

  • First we find a tenant buyer who is genuinely motivated to own their own home, has steady income, and has a deposit of at least $5,000. We crunch the numbers taking into consideration salary, debt coverage ratio, personal credit story, and credit report and credit score to determine first if they qualify. We then calculate what their rental term would be, and how much they can comfortably afford considering their personal circumstances.
  • Once qualified, we introduce the tenant buyer to our Credit Repair Specialist who will serve as their mentor. A personalized plan is then developed for the tenant buyer so that they know exactly what they need to do in order to qualify for a mortgage at the end of their rental term.
  • We then introduce the tenant buyer to a real estate agent in the city they wish to live who will help them find the house of their dreams, within the predetermined agreed upon budget.
  • If all goes well with the house inspection, we crunch the final numbers to determine the final selling price and put together the many agreements used to finalize our agreement. Using historical statistical data, we analyze the city carefully to determine the expected appreciation rate. Any extra value in the home achieved during the rental term through higher-than-expected appreciation or from home improvements is the tenant buyer’s to keep.
  • We submit an offer to purchase the property you have chosen, with the intent of selling it to you after your rental term (once you’ve had enough time to repair your credit and save at least a 10% down payment).
  • Once the offer is accepted, we draft and sign the following:
    • Lease agreement: helps us prove to our lender that we have a tenant in place;
    • Occupancy and Option to Purchase agreement: Outlines the amount of the monthly option credits the tenant will earn as they rent the property. It also outlines the final purchase price of the property, the amount the tenant buyer will pay for the home at the end of the rental term;
    • Utilities & Home Repair Contract.
  • Tenant buyer pays an initial deposit (2-10% of the home purchase price) that will go towards their down payment at the end of their rental term.
  • Tenant buyer moves in! Monthly rental payment includes a monthly option credit, which, if the rent is paid on time, goes towards their down payment at the end of their rental term. The goal is to save a 10% down payment over the term of the rental, so, for a 36 month term, the deposit plus the 36 monthly option credits must equal 10% of the future purchase price of the home.
  • Credit Repair Mentoring and Monitoring: To be successful in purchasing your dream home from us at the end of your rental term, you must follow the guidelines presented to you by your Credit Repair Specialist (included in Program). A quarterly review will be scheduled to discuss your progress and to make sure you are on the road to success.
  • Tenant buyer exercises their option to purchase the home 60-days prior to the end of the rental term, and the ownership or title of the home is transferred.
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What makes the Rent-To-Own A Home strategy successful?

The Program is designed to be a win-win for all parties involved.

The tenant buyer:

  • uses an effective strategy in order to achieve home ownership in less than three years;
  • learns how to make corrections to and improve their credit report and score (to make sure they will be approved for a mortgage at the end of their rental term);
  • builds a down payment through forced savings (deposit and monthly option credits accumulate so that they have at least a 10% down payment at the end of the rental term to purchase the home);
  • gets to shop for and move in to the dream home now, instead of having to rent and wait;
  • buys their dream home from us at the end of their rental term and become home owners!
The investor:
  • receives an above-average return on their investment, along with a predetermined exit strategy secured by legally-binding agreements;
  • can feel assured that they are helping people who are motivated and deserve to become home owners;
  • enjoys hassle-free, zero maintenance since the tenant buyer is responsible for repairs and maintenance;
  • invests in the most favourable investment cities in Ontario as determined by real estate cycle analysis of each market. The real estate agent or broker:
  • uses the Rent-To-Own A Home Program to help tenant buyers who can’t get approved for a mortgage now, as a “stepping-stone” towards home ownership (rather than decline and turn away prospective homeowners);
  • Maintains the relationship with the client and earns extra points by finding them a solution that allows them to move in to their dream home today, with a plan to purchase it eventually;
  • Earns a tenant-locator fee for all Rent-To-Home A Home approved applicants.
The mortgage broker:
  • Earns commission through the sale of the home from us at the beginning of the rental term;
  • Earns a commission through the sale of the home at the end of the rental term, assuming they help the tenant buyer find financing.
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What are the benefits of the Rent-To-Own A Home Program?

  • Helps people move into their dream home now, with less down payment and lower credit score requirements than the bank needs to approve a conventional mortgage.
  • “Forced” savings help people save their down payment. The initial deposit and a percentage of every month’s rent (provided rent is paid on time) is saved to be used as a down payment at the end of the rental period.
  • Credit Report and Credit Score is repaired through the process, and good credit habits are built with the help of a Credit Repair Specialist, included in the program free of charge.
  • Building Equity: Because we only offer this program in cities that have the right conditions for steady growth in value, we are very realistic when it comes to determining the future value of the home. The purchase price is determined at the beginning of the process and cannot change during the rental period. If the home appreciates more than we predict, or if the tenant buyer makes improvements that increase the home value, then the difference between the purchase price and the home value is the tenant buyers to keep.
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What if I have a poor credit score or no credit history at all?

The typical Rent-To-Own A Home rental period is two or three years. Over that time, we’ll show you how to repair your credit so that you’ll qualify for a mortgage. We will not enroll you in our program unless we are confident you can repair your credit over the rental term. Three years is plenty of time to build a credit history and credit score that will qualify you for a conventional mortgage.

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How will you determine how much I can spend on a home?

In addition to other factors that we use to qualify a Rent-To-Own A Home Program applicant, we calculate the amount the applicant can afford using a conservative formula based on their income and their debts. Their debt coverage ratio determines the amount of gross income that can be used for home-related expenses. For a general guideline, multiply the total yearly gross income by three.

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Are the monthly payments the same as rent payments?

Our Rent-To-Own A Home Program helps you build your down payment over your rental term. The monthly payments are typically 20% higher than they would be if you were simply renting. That extra 20% every month is forced savings, applied to your down payment so that by the end of your rental term you’ll have at least a 10% down payment. The amount of your monthly payment will be determined prior to you signing an agreement, and will remain fixed for the term.

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Do I get to choose my own home?

Yes, we prefer to select a qualified tenant first, determine how much they can afford, and then introduce them to one of our real estate agents in their city of choice who then help them shop for their dream home.

However, since we are initially purchasing the home (with the intent of selling it to you at the end of your rental term), we need to protect our investment, the interests of our investors, and your future investment. To protect everyone involved as much as possible, we also go through these steps with every client:

  • Analyze the real estate market of the city or town to ensure that the home is in a region that is suitable for our Rent-To-Own A Home Program. Real estate markets differ from region to region. They progress through repetitive cycles (boom, slump, and recovery). Rent-to-own real estate, in general, doesn’t work in every cycle. The cycles are driven by a number of factors that, when monitored closely, can help us choose the most favourable cities for home ownership. Those factors include net migration, vacancy rates, employment, housing construction, number of first-time home buyers, return on investment, rents, incomes, financing availability, GDP, real estate values, affordability, number of days to sell real estate, revitalization, real estate listings and sales.
  • Monitor other factors that have a temporary impact on market activity in each region, such as governments stimulating the economy by lowering interest rates, and new sales taxes being implemented. Understanding how these things impact the housing market helps us protect our investors and steer our clients towards more stable environments to own a home.
  • Investigate the area for economic influences. Here we look at the overall demand in the area, whether the area is in transition, and whether there is a lot of speculative investment in the area. We examine things like transportation improvements, political leadership, average income and interest rates, and so on. We compare that data to the provincial rates to make sure you are buying in a desirable area with good fundamentals.
  • Analyze the Property so that you understand all the associated costs, such as heat, electricity, water/sewer, taxes, insurance, as well as any repairs or improvements that have to be made.
  • Attend your Home Inspection. This is a mandatory element to our Rent-To-Own A Home Program, and requires that the home be professionally inspected prior to closing the deal. This will reveal any hidden problems with the property that could cost money later. Identified early, these issues can be dealt with in the deal or repaired afterwards by you depending on the situation.
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Do I own the house during the Rent-To-Own Program term?

During your “rental” term, we will own your home. Before we enter into an agreement, we all sign agreements that state that we agree to sell you the home at the end of your rental term for a pre-determined price.

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Do I need a deposit?

Yes, to get started you will have to provide an initial deposit of between 2 and 10 percent of the current purchase price of the home. Usually this is a minimum of $5,000. This deposit is saved for you, to be used as your down payment when you purchase the home from us at the end of your rental term.

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Will your program help me save a down payment?

Our Rent-To-Own A Home Program will help you save a down payment of 10% by the end your rental term so that you will be able to purchase the home from us. Your initial deposit is combined with your monthly option credits to help force you to save a down payment.

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How much will I pay for the home at the end of my rental term?

It is very important to everyone involved that the value of the home at the end of your rental term be close to what we predict it will be. To determine the final purchase price, we use the average historical appreciation values for the immediate region. If the value of the home is higher than the pre-determined price (either by market growth or because of home improvements you’ve made), you keep the difference!

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How long is your Rent-To-Own A Home Program? Do I have a choice?

The most common Rent-To-Own A Home terms are two- and three-years. We don’t want your rental term to be any longer or shorter that it needs to be. The term will be dependent on your personal situation, how much deposit you have, and your credit history and credit score. For example, here are some general guidelines with respect to your credit score:

  • 560 or less: three-year term
  • 560 to 520: two-year term
  • 620 an up: one-year term
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What kind of agreements do you use to protect all parties involved?

We will provide you with our Occupancy Agreement early in the process so that you can review it with your lawyer. The agreement outlines lease details, repairs and utilities, the option to purchase as well as all the financial considerations.

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Do I need to hire a lawyer?

As with any major transaction, you will want to ask a lawyer to review the agreements to ensure everything is order and that they properly protect your interests. The agreements were created and reviewed by both our legal and accounting team members, so your lawyer will simply need to review them prior to submission.

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Who will be responsible for the house maintenance and repairs?

You, the tenant, will be responsible to pay for all maintenance and repair items, just as if you already own the home.

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Who will be paying the utility bills?

You will be responsible for paying all utilities which can include electricity, gas, cable TV or internet service, etc.

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Who will be paying the property taxes on the home?

During your rental term we will pay the property taxes (since we own the home during that period). Once you purchase it from us at the end of your rental term, you will then pay the property taxes.

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Who will be paying for the insurance on the home?

There are two types of insurance in a Rent-To-Own A Home Program. The property insurance is paid by us (the owners) during your rental period while we own the home. During this time you will be responsible for tenant or “content” insurance (mandatory). At the end of your rental term, when you purchase the home from us, all of the insurance costs will be your responsibility.

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Do I need to purchase content/tenant insurance?

Yes, this is mandatory for enrollment in our Rent-To-Own A Home Program. You will need to provide us with a copy of your policy before you move in. All Rent-To-Own A Home Programs have two types of insurance: Property insurance (paid by us) and Content or Tenant insurance (paid by you).

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What if I decide not to exercise my option to purchase?

If you decide to not purchase the home at your rental period, you can do so. Your initial deposit and your monthly option credits (20% of your monthly rent) are non-refundable.

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At the end of my rental period, what if I still can’t purchase the home back?

If this occurs, we will discuss the situation with you to see what can be done. In some cases, we can extend your rental term to allow you more time to get your affairs in order. In other cases, you may have to forfeit your deposit and monthly option credits and move out of the house.

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What are main reasons for being declined enrollment in your Rent-to-Own Program?

The two most common reasons for being declined are lack of deposit (you will need to provide a deposit of 2-10% of the purchase price of the home at the beginning of your rental period) and lack of income. Another reason might be inconsistencies between your application and your credit report (or found during our due diligence process which includes employment and reference checks). If you are looking for a home that is far beyond what you can afford, you may also be declined.

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Can I choose any city in Ontario to live in?

We carefully analyze Ontario cities on a regular basis to ensure that our clients are purchasing in areas that are good investments. Currently, for those looking for a home, our program is available in Barrie, Brantford, Burlington, Cambridge, Guelph, Hamilton, Kitchener, Sudbury, and Waterloo. If the city where you want to live is not listed, apply anyway; we may still accept your application (situation depending). Please note that if you already own your home, we will consider your application regardless of where you live in Canada.

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When is the purchase price of the home set?

All of the terms and conditions of our agreement, including purchase price, monthly rent payments, rental term, options credits, etc. are set and agreed upon by all parties before the rental period begins (before you move in).

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Your Program mentions that you are “forcing” us to save the 5% down payment and the 2.5% closing costs (total 7.5% of the future purchase price of the home) through our deposit and monthly option credits. Will we receive a cheque for that amount when it is time to buy the home?

Our Rent-To-Own-A-Home Program utilizes a proven system that is both unconventional and flexible, which allows us to help people become responsible home owners even when they have been declined for a conventional mortgage. Your initial deposit (which is typically 2-5% of the current home purchase price) and monthly option credits (which is 20% of your monthly rent payment) are applied to the transaction when you purchase the home from us, and will serve to cover your mortgage down payment and approximate closing costs. Your deposit and monthly option credits can only be used if you wish to exercise your option to purchase the home from us, and are otherwise non-refundable.

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