'Sale and rent back’ victory

9 July 2009

a house

In an historic case brought by Shelter, a vulnerable family has been told they can keep the home they have lived in for more than 20 years after almost losing it in a repossession ‘sale and rent back’ scam.

In the first court ruling of its kind, the judge branded the sale and rent back company Repossessions Stopped ‘dishonest’ for promising the family they could stay in their home for life.

Paul and Amanda Jackson were terrified of losing the home they had occupied since 1984 after falling into arrears with their mortgage, and in desperation answered a newspaper advertisement by a company called Repossessions Stopped.

The company told the couple it would buy their home, pay off their mortgage and let them rent it back indefinitely.

But within two years the Jacksons were threatened with eviction after the property’s new owner defaulted on her mortgage and was herself repossessed.

In a landmark decision, His Honour Judge Worster ruled that the family can either revert to being owner-occupiers, or rent the property for the rest of their lives, with their daughter inheriting the tenancy.

Shelter’s principal solicitor John Gallagher said:

‘This is a huge and important victory for not only the Jackson family but everyone who is tempted by these sale and rent back schemes.

‘I would urge anyone having mortgage difficulties to seek independent advice from Shelter, a Citizens Advice Bureau or other debt counselling organisations before contacting these kind of companies.’

Get advice on repossession

If you are concerned about repossession, the most effective way to prevent it is to seek advice early: