You probably saw the ads a while back...
"We'll buy your house and you can stay in it."
"Sell it to us today. Cash paid for you property and you still keep it."
Basically you're supposed to sell your house to a group of investors or an individual for a price that is usually below market value. Then the person that sold the house rents it back from the buyer. This means the person selling their home doesn't have to move, they just have to pay rent to their new landlord.
This sounds really good, in theory. But things don't always work out like that.
Most of the time the individual selling the house is in financial issues and could be struggling to keep up with the mortgage repayments. Or they may be in arrears. The FSA has done research into this and found that most of these transactions are either unaffordable or unsuitable and never should have gone through. Dodgy dealings.
The buyer usually offers quick cash for way under the property value, probably because the owner cannot wait for it to be sold on the market because of the arrears they may be in or the debt. It doesn't really solve anything. The FSA also stated many of the transactions broke FSA rules. The market got suspended by the FSA shortly after. This is what needed to happen.
There's also a need for this type of business, Obviously it would have to be set up and properly managed. It could be a good thing for many property owners that are struggling to keep up with the repayments. The reverse mortgage started years ago. If you had substantial equity in your property and were an OAP, you could have the equity in the property paid to you on a monthly basis to live off of. Then once you passed on, the property would then go back to that lender, a reverse mortgage.
But of course some people would rather sell their home and take all the money. But others preferred to stay in the house, even if it wasn't theirs any longer. It's pretty much the same as the buy your house to rent scheme.