If you’re a council house tenant, then you may be eligible to apply to buy your home outright – and at an often-sizeable discount too. However, there are some factors to take into consideration (particularly if you come to sell on your property at a later date) so it’s important to seek legal advice before committing to a purchase.
How does right to buy work?
Under the current scheme, you can apply to buy your council property if:
- It’s your main residence
- It is self-contained and you do not share other rooms with somebody else (for example a bathroom or kitchen)
- You are a secure tenant
- You have spent at least three years living in a council flat or house, although this period does not need to have been continuous
- You have lived in your current home for 12 months
Different rules apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
It is possible to make a joint application with somebody you share your tenancy with and if your home has been sold to another landlord – such as a housing association – then you may be able to buy your home through the Preserved Right to Buy scheme.
How big are the discounts under right to buy?
How much discount is applied depends on how long you’ve been a tenant with a public sector landlord and the type of property you’re buying. The maximum discount in England is £82,800 but this increases each April in line with the consumer price index.
It’s worth knowing that some lenders accept the discount as a deposit so in certain circumstances, you won’t need to raise any money upfront and will only need to borrow enough to cover the mortgage itself.
What else do I need to know?
While right to buy offers council tenants greater security through home ownership, would-be buyers still need to be mindful that once they purchase a property, they will become responsible for maintenance and repair costs.
There may also be ongoing charges for the upkeep of communal areas and if a house is then sold within five years, some or all of the discount may have to be repaid.
Find Solihull Solicitors who can help
If you’re thinking about right to buy and want to find Solihull solicitors who can help talk through your options and handle your purchase, call us on 0800 652 37 37 or get in touch to request a consultation.
Anthony Stockton Solicitors
First Floor, 2 Manor Square, Solihull B91 3PX
0121 289 3088