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Are you a council tenant?

  • You could buy your home at a discounted price through the Right to Buy scheme.
  • You could save up to £104,900 when you purchase your home through the scheme.
  • Our expert advisers can find you the best mortgage deal.
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Right to Buy scheme

A government scheme for council tenants

The Right to Buy scheme gives eligible council and housing association tenants in England the legal right to buy their home at a discounted price.

Scotland has closed the scheme on 31 July 2016, while options for Wales can be found on http://gov.wales/topics/housing-and-regeneration/?lang=en and for Northern Ireland on https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/house-sales-scheme website.

If you’ve been a council tenant for at least 3 years, you could be eligible to buy your home at a discounted price.

The Right to Buy discount will depend on

  • how long you have been a council tenant for,
  • whether you buy a house or a flat and
  • whether you buy in London or elsewhere

If your tenancy has been transferred to a housing association, you could still have Preserved Right to Buy, so if interested in buying, you should check your eligibility with your housing association.

How Can We Help You?

How can we help you?

As independent, whole of market mortgage brokers, we have access to the lenders who offer mortgages for the Right to Buy scheme (both for purchase and remortgage transactions). Using our experience and expertise, we can find the most suitable deal for you.

Should you have any questions during the process, we are available from start to finish to answer your queries and help you with the necessary paperwork.

Buy your council home at a discount

After 3 years of council tenancy, you could get 35% discount on a house and 50% on a flat. This would increase after 5 years of tenancy by 1% per year for houses and by 2% for flats.

The maximum Right to Buy discount is the lower of 70% of the property value or currently £78,600 across England and £104,900 in London boroughs. This maximum discount amount increases every year on 1 April in line with inflation.

Right to Buy process

If you believe that you’re eligible and would like to buy your home, you will have to complete the application form (RTB1) and take it or send it by recorded delivery to your landlord. It is also advised that you keep a copy for your reference.

Your landlord will be in touch with further information and will arrange a property valuation, which will be the basis for calculating the discounted purchase price.

Those named on the Right to Buy letter will have to be party to the mortgage as well, if you are taking a mortgage. For this reason, it is worth checking your mortgage options to avoid being caught out by mortgage lenders’ affordability assessment based on age, income, outgoings or credit history.

Once the Right to Buy mortgage offer is issued and the solicitor has done the necessary checks, exchange of contracts and completion will take place similarly to a standard purchase.

It will be specified in the council’s / housing association’s offer letter, but the offered purchase price is typically valid for 3-6 months. Once this period ends, it is normally possible to get an extension, although that is often subject to a new valuation.

Right to Buy purchase pre-emption period

There is a so-called pre-emption period of 5 years, which means that if the buyer was to sell within this period, the discount would have to be repaid on a decreasing scale.

The following table can be found on the https://righttobuy.gov.uk website:

If you sell withinPercentage of the discount to be repaid
The first year of purchase100%
Second year80%
Third year60%
Fourth year40%
Fifth year20%

The lender and the council expect you to live in the property during the pre-emption period, although they may be prepared to give a consent to let if you move home and want to rent out the property. However, obtaining a buy-to-let mortgage will only be possible from very few lenders.

Right to Acquire

Those who are public sector tenants for at least 3 years, may be eligible to buy their home under the Right to Acquire scheme. The potential public sector landlords include

  • housing associations
  • councils
  • the armed services
  • NHS trusts and foundation trusts

The discount, in this case, is dependent on the area and is between £9,000 and £16,000. For further details visit https://www.gov.uk/right-to-acquire-buying-housing-association-home

Not every lender is prepared to offer a mortgage for this scheme, but there is still a selection of high street lenders and smaller building societies, who can accept applications.

At BlueWing Financials, we deal with the lenders who cater for the Right to Buy scheme and are experts at finding our customers the most suitable deals.

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