For decades, council tenants in the UK have had the opportunity to purchase their homes at a discounted rate through the Right to Buy scheme. This initiative was introduced by the UK government in 1980 to provide council tenants with a pathway to homeownership and to encourage them to take greater responsibility for their properties.
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what the Right to Buy scheme is, how it works, and who is eligible.
What is the Right to Buy scheme?
The Right to Buy scheme is a government initiative that allows council tenants to purchase their home at a discounted price. The scheme applies to properties that are owned by councils and some housing associations, and it has helped many people in the UK achieve their dream of homeownership.
How does the Right to Buy scheme work?
If you’re a council tenant and you’re interested in purchasing your home through the Right to Buy scheme, you’ll need to follow these steps:
- Check your eligibility: To be eligible for the Right to Buy scheme, you must have been a council tenant for at least three years. You must also be the tenant of the property you’re looking to buy, and it must be your only or main home.
- Get a valuation: Before you can purchase your home, you’ll need to get it valued by a qualified surveyor. The valuation will determine the market value of the property and the discount you’re entitled to.
- Apply to buy: Once you’ve received your valuation, you can apply to purchase your home through the Right to Buy scheme. You’ll need to complete an application form and provide supporting documents to prove your eligibility.
- Receive an offer: If your application is successful, your council will send you an offer outlining the discount you’re entitled to and the terms and conditions of the sale.
- Complete the purchase: If you decide to proceed with the purchase, you’ll need to arrange a mortgage (if necessary) and pay the required deposit. Once you’ve completed the purchase, you’ll be the proud owner of your council home.
Who is eligible for the Right to Buy scheme?
To be eligible for the Right to Buy scheme, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have been a council tenant for at least three years.
- You must be the tenant of the property you’re looking to buy, and it must be your only or main home.
- The property must be owned by a council or housing association that participates in the scheme.
- You must not have any outstanding rent arrears or other debts to the council or housing association.
What discount am I entitled to under the Right to Buy scheme?
The amount of discount you’re entitled to under the Right to Buy scheme depends on several factors, including:
- How long you’ve been a council tenant.
- The type of property you’re looking to buy.
- The market value of the property.
In general, the longer you’ve been a council tenant, the greater the discount you’re entitled to. The maximum discount available under the scheme is currently £96,010 in England (or £127,940 in London), It will increase each year in April in line with the consumer price index (CPI), but the discount may be lower if the market value of the property is less than the maximum discount.
As always, we are here to discuss your options with you. Feel free to contact us and one of our professional advisers will guide you.