Affordable Homeownership with the Right to Buy Scheme

Your Council Home, Your Future: A Step-by-Step Guide to Right to Buy

Unlocking the Right to Buy: Your Comprehensive Guide

Are you dreaming of purchasing your council home at a fraction of the market price? Look no further – this guide is your key to understanding the Right to Buy scheme. This program offers eligible council home and housing association tenants the opportunity to become homeowners at significantly reduced rates. As the scheme continues to evolve and expand, more renters are becoming eligible, and you could be one of them!

Act Now - Don't Miss Out!

It's essential to grasp that the Right to Buy mortgage scheme isn't guaranteed forever. Changes in government policy, especially after a general election, can alter or even terminate the program. For instance, in Scotland, the right to buy scheme for council and housing association tenants ended in July 2016, and in Wales, it concluded on January 26, 2019. Don't leave your homeownership dreams to chance – apply today!

At Yes Financial, we have facilitated over £171 million in Right to Buy Mortgages. Contact us to learn more.

Who Qualifies for Right to Buy?

The Right to Buy scheme extends to most council home tenants in England, with certain housing association tenants also eligible for substantial discounts. However, it's crucial to note that this scheme is not available in Scotland and Wales but remains an option in Northern Ireland.

In England, you are eligible to purchase your council home if you meet these criteria:

  • The property is your primary or sole residence.
  • You hold a secure tenancy with a legally binding contract from your landlord.
  • You've been under the tenancy of a public sector landlord for at least three years (non-consecutive years count).
  • The property is self-contained, with no shared rooms outside your household.
  • You have no ongoing debt-related issues, such as bankruptcy or an IVA.
  • If the tenancy is shared, you can make a joint application under the Right to Buy mortgage scheme. Moreover, up to three family members, residing with you for the past year, can also join the application, even if they aren't on the tenancy agreement.

Can I Apply for Right to Buy if I Live in an Ex-Council Home?

If you currently reside in an ex-council home that was transferred to another public sector entity while you lived there, you may still be eligible for the Right to Buy mortgage scheme under the Preserved Right to Buy. This may also apply if you later moved into another property owned by the same new landlord (not applicable if you moved to a different landlord). Reach out to your landlord to explore your eligibility for purchasing your property under the Preserved Right to Buy.

What is Right to Acquire?

If you don't qualify for Right to Buy or Preserved Right to Buy, you may still have the chance to buy your home at a discount through the Right to Acquire scheme. While this scheme offers discounts, they are not as generous as Right to Buy, with a cap set at £16,000. You can be eligible if:

  • The property is your primary or sole residence.
  • You've been under the tenancy of a public sector landlord for at least three years (non-consecutive years count).
  • Your property was either built or acquired by a housing association after March 31st, 1997.
  • Your property was transferred from a local council to a housing association after March 31st, 1997.

How Much is the Right to Buy Discount?

If you're eligible for the Right to Buy scheme, the maximum discount you can receive is £96,010 across England, rising to £127,940 if you live in London. These thresholds increase each April. The discount amount is determined by various factors, including the duration of your public sector tenancy and whether you reside in a house or a flat.

For flat residents:

  • 3-5 years of tenancy: 50% discount (up to £96,010 or £127,940).
  • Over 5 years of tenancy: 2% increase per additional year, up to 70% (capped at £96,010 or £127,940).

For house residents:

  • 3-5 years of tenancy: 35% discount (up to £96,010 or £127,940).
  • Over 5 years of tenancy: 1% increase per additional year, up to 70% (or the lower of £96,010 in England and £127,940 in London).

The discount may be affected if your landlord invested in building work or home maintenance. Estimate your potential discount using the Right to Buy calculator on the Own Your Own Home website.

For Northern Ireland applicants, the maximum discount is £24,000.

How to Apply for Right to Buy

Purchasing your council home through Right to Buy involves a few steps:

  • Begin with Us: Call us toll-free at 0800 0830449, and we can handle the paperwork for you.

  • Submit Your Application: Once you've completed the online application form, sign it, and send it to your landlord. Alternatively, call us at 0800 0830449, and we'll assist you with this process.

  • Await a Response: Your landlord must respond within four weeks of your application, or eight weeks if they've been your landlord for less than three years. If the response is negative, they should provide reasons for their decision.

    • You can appeal a negative decision if it's based on the property being suitable for elderly people. This requires appealing to a tribunal.
  • Receive an Offer: If your landlord agrees to sell, they must send you an offer within eight weeks for freehold properties or 12 weeks for leasehold purchases. The offer should include details like the discount amount, purchase price, property description, service charge estimates for the first five years, and any known structural defects. You'll have 12 weeks to decide whether to buy. If you don't respond within this time, your landlord may drop your application.

    • Call us at freephone 0800 083 0449 when you receive your offer, and we can help you explore mortgage options from the entire market. Remember, you can withdraw from the sale at any time without disruption.

"Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage."

What If I Disagree with the Landlord's Offer?

If you believe your landlord has overvalued the property, you have three months after receiving the offer to request an independent valuation. An HMRC district valuer will assess the property's worth. You'll then have 12 weeks to accept this valuation or withdraw from the sale.

What to Do If the Landlord Delays

If your landlord fails to respond within the specified timeframes, you may be eligible for a further reduction in the property's sale price. Fill out an Initial Notice of Delay form (RTB6) and send it to your landlord. They must either expedite the process within a month or issue a counter notice, explaining the delay or stating that they've already responded.

If you still don't receive a reply one month after sending

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