The Right to Buy
Discounts, food, clothes, holidays. The possibility of saving money is never something to shy away from. Now these discounts are available for more than just your weekly shopping, through the Right to Buy scheme discounts may be available for buying your council property.
The Right to Buy scheme allows council tenants the opportunity to buy their homes at a discounted price. But, what’s the catch and how do you know if you’re eligible?
The Right to Buy Scheme was first introduced by Margaret Thatcher and is one of the last legacies of her tenure as prime minister.
Am I Eligible?
Like everything, the discount offered through the Right to Buy scheme does not come without conditions.
You can apply to buy your council home if:
1) The house is your only or main home
2) It is self-contained
3) You’re a secure tenant
4) You’ve had a public sector landlord for at least 3 years
If in any doubt you can use a online eligibility checker
How Much Discount Would I be Entitled to?
The Right to Buy scheme saves you money by giving you a discount on the market value of the property.
The extent of your discount is based on several key factors:
1) The value of your property
2) The type of property
3) How long you have been a tenant with a public sector landlord
The maximum discount is £78,600 except in all London Boroughs in which the discount is£104,900.
How Does the Discount Vary Between Houses and Flats?
It is important to consider that the discount you receive depends on whether you are buying a house and flats.
When purchasing a house through the Right to Buy scheme you will likely receive 35% discount, this is only the case if you’ve been a public sector tenant for between 3 and 5 years.
After 5 years the discount goes up 1% for every extra year you’ve been a public sector tenant.
This continues until you reach the maximum of 70% or £78,600 across England and £104,900 in London boroughs, you will be entitled to whichever is the lower value.
If you live in a flat, you may receive a 50% discount if you’ve been a public sector tenant for between 3 and 5 years. After 5 years, the discount goes up 2% for every year until you reach the maximum of 70%, or £78,600 or £104,900 in London boroughs (whichever is lower).
I’m Eligible, But How Do I Make An Application?
You will be relieved to hear that making an application is relatively simple. Follow these 4 steps:
1) Fill in the Right to Buy Application Form
2) Send it to your landlord
3) Your landlord must say yes or no within 4 weeks of getting your application. If they’ve been
your landlord for less than 3 years they have 8 weeks. If your landlord says no, they must tell you why
4) If they agree to sell, they will then send an offer, which must be done within 8 weeks of saying
yes if you’re buying a freehold property or 12 weeks the property is leasehold
The offer you receive should tell you the following:
1) The price they want you to pay for the property
2) Your discount
3) A description of the property and any adjoining land included within the sale
4) An estimate of any service charges
5) Any known structural issues with the property
After this, you then have a period of 12 weeks to decide if you wish to accept the offer and buy the property. If you do not respond to the offer the landlord will send you a reminder, which you have an additional 28 days to reply to.
If you need legal advice on the Right To Buy process you can speak to a Solicitor online on Talk2Solicitors.co.uk to get the legal advice that you need.