You have the right to buy your council home.
The Right To Buy Scheme is considered by many to be one of the greatest opportunities open to council tenants to get on the property ladder.
So far, nearly 1.6 million individuals have exercised their right to buy and this figure suggests that the right to buy scheme is gaining momentum across the UK.
From May 2015, the eligibility criteria has also changed reducing the requirement of 5 years public sector tenancy to 3, making thousands more tenants eligible for Right to Buy. Once the tenant has met the minimum length of time, they are able to purchase the property at a price that is lower than market value through the right to buy scheme and using a mortgage if it is required.
Almost any council tenant is entitled to exercise their right to buy, provided that they are in a suitably secure financial position in order to be able to obtain a mortgage. There are some potential exceptions which include those who have been housed in their property as a condition of their employment, or those allocated housing that has been provided especially for disabled or elderly residents.
You don’t have to do it alone – you may be able to make a joint application for Right to Buy. If you’re eligible, you might be able to buy your home with:
- Someone who shares your tenancy
- Your spouse or partner
- Up to 3 family members who’ve lived with you for the past 12 months (they don’t have to be on your tenancy agreement but it must be their main home and they must be on the Council offer.)
There is nothing in law that specifies how a Right to Buy purchase should be financed. A family member (or someone else) could provide the funding for the purchase. However, legal ownership of the property can only be in the names of the eligible tenant/s and other eligible applicants.
One of the sociological benefits of the right to buy mortgages scheme is that it helps council tenants onto the property ladder, helps tenants to improve their property for their own needs, have no restriction on how big or how many spare rooms you have and to stay in the area that they have lived in for some time. This right to buy scheme has resulted in much more stable and varied communities, which has a positive knock-on effect on all properties in the locality.
In many areas, the money raised through extra sales since April 2012 goes towards building new affordable homes for rent.