How does Right to Buy work?
If you’re currently renting a property from the council, local authority or housing association, and have aspirations of owning your home, then the Right to Buy scheme could be perfect for you.
Right to Buy was launched in the 1980’s by ex-conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher, with the aim of helping more people own their home by offering council properties for sale at a discount.
The discount you receive depends on how long you have been a council tenant, the value of your home and the type of home you live in. At the time of writing the maximum discount is £87,200 across England, except in London boroughs where it is £116,200. It will increase each year in April in line with the consumer price index (CPI).
As with all government schemes there are rules and criteria:
- The property must be your main residence
- You must have been a tenant of the local council for at least 3 years
- Multiple people can apply to own the property as long as they are registered residents of the property and named on the tenancy with the local council.
- You must remain in the home 5 years after buying from the council or you will be liable to pay back part or all of the discount to the council upon sale.
What is a Right to Buy Mortgage?
Lenders generally don’t offer specific Right to Buy mortgages, they usually offer the same products as they do to other types of borrowers, but not all lenders lend on Right to Buy properties, so taking expert advice is important.
One of the most appealing aspects of Right to Buy is that most lenders will accept your Right to Buy discount in place of a cash deposit, so although there may be some legal and administrative costs, you may not need to have a big lump of cash in order to apply for ownership.
Before you get the ball rolling it’s always a good idea to speak to an independent mortgage adviser.
Undray Griffith – 14th July 2022