Right to Buy – Can I buy my council house?

Right to buy your council house

If you are a council home tenant in England or Wales, you could be eligible to purchase the Property under the Government’s Right to Buy Scheme for a discounted price.

| Am I eligible to buy my council house?

You can make an application to purchase your council home if you meet the following criteria: –

  • The property must be your only residence
  • The property must be self-contained
  • You must be a secure tenant
  • You must have been a public sector tenant for at least three years

If you meet the criteria above, you should be eligible for the Right to Buy Scheme. To start the process, you will need to contact the Council by filling out the Right to Buy (RTB1) form that can be located on the government’s website, once completed the form will need to be sent to the Council. The Council will then have 4 weeks to provide you with an offer (if you have resided in the property for more 3 years) or within 8 weeks (if you have resided in the property for less than 3 years).

The offer will include the following details: –

  • The price applicable for purchasing the property along with their calculation summary
  • The amount of discount applicable
  • A detailed description of the property and confirmation of what is included in the land
  • Estimates of any service charges for the first five years.
  • Any known problems with the property’s structure, for example subsidence.

Once an offer has been received you will have up to 12 weeks to confirm to the Council that you wish to proceed with the purchase. If you fail to confirm that you wish to proceed within this timeframe, then you will need to start the application process again.

| How much is the Right to Buy discount?

As of 6 April 2022, the maximum discount that can be given by the Council is £87,200 across England, except in London boroughs where it is £116,200. The discount is calculated based on how long you have been a tenant, the type of property you are buying (a flat or a house) and the value of the property. The maximum discount amount is increased every year since the 6 April in line with the Consumer Price Index (if the index has increased).

If you are purchasing a house and you have been a tenant for between 3-5 years you will receive a 35% discount from the value of the Property. If you have resided in the property for more than 5 years, the discount will increase by 1% for every further year you have been a tenant (up to a maximum of 70%).

If you are purchasing a flat, and you have been a tenant for between 3-5 years you will receive a 50% discount from the value of the Property. If you have resided in the property for more than 5 years, the discount will increase by 2% for every further year you have been a tenant (up to a maximum of 70%).

| Selling your Right to Buy property

A very important point to note about Right to Buy properties is that if you choose to sell the property in the future, you may be subject to some restrictions and requirements.

If you wish to sell your property within the first 10 years of ownership, you must offer the property back to the Council first to see if they wish to purchase from you at market value. If they do, you will have to sell the property back to the Council. You can only sell to a third party if the Council confirm that they do not wish to buy the Property back from you.

In addition to the above, if you wish to sell the Property within the first 5 years of your ownership, you will also have to pay back a percentage of the discount that you received from the Council when you purchased the Property, on a sliding scale based upon how many years you have owned the property.

If you would like some more information about purchasing a Right to Buy property, please call our Conveyancing team on 0800 988 7756 or email us at info@levisolicitors.co.uk.

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