The Government has today released figures that show the official statistics of houses sold under the Right to Buy Scheme across England. These figures show that there has been a huge increase of 352% of people buying their homes through the scheme in less than twelve months. This increase is partly due to the fact that the Local Authorities are trying to balance their books, but really it’s a win win situation for everyone involved, well pretty much anyway!
If you don’t know much about the Right to Buy Scheme then here is the main points for you. The scheme allows most council tenants to buy their home at a discount. If you are interested to see if you can apply to buy your house then there is a handy tool here on the Right to Buy website that helps you work it out.
You can apply if:
- It’s your only or main home.
- It’s self contained.
- You have had a public sector landlord for example, a council, housing association, or NHS Trust for 5 years, however it does not necessarily have to be 5 years in a row.
You could also apply for a joint application with:
- Someone who shares your tenancy or
- Up to 3 family members who have lived with you for the past 12 months (these don’t have to share your tenancy)
The obvious benefit of the Right to Buy Scheme is that you may be eligible for a discount on the purchase of the house. The maximum discount for anywhere in England is £75,000.
The discount is based on:
- How long you have been a tenant with a public sector landlord.
- The type of property you are buying.
- The value of your home.
However, if you decide to sell your home within five years of buying it, you may have to pay back some or even all the discount you received.
More information on how to apply for the Right to Buy Scheme can be found here.
There are pro’s and con’s to buying your house outright from the council. The main problem that people seem to have with it is the fact that they then become responsible for any repairs that need done on the property, which can be complicated and costly to deal with, however, for the fact that you are then on the property ladder and own your own home, many find this a suitable way to do so.
More Pro’s and Con’s:
Price – the properties usually sell at 20% less than comparable private properties according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
Investment – these properties are good for buy to let landlords wanting more for their money.
Location – Ex-council houses properties are usually very central which is perfect for transport and nightlife.
Outside – Tower blocks can look daunting from the street.
Communal Areas – there can be disputes over charges and responsibilities if some flats in a block are publicly owned and others are private.
Ceiling price – Due to the stigma attached, ex council homes will sell at a discount compared to private homes.
For more information about what we can do here for you and your Right to Buy Scheme, click here.