What is Right to Buy and what fees are involved?

Right to Buy is a scheme which allows those who are living in council housing to be able to buy their homes at a discounted price.

The amount of discount that you will receive when buying your council home is dependent on how long you have lived at a property for, what type of property it is and the value of the property.

As per July 2015, there has been a maximum discount set; £103,900 in London . For the rest of the country it is £77,900.

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Who is eligible to buy their council house?

Your eligibility to buy a council house property depends on;

How long you have lived in the property; To qualify for right to buy, you need to have had a public sector landlord for at least 3 years.

If it’s your only or main home

If it is self-contained; the occupant doesn’t share facilities people from  outside of their household

If they are a secure resident ; if there is a legal contract between them and their landlord

They are based in England; Scotland and Wales have abolished their Right to Buy scheme and Northern Ireland has a different Right to Buy scheme.

What were the 10 Right to Buy sales transactions by area in 2019?

According to the Right to Buy sales data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government it was Birmingham where 694 transactions took place. The Top 10 are:

  1. Right to Buy Birmingham – 694 sales
  2. Right to Buy Leicester – 441 sales
  3. Right to Buy Sheffield – 369 sales
  4. Right to Buy Sandwell – 288 sales
  5. Right to Buy Wolverhampton – 246 sales
  6. Right to Buy Nottingham – 229 sales
  7. Right to Buy Kingston upon Hull – 223 sales
  8. Right to Buy Kirklees – 210 sales
  9. Right to Buy Manchester – 192 sales
  10. Right to Buy Newcastle upon Tyne – 186 sales

What fees are involved with a Right to Buy purchase?

The main costs with buying your council house are solicitors fees and mortgage arrangement fees. There could also be stamp duty costs as well as getting a home survey completed. If the right to buy property you are purchasing is leasehold then there will be ongoing maintenance costs such as service charges. Your council will be able to give you further details.

The bonus point is that as you have been living in this property previously, you should already have your furniture and you utilities already set up. You should know the outgoings of that house already and will be able to budget those in monthly.

Right to Buy solicitors fees

Right to Buy solicitors fees are different depending on which solicitor or conveyancing company you choose to use. The price can depend on a number of factors such as location as additional searches may need to be performed.

You can also expect to pay a legal portion of conveyancing fees which cover the work done by the conveyancing solicitor themselves.

We have teamed up with reallymoving.com to offer right to buy solicitors quotes. Get your free right to buy conveyancing quotes if you are buying your council house.

Right to Buy Mortgages

Right to Buy mortgages are only offered to those who live in a council home. The Right to Buy scheme discounts the value of the property which then counts as part of your deposits.

The mortgage is subject to usual affordability checks and the discount which you can receive can vary based on property type, location and price.

If you live in a council house and have done for 3-5 years you are eligible for a 35% discount when purchasing the property.  After 5 years, this discount goes up by 1% for every extra year you’ve been a public sector tenant, up to a maximum of 70% – or £84,200 across England and £112,300 in London  (whichever is lower).If you have lived in a council flat for 3-5 years you are eligible for a 50% discount. After 5 years, the discount goes up by 2% for every extra year you’ve been a public sector tenant, up to a maximum of 70% – or £84,200 across England and £112,300 in London  (whichever is lower).

You may also need a deposit for your mortgage, this will depend on which lender you use.

How do you sell your Right to Buy property?

You can sell your Right to Buy property at any point after you have purchased it. However, if you sell the property less than 10 years after you have bought it you may have to sell it back to the landlord you have bought it from.  If they do not want the property back, you can then sell it on the open market.

The property should be sold at full market price which both you and the landlord have agreed. If the price is something which you and the landlord can not agree on, then an independent valuer with come and value your property.

Do you have to pay back your discount when you sell?

If you sell your right to buy home within 5 years of buying it, you will have to pay back either some or all of the discount you received. This differs depending on how many years it has been

If you sell within the first year you will have to pay

You’ll have to pay back all of the discount if you sell within the first year. After that, the amount you pay back is;

  • 80% of the discount in the second year
  • 60% of the discount in the third year
  • 40% of the discount in the fourth year
  • 20% of the discount in the fifth year

The amount you pay back depends on the value of your home when you sell it.

Source: Gov.uk

If you think that you may be eligible to buy your council house, you should contact your local authority who rent you this property. They will be able to inform you of the best steps to take in order to own your home. Not all councils offer right to buy.

You should also make sure that you can afford to buy this property. We have got some tips on how to save for a deposit, so these tips should not be too dissimilar.

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