In 1979, when Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister, the Housing Bill was published giving council tenants the ‘right to buy’ their home.
Under Right to Buy, you can get a discount on the market value of your home if you qualify. The discount is based on how long you’ve been a tenant with a public sector landlord, the type of property you’re buying (a flat or house) and the value of your home.
You can apply to buy your council home if it’s your only or main home, it’s self-contained, you’re a secure tenant or you’ve had a public sector landlord (e.g. a council, housing association or NHS trust) for at least 3 years – it doesn’t have to be 3 years in a row.
There are different discount levels for houses and flats. The maximum discount is £84,200 across England, except in London boroughs where it’s £112,300. It will increase each year in April in line with the consumer price index (CPI).
If your home used to be owned by the council, but they sold it to another landlord (e.g. a housing association) while you were living in it, you may still have the right to buy. This is called ‘Preserved Right to Buy’.
The government announced their plans in the Conservative 2015 general election manifesto to extend the Right to Buy scheme to more housing association tenants and they carried out a voluntary Right to Buy pilot in 2016 in London, Merseyside, Norfolk, Oxfordshire and Surrey. There were concerns following the Brexit vote that the government might re-think the policy. Housing Associations are increasingly becoming one of the main providers of social housing and therefore the impact of the government’s plans could be tremendous.
If you have decided to buy, contact us for a no obligation quote. We offer a highly competitive fixed fee package for Right to Buy purchases.