Here at Blount and Maslin we have recently had a few enquiries about the Government’s Right to Buy Scheme so we thought we would put together some useful facts for you!
What is the Government Right to Buy Scheme?
- The Right to Buy scheme was introduced in 1980’s. It allows eligible housing tenants to buy their home at a discount.
- Over the years the Government has made many changes to the scheme including discount and eligibility criteria.
- From 6 April 2017, maximum discounts are £78,600 across England and £104,900 in London. Discounts increase in April every year in line with any increase in inflation.
- Wales: The Right to Buy discount has already been halved by the Welsh Government who are planning to abolish the scheme by 2021.
- Scotland: The Right to Buy scheme has now been abolished completely.
Are you eligible for the Right to Buy scheme?
You might have the Right to Buy if:
- You’re a secure council tenant and have spent at least 3 years as a public sector tenant (The 3 years doesn’t have to be continuous and you can add together any time you have spent as a public sector tenant).
- A public sector tenant is someone whose landlord is a public body such as a council, housing association or government department.
- You must have no legal issues with debt or any outstanding possession orders to be eligible
What are the discounts:
- How long you’ve been a tenant with a public sector landlord.
- The type of property you’re buying, for example a flat or house.
- The value of your home.
- If you’re buying with someone else, you count the years of whoever’s been a public sector tenant the longest.
- You might get a smaller discount if you’ve used Right to Buy in the past.
The following discount levels will apply:
- 3 years – 35% discount for a house and 50% discount for a flat.
- 4 years – 35% discount for a house and 50% discount for a flat.
- 5 years – 35% discount for a house and 50% discount for a flat.
- 6 years plus – add 1% per year for houses (up to 70% or the cash maximum – whichever is lower), add 2% per year for flats.
After five years, the discount goes up by 1% for every extra year you’ve been a tenant, up to a maximum of 70% – or £77,900 across England and £103,900 in London boroughs (whichever is lower).
For a flat, after five years, the discount goes up by 2% for every extra year you’ve been a tenant, up to a maximum of 70% – or £77,900 across England and £103,900 in London boroughs (whichever is lower).
Things to consider:
- Once you become a homeowner you won’t be eligible for housing benefit.
- Some properties are exempt from Right to Buy.
- You may want income protection or life insurance in case anything happens to you while you’re paying back your loan or mortgage (some lenders require this).
- Your home could be at risk if you fail to keep up with your mortgage or loan payments.
- Even if you don’t need a mortgage yourself, check whether lenders are willing to give loans or mortgages on the type of house or flat you are buying. If you want to sell in the future, people interested in buying your property might need a mortgage.
- Remember the value of your home can go down as well as up.
- Interest rates can also go up as well as down.
- You’ll usually have to repay some or all your discount if you sell your home within 5 years.
Blount and Maslin look at ways to tidy up your garden ready for Spring! Enjoyed this post? Check out last months blog post on presenting your house for sale here!