Purchasing a council house has become easier through the Right to Buy scheme. Introduced in the 1980s, government policy was created to encourage people living in council homes to buy their own property. Recently, a lift in the Right to Buy cap has made council housing purchases more accessible than ever, with some ex-council properties also being eligible for the scheme.

A Quick Review of the Right to Buy Scheme

To be eligible for Right to Buy scheme, you must be a tenant of your council home for at least 12 months or, be a council tenant for a total of at least five years in housing provided by the military, a housing association or any other public entity.

In purchasing your council property, you may have a partner or family member buy a home with you, but they must also meet the eligibility requirements for the Right to Buy scheme.

Once your eligibility is confirmed, the next step is to calculate the discount granted to provide the final sale price. The main basis for discounts is the duration of your residence in council homes. For example, you can get up to 35 per cent discount if you have been a tenant of a public housing body for five years.

The discount may also depend on the type of property and where the property is located.

Some Important Legal Issues to Note

Once you have talked to your landlord, you will be sent a draft of the contract. This is a legal document that should be reviewed by a solicitor to ensure the terms and conditions are correct, and any other legal issues are highlighted and discussed, with any changes negotiated. Once you have purchased the council property, you will be bound by the terms of the contract.

Be aware of any service and maintenance fees since these are usually paid annually. Check for any future plans for the housing that may change the annual service rates.

Start the Conveyancing Process

Purchasing a council property from the government is little different from buying on the open market, so your mortgage lenders will still expect you to work with a conveyancer or solicitor to ensure that the process goes smoothly.

You can rely on Conveyancing Store to connect you with licensed and regulated conveyancers throughout the country to help you through the legalities of your purchase. They compare solicitor quotes for your desired property to ensure you receive the best price.

We have an extensive database of dedicated conveyancers and solicitors ready to help you from the beginning of the sale agreement to the completion of ownership transfer.

You may also check out our search tool that can help you with initial conveyancing quote comparisons. Just provide the details then choose from a selection of house conveyancing quotes that will fit your budget.

Get free no obligation advice from our team of experienced solicitors. You do not have to submit any personal information; after a phone consultation with us, you will not be committed to anything discussed.