Tenants in England and Wales who rent their homes from the council may be eligible to buy their homes under the Right to Buy scheme. The residential conveyancing scheme is usually applicable to tenants who have been living in a local authority property for at least 12 months.
Tenants living in properties owned and managed by housing associations can seek to purchase the property through the Right to Acquire scheme &ndash more details can be found on the Directgov website.
The scheme is available to those who have been public sector tenants for five years (although, these do not need to have been five consecutive years) and have been living in their local authority owned-home for the previous 12 months. Public sector housing includes properties owned by the housing association, the armed services and public bodies such as the NHS.
A tenant can make a ‘joint application’ to buy their home through the Right to Buy scheme with another person whom they have lived with for the previous 12 months.
The Right to Buy scheme has a set process – applicants must complete a form which can be obtained from their landlord or downloaded from the internet. The majority of Right to Buy applications are accepted quickly, however, problems can sometimes cause delays.
Some tenants are not eligible for the scheme for a variety of reasons. These include: the house or flat not being the tenants’ main home, the property not being self contained, a court order stating that the tenant has to leave the property, the tenant having been declared bankrupt or the tenant owing money to creditors.
If a tenant is refused the right to buy by their landlord because the property has been deemed suitable for the elderly, the tenant may be able to appeal the decision to the Residential Property Tribunal.
Tenants who are successful in their applications may be able get a discount on the market value of their home. This discount can vary according to different factors, including how long the tenant has been living in the property, where the property is located and whether the property is a house or a flat.
Unless a tenant is a cash buyer, they will have to take out a mortgage to pay for the house. Tenants should take into account that if they do not have enough money to pay the mortgage every month, the lender could take court-action and the owner could lose their home.
Under these circumstances, the council has no obligations to find the home-owners another property as they would no longer be local authority tenants.
Advice on Right to Buy from Healys solicitors of London and Brighton
The Right to Buy scheme gives tenants the opportunity to become the owners of properties they may already consider to be their own. Many instances of house sales in London and across other parts of the UK are a result of the Right to Buy scheme.
A specialist residential conveyancing solicitor can help a buyer with the Right to Buy process which can be unfamiliar and difficult to understand, especially if it is the buyers first experience of making a property purchase.
To seek advice from an experienced residential conveyancing solicitor at Healys, you can request a call back via this website or telephone the number at the top of this page.