The Right To Buy scheme helps those living in council houses buy their council home, at a discount. It is intended to help people to get onto the first rung of the property ladder.

Do I Qualify For The Scheme?

You qualify for the scheme if you have been a council tenant or public sector tenant for 5 years or more. However, these 5 years do not need to be consecutive; they can be an accumulated total over say 10 years in and out of either type of tenancy.

You may find that although you qualify, some houses may not actually come under the right to buy scheme, as they cannot be bought at all. This is likely to apply to properties which are either particularly suitable for elderly people or if the property has a specific purpose. It is not possible to appeal against the exemption of your property from the scheme for most reasons. The only case in which an appeal may be made is when your property has been made exempt due to being suitable for the elderly. Other exemptions are:

– Police housing
– Sheltered accommodation
– Properties located on grounds such as a school
– Is let as part of a business
– Properties let for study
– Properties let for the convenience of location for work (e.g. the fire service)
– Housing owned by charities
– Homes on land which has been bought for development

What Is A Public Sector Tenant?

A public sector tenant is an individual whose home has been provided by:

1. A housing association
2. The armed forces
3. The NHS
4. Or any other public body such as the above

How Do I Apply?

You will need an RTB1 application form. Application forms should be readily available from your landlord, but you can also quickly and easily download them from the government website should you need them. Fill out this form, photocopy it and send it to your landlord. Make sure they receive it, either by delivering it by hand or sending the form recorded delivery.

Also, chances are, unless you buy your home with cash, you will need a mortgage. Specifically tailored Right To Buy mortgages can be obtained from certain lenders. It is imperative that you are sure you can afford the mortgage repayments on the property, so do your homework. If you end up being unable to afford the monthly payments you are likely to have your home repossessed by the bank.

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