Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a deposit?
No, many lenders will count the discount given by the council as your deposit, meaning you would normally not have to find any additional funds.
How many years of tenancy do I need before I qualify to buy my council property?
You need to have been a secured tenant for at least three years, although this does not need to have been three years in a row.
I have only been a council tenant for two years, but I was previously in Armed Forces accommodation for six years – Does this count towards my qualification?
Yes, your years of tenancy with both landlords will be added together and you would have the right to buy (likewise anyone with Housing Association tenancy would also count towards qualification).
Will I have to pay stamp duty if I purchase my council property?
Only if the price that you purchase the property at, after your discount has been applied is greater than £425,000 (assuming you are a first time buyer) or £250,000 if you are not a first time buyer.
How much discount can I get?
Depending on years of tenancy, you will receive a discount of between 35% and 70%, however there is an overall maximum of £96,010 (or £127,940 if you live in London).
I have been a council tenant for 10 years, but I don’t want to buy the house that I am in, can I buy a different council property?
No, you can only apply to buy the property you are currently living in. However, if you moved to another council property that you did want to buy, you could apply to buy that property straight away.
I have bad credit registered against me, can I get a mortgage?
It is currently very difficult to obtain a mortgage if you have recent county court judgements or defaults, however we have lenders that may be able to assist.
Who can buy the property?
The tenant has to be the person purchasing the property and has to be party to the mortgage, however they can share the right to buy with other family members who have lived in the property for the last 12 months.
Who will decide on the value of the property?
The council or housing association will visit the property and value it, however if you are not happy with their valuation, you can appeal to the District Valuer. We can assist you with this appeal.
I am retired but I am still interested in buying my council property – is this possible?
Yes, there are no age restrictions on buying the property. You could also buy the property with a younger family member. We have lenders that have no upper age limits.
Can I borrow additional funds over and above the purchase price?
Yes, this should be possible as long as your income and credit history will allow.
How long will the whole process take?
This will vary depending on who your landlord is, but on average it will take 3-4 months from initially applying to owning the property.
What happens if I want to sell the property and move house in the future?
If you sell the property within the first five years, you would have to pay a percentage of the discount back to the council. After five years you could sell the property and retain the full value of your home, giving you a substantial deposit to be used towards the future purchase of another property.