Right to buy: Am I eligible?

The Right to Buy scheme is a fantastic way to purchase your first home. However, if you are new to the property ladder, you may not be aware of what makes you eligible to qualify for Right to Buy discounts.

In May 2015, the eligibility rules for Right to Buy changed; occupants now only need 3 years’ tenancy, instead of five, to qualify for a Right to Buy discount. These changes to the Right to Buy scheme speed up the journey towards owning your own home and has made buying a home a more a realistic goal for many people.

You are eligible to partake in the Right to Buy scheme if:

–               You have been a tenant of a council or housing association property for a minimum of 3 years

–               The property you want to buy is your main home

–               You are currently a council tenant, or were previously a council tenant, living in a property that was recently transferred to your present housing association landlord

Once you recognise you are eligible to utilise Right to Buy discounts, the next steps involved will be down to your landlord, who will need to confirm your eligibility in order for your application to be accepted.

Making a joint application

Though you may want to purchase a house independently, that’s not to say you have to do it alone. In fact, you can purchase a Right to Buy property with:

–               A spouse or civil partner

–               Someone who you share a tenancy with

–               A family member who has lived in your property for a minimum of 12 months. Although they don’t need to be in your tenancy agreement to qualify, the property you choose to apply for must be their core place of residency.

However, you can only apply for a joint application if the person you intend to purchase a property with is eligible too.

You can be refused the right to buy a home under this scheme if a court issues a possession order which states that you have to leave your current home. Debt can play a big part in this process too; if you have outstanding debt to creditors, this can tarnish your eligibility to have the right to buy and the same can be said if you have a bankruptcy petition pending against you.

Additionally, if you currently live in sheltered accommodation or live in an elderly residency home, this can prevent you from buying a house using the Right to Buy scheme. It is also important to consider that although it is rare, some properties can be exempt from Right to Buy.

If you have made an application and qualify for the Right to Buy scheme, and are looking for legal representation in the purchase of your home, please feel free to get in touch with our friendly team, who will be happy to talk you through the process and the costs involved.

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