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Right to buy: your right to buy your home

Right to buy is one of the most popular policies that have a profound social impact increasing the owner occupancy. Right to buy schemes introduced in 1980 has given the right to tenants to buy their property at discounted rates. More than five million council right tenants have become homeowner through this scheme. You can be a part of the “most important social revolutions of this century” by endorsing council right to buy scheme. If you are a secured tenant of • a local authority • London borough council • Housing action trust • Registered landlord (non charitable) Then you are legally capable of buying the house under the Housing Act. Buying a home can be expensive.

Right to buy mortgage can help you meet the cost of home. For right to buy a council tenant needs to have two years public sector tenancy. A new council tenant that is if the tenancy began on or after 18th January 2005 will require minimum five year tenancy. Before going to Right to buy mortgage, calculate the amount you have to pay for right to buy. Most lenders will provide 95%-100% of the right to buy amount.

To find such a lender you will be required to do some research. There will be lenders who offer specialized right to buy mortgage products. Start the day you get council right to buy offer. The time spent on research will be the time well spent. There are companies who may try to contact you with plans to aid you with council right to buy scheme. They may offer all in one packages including mortgage and home improvement etc. this may lead you to take a mortgage deal without bargaining or one that you can’t afford. There may be mortgage lenders who want to tell you that buy to right scheme is nearing closure. That is, however, not true. Discounts available on ‘right to buy’ can be anywhere between 32%-70%.

The discount available with council right to buy is dependent on how many years you have spent as council tenant and the maximum discount limit of your area. Right to buy is available for both houses and flats. • For houses the discount after two years is 32% and will add 1% for every addition year of tenancy with an upper limit of 60%. • Flats have discount of 44% after two years and additional 2% for every year. The maximum discount for flats will be 70%. For the 5 year schemes (tenancy starting after 18th January 2005) • 35% for houses and 1% for each year spent as a tenant. The maximum limit is 60%. • 50% for flats with 2% discount for every extra year. The maximum limit is 70%. There will be different maximum discount limit for right to buy in different areas.

For example • London or south-east - £38,000. • Eastern Region - £34,000 • South-West - £30,000 • North-West or the West Midlands - £26,000 • Wales, the East Midlands or Yorkshire and the Humber - £24,000 • North-East - £22,000 A right to buy mortgage will not make sense to you if your home is sheltered housing for elderly, only temporary accommodation, or your home is provided by the company you are working with. Council right to buy would require some documents to be filled as part of the application process. With an RTB1 form you make an application for right to buy. After that a notice form RTB2 form is sent to you telling whether you have right to buy. An important document called Section 125 tells you about the price you have to pay and the terms and conditions. This should to be read carefully. Right to buy is an opportunity of becoming a homeowner at affordable rates. It is not easy to become a homeowner but it seems like a realistic possibility. Right to buy has encouraged tenants to remain in their neighbourhood and construct stable income communities.

With ‘right to buy’ any individual can hope to transform his or her life socially.


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