The Right to Buy scheme was first introduced by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s. The aim of the scheme was to support tenants in achieving their home-ownership goals. Tenants were able to buy their council house at a cheaper rate.
Recently, Boris Johnson has announced a new Right to Buy scheme in which tenants would be given the opportunity to own their homes from housing associations. This blog will explore the new scheme and whether it will be effective in supporting people to get onto the property ladder.
How does the Right to Buy scheme work?
To qualify for the scheme, tenants would be expected to have lived in their home for at least three to five years to receive a 35% discount. If tenants qualify for this scheme, they can receive a maximum discount of £87,200 for properties across England. For homes within London boroughs, tenants can receive a discount of £116,200 once they qualify for the scheme.
Is the Right to Buy scheme beneficial?
1. Discounts on properties: The Right to Buy scheme brings some benefits, particularly for the younger generation who are keen on getting onto the property ladder as they are provided with discounts on properties. However, the scheme will not benefit everyone such as private tenants as it only allows those living in housing association homes to purchase their home at a discount. The government still has not announced the discount rate when purchasing a home under the new scheme.
2. Specific mortgage deals: another benefit of the Right to Buy scheme is that people may be offered mortgage deals such as a five-year fixed-rate loan if 2.44% offered by Leeds Building Society.
However, if you purchase property, there may be hidden costs as you will be responsible for all repairs and developments.
Additionally, it may be difficult to sell your house in the future if you purchased it under the Right to Buy scheme. This is because you will have to communicate with your previous property owner or the housing association if you decide to sell it within ten years after buying. If the housing association does not respond to your offer within eight weeks, you will be able to sell the property to anyone. However, if you decide to sell your property after 5 years of buying the property under the Right to Buy scheme, you will be expected to pay some or all the discount back.
Furthermore, Right to Buy may create more difficulties as it may reduce the number of affordable homes which would put low-income families under greater pressure.
While the Right to Buy scheme aims to support younger people in getting onto the property ladder, some critics have argued that house prices may remain too high and that the scheme will not solve the housing shortage. Tenants may still struggle to buy property even with a discount, particularly within London.
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