Applying for a Right to Buy Council House Mortgage

Owning a social housing property can seem like a distant aspiration - but Right to Buy could transform your living situation and get you firmly onto the property ladder. Please read our full guide to understand why your choice of lender will make all the difference.

About your mortgage

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Based on your yearly income, you may be able to borrow:

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Most lenders will let you borrow 4.5 times your annual salary so, as long as you have a standard 10% deposit, you should be able to borrow this much.

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Depending on your personal circumstances, some lenders may let you borrow 5 times your salary.

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Lenders usually cap the amount they lend at 5.5 times your salary, so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to borrow more than this.

This calculator is an estimation of how much you could borrow. If you’re ready to take out a mortgage, speak to a Revolution brokers to see what options are available.

Applying for a Right to Buy Council House Mortgage

Right to Buy mortgage schemes are designed to help tenants of council properties buy their home affordably.

There are some great discounts available that make the property market accessible. However, independent advice is essential to ensure you're paying the most competitive rates, and have a professional team to negotiate your mortgage terms on your behalf.

If you would like access to all of the UK Right to Buy lenders to assess the most attractive mortgage terms, give us a call on 0330 304 3040, or email at info@revolutionbrokers.co.uk.

How Does the Right to Buy Mortgage Scheme Work?

This government scheme offers a discount on council properties in England to help tenants buy their property - even if they do not have a deposit.

Lenders will still need to go through affordability and eligibility checks, and the value of the discount depends on:

  • What sort of property you live in.
  • Where it is based.
  • What its market value is.

The mortgage advisors team can help determine if you are eligible for Right to Buy, and which lenders will offer the most appropriate lending product.

What are the Eligibility Criteria for a Right to Buy Mortgage?

If you live in a council property, you are eligible if the following criteria apply:

  • This home is your only residence or your primary one.
  • The property is self-contained.
  • You are a tenant with a tenancy agreement with the landlord.
  • You have been living in a public sector rented property for three years or more.
  • You live in England (there are different schemes in Wales and Northern Ireland, and no comparable option in Scotland).

Lenders will need to know what you earn and check your credit history before they can offer to lend. If you meet all the criteria, you can usually borrow up to 4.5 or fives times your annual income.

Some lenders will offer up to six times your salary if you meet all the other criteria.

The following circumstances can be trickier, and require a specialist Right to Buy mortgage lender:

  • Bad credit issues - depending on when they occurred and how serious they were.
  • Later-life borrowing - many high street banks limit applicant ages to 75 or 85 at the end of the term.
  • Self-employment requires you to demonstrate your average income, although niche lenders can be more flexible about how many years of accounts they need.
  • High street banks often reject non-standard properties, such as timber frames or high-rise apartments as they are considered higher risk.

If any of these circumstances apply, it is still possible to find competitive Right to Buy lending - but a specialist lender negotiated through an experienced broker is very likely to be the most affordable option.

What is the Discount on a Right to Buy Mortgage?

The discount offered will depend on how long you have lived in the property:

  • After three to five years, you get a 35% discount on market value.
  • After five years, you receive a 1% further discount for each additional year.

This table shows the discount applied on a property valued at £100,000:

Length of Tenancy

Discount Available

Value of Discount

Three to five years

35%

£35,000

Six years

36%

£36,000

Seven years

37%

£37,000

Eight years

38%

£38,000

Nine years

39%

£39,000

Ten years

40%

£40,000

If you are buying a flat, the discount is 5% after 3-5 years, increasing by 2% for every additional year. The below shows the discount on a council flat valued at £100,000:

Length of Tenancy

Discount Available

Value of Discount

Three to five years

50%

£50,000

Six years

52%

£52,000

Seven years

54%

£54,000

Eight years

56%

£56,000

Nine years

58%

£58,000

Ten years

60%

£60,000

Limits exist, capping the top Right to Buy discount at £80,900 (or £108,000 in London).

If your landlord has spent money improving the property, paying for maintenance costs or upgrading it, your discount may be reduced. If they have spent more on the property to improve it than the valuation figure, you usually won't receive a Right to Buy discount.

You can check on the government's Right to Buy calculator to get an idea about whether you are eligible - however, we recommend consulting an experienced broker for a more detailed analysis.

How Do I Apply for a Right to Buy Mortgage Discount?

The first step is to complete an application form on the government website called an RTB1 form.

If you'd like assistance completing this form, or working through the application process, give us a call on 0330 304 3040, and we'll get you started.

You don't need a Right to Buy broker, but it's highly advisable, since lenders offer very different rates, terms and conditions, so a broker acts on your behalf to find the most competitive lending terms.

Revolution works with applicants from all backgrounds and can help secure Right to Buy lending whether you are self-employed, have a complex income, have experienced adverse credit issues in the past, or need help with the affordability assessment.

How a Right to Buy Mortgage Broker can Streamline the Process

If you haven’t had a mortgage before, the Right to Buy scheme can seem appealing, but also complicated.

Here's how we ensure you have a positive experience:

  • Calculating Costs - firstly, we'll help you work through your finances, decide what you can afford, and calculate what you can borrow. That includes ongoing upkeep costs, mortgage payment protection insurance, other insurances and any service charges payable on the property.
  • Applying to a Lender - we can work through your RTB1 form with you to ensure it is submitted correctly, and follow up the application if you have not had a response from the landlord within four weeks.
  • Lodging Appeals - the landlord will send an offer notice with a valuation, structural information, and detailing the offered discount. If you disagree with any part of the offer, we work with you to appeal this and request a new proposal.
  • Negotiating a Mortgage - once we know exactly what you need to borrow, we scour the UK market to find the most attractive lending options. That includes dealing with lenders, particularly when there are any adverse credit issues or non-standard circumstances to work around.
  • Completing the Purchase - when we know we've found the best possible lending, we will help you with the application and paperwork, until the deeds have been signed, and you're happily settled in your new homeownership role!
Why Revolution Brokers?
  • Whole of market brokers

  • Mortgage that suits you

  • On time customer support

FAQs

How does our broker-matching service work?

No, unfortunately not - if your name is on another mortgage, you can't claim a Right to Buy discount. The scheme is aimed for council property tenants for whom this is their primary, and only home - so it isn't available for tenants who already own another property. However, if you have a Right to Buy mortgage and then wish to take out a mortgage on a second home, you can do so.

If you're worried about meeting eligibility criteria, such as not having a deposit to buy a home, Right to Buy can make purchasing a property far more affordable. The process itself depends on the lender, and whether you meet all of their lending criteria. Using an experienced Right to Buy broker, such as the Revolution team, means having professional help with completing all of the paperwork and applying to the right lender, which makes the process faster.

Potentially, yes, but in reality, this would be a very unusual situation. Right to Buy aims at helping tenants get on the property ladder. An interest-only mortgage is only available where you have a viable repayment strategy - such as investments or other properties you will sell to pay back the original loan value. Most buy to let mortgage holders need to have a relatively high income, usually above £50,000 a year, so it is improbable a Right to Buy mortgage would be appropriate in an interest-only format.

Many people with a low-income use Right to Buy as the most affordable way to purchase a property. The maximum Right to Buy discount is £80,900, or £108,000 in London, and the scheme is intended to support low-income borrowers or those who would otherwise not be able to get on the property ladder. Suppose you are on a low income and in receipt of benefits, such as disability benefits. In that case, it is vital to work with an experienced broker to ensure you apply to a lender who will consider such income streams in their affordability calculations.

Indeed you can; if you have been living in a council property for at least three years, and a partner or house sharer has been living with you for over a year as a joint tenant, you can apply for a joint Right to Buy mortgage together.

No, Right to Buy is to help you buy your main home and to live in it. After five years, you can remortgage a Right to Buy loan on a buy to let mortgage, and then will be able to let out the property. You may need permission from the original landlord to do so, and the amount you can borrow will depend on the lender's criteria and what rental income you expect to earn.

Indeed you can - many Right to Buy applicants are first time buyers. Your approval will depend on meeting the affordability and eligibility criteria, and the discount can make it more viable to buy your first home.

Having bought a home with a significant discount, it can be an attractive prospect to sell this on at a profit. If you sell a Right to Buy home within five years, you will need to repay some of the discount you claimed against the purchase. If selling within ten years, you must give the local authority first refusal, and list the home on the open market if they do not wish to buy.

Potentially not - it depends on what discount you are offered. Some lenders will require a deposit, but others will not if there is sufficient equity in the property to act as security.

The average application process takes around nine to twelve months. Your landlord needs to confirm in writing within eight weeks if you have the right to purchase your council property, or within 12 weeks if it is leasehold.

If you're interested in establishing your eligibility to Right to Buy, need help calculating what discount you might be offered, or want to find the best mortgage rates, give the Revolution team a call on 0330 304 3040. As independent, whole-of-market brokers, we work with thousands of Right to Buy property owners and negotiate the most favourable rates to find you the very best deals.

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FCA disclaimer

The content included in our articles, blogs, web pages and news publications is based on information accurate at the time of writing. Note that policies and criteria can change regularly throughout the UK mortgage lending market, and it remains essential to contact the consultation team to receive up to date guidance. The information included on the Revolution Brokers site is not bespoke to any circumstances or individual application scenarios and therefore is not intended to be used as financial advice. The content we share is designed to be informative and helpful but cannot be relied upon to provide individual advice relevant to your mortgage requirements. All Revolution team members are fully qualified, trained and experienced to provide mortgage advice of an independent nature. We collaborate with lenders and providers who are regulated, authorised and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Should you require specific mortgage borrowing types, some products such as buy to let mortgages may not be FCA regulated. The Revolution team can provide further information about regulated and unregulated lending as required. Please remember that a mortgage is a debt which is secured against your home or property. Your home can be at risk of repossession if you do not keep up with the repayments or encounter any other difficulties in managing your mortgage borrowing responsibly. This also applies to any remortgage or home loan secured against your property, including equity release products.

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