Right to Buy boost for council tenants

Published: Friday 22nd March 13

Wandsworth has welcomed the newly-announced extension to the Right to Buy scheme, which raises the discount for London tenants buying their homes from £75,000 to £100,000.

The council also supports the Government's decision - which emerged in Wednesday's Budget - to change legislation in the near future to reduce the time tenants have to wait before they are eligible for Right to Buy from five to three years.

Since the previous £75,000 discount took effect in April 2012, the borough's home ownership teams have helped facilitate 50 completions under the scheme. The council has also committed to retain Right to Buy receipts under the Government's One for One replacement scheme to provide low cost rented homes.

Wandsworth has long been at the forefront of campaigns to increase the Right to Buy discount. Last April the Prime Minister met with council leader Ravi Govindia in Southfields to announce that more working households would be able to afford to purchase their home from the council through the scheme.

The new £100,000 discount is being offered to Londoners in response to high property prices in the capital that are continuing to rise.

Councillor Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, said: "Another significant increase in the discount is fantastic news for tenants struggling to afford to get on the property ladder due to the high price of homes in Wandsworth.

"Right to Buy is all about giving a helping hand to ordinary people who simply want to own their own home - and the latest changes to the scheme will make this ambition even more achievable."

The council has its own 'Right to Buy information booklet' which explains how to apply and other important matters such as service charges and costs that tenants should consider when deciding whether to buy their home.

It is in the process of being sent to every council home in the borough and can be downloaded online.

Information on Home Ownership options available to council tenants and non-council tenants can be found at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/homeownership.

ENDS

Right to Buy Q&A

What is the Right to Buy?

The Right to Buy scheme gives council tenants a discount on the market value of their home. The maximum discount is now £100,000.

Who qualifies?

Almost all council tenants who have lived in social housing for more than five years - but once legislation is changed this period will come down to three years.

How much is the discount?

The level of discount will depend on the length of time tenants have lived in the property and whether it is a flat or a house.

For houses: tenants who have lived in the property for at least five years will be entitled to a discount of 35 per cent of its value. For every additional year they will receive an extra one per cent discount. The maximum discount for houses is capped at 60 per cent of the property value and cannot exceed £100,000.

For flats: tenants who have lived in the property for at least five years will be entitled to a discount of 50 per cent of its value. For every extra year they will receive an extra two per cent discount. The maximum discount for flats is capped at 70 per cent of the property value and cannot exceed £100,000.

How do I apply?

The application form is available on the council's website along with a guide to the application process: www.wandsworth.gov.uk/righttobuy

Who can help me with my application?

The council's home ownership team can explain how Right to Buy works and help tenants decide whether it is the right choice for them. Trained advisors will be available from Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm to help applicants through every stage of the buying process.

Tel: 020 8871 6016

Email: housesales@wandsworth.gov.uk

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