Right to buy council flat – is it a good idea?

Right to buy council flat – is it a good idea?

9:15 AM, 2nd December 2019, About 4 years ago 24

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I am in the process of obtaining a mortgage for my current council flat. I have a large tenant discount so only need a mortgage of £64k. The council valued the property at £170k, but I had an estate agent value the property at £200k.

The agent also mentioned that with home improvement other flats in the blocks have sold for up to £260k. Also because it is a sort after area (good schools, close to transport links, Greater London) demand for private rental in my block is very high.

Rental income could be £1300 per month. My issue is as it is a high rise concrete block Lenders have been hard to come by and I’m worried that it will be difficult to sell for this reason in the future. Should I take the risk and buy?

I’d appreciate advice from those that have done this before or have any experience in this area.

I feel like this will be the first step into property development and the start of a portfolio.

All advice is welcome.

Many thanks!


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Michael Barnes

16:15 PM, 3rd December 2019, About 4 years ago

Personally, I would not buy a property that has a council freeholder.

High costs for "necessary" work often follow.
These are covered by the tax payers for council tenants.


7:35 AM, 7th December 2019, About 4 years ago

You say there are no planned works for the lifts - in my experience it's the unplanned works that you need to worry about, if the lifts break down it could cost tens of thousands

also you say your husband has his own company - the works described are not in your flat but in the communal areas so your husband's expertise is not relevant


13:54 PM, 7th December 2019, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by V at 02/12/2019 - 17:55
To purchase a second property - keep this one, release equity and buy another - will incur an extra 3% stamp duty plus no tax relief on your rental mortgage and you'll have to have the mortgage on your rental on a buy to let basis - it may not bother you much if your area is not in a high value area but always something to consider.


21:45 PM, 7th December 2019, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Puzzler at 07/12/2019 - 07:35
Hi, I double checked and the lifts are due updating and this is in the breakdown of service charges for the next 5 years. It’s not a lot at all.

It’s a well looked after estate and as I said it’s in an area of high demand. Private 2 bed flats go for 300k in my area. Estate agents have said there is high demand for flats in my block.

I’m gonna go for it, it’s the only way for us to get a foot on the ladder! 🙂

Thanks for your input.

Sam Wong

9:38 AM, 15th December 2019, About 4 years ago

RTB was started by Margaret Thatcher as a means to give the lower earners among us a stake in society. The thinking then was that people would act n behave more responsibly when they have a stake where they live. Irrespective of your political persuasion, there have been reports of council tenants who bought under RTB at huge discounts who became millionaires who then retired to Spain and councils left unable to replace these RTB properties which means less available accommodation for younger people. Admittedly, there are council properties where even the devil won't touch with a barge pole (but then they are precisely the type of areas which RTB was meant to make a difference), personally, I think it is a no brainer for the lucky council tenants in good n expensive areas - even if, as we all know, the cost of council maintained properties are usually much higher than equivalent ones in the private sectors because relatively speaking, compared to the amount discounted, that's just nit picking.

I, as a tax payer, applaude the principle of encouraging people to own a stake in society. But, also as a tax payer, again in principle, I resent my money being spent to make instant millionaires for a lucky few - that's just 'giving a man a fish'. As one human to another, financially, RTB is unlikely to b a mistake. The fact that you are being so cautious about the opportunity tells me that you are precisely the kind who Maggie wanted to help. Good luck.


13:54 PM, 15th December 2019, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by sam at 15/12/2019 - 09:38
Thank you for this comment. You have looked at all angles and seem quite unbiased.

I have been a tax payer since I was 16. I am now in my 30s, I am well educated despite the hardships I grew up in and I am now an experienced special needs teacher. My husband has also worked very hard to own his own plumbing business - on the surface we should be able to afford to buy a home, 20 years ago we would have been middle class but with the state this country is in now - couples like myself who earn a decent income, still find it very difficult to get on the property ladder - R2B just seems like the only option.

It is a misconception that people living in Council homes are not working or paying taxes. I live amongst the most hardest working people I know. But we are like hamsters running so hard in a spinning wheel and not getting anywhere. We just need a break and a chance at owning assets so that our children do not have to struggle when they become adults.

The housing crisis is out of control and it does not seem to be getting any better. I have to take this risk or I fear we will be stuck in our 2 bed flat forever.

Sam Wong

16:36 PM, 15th December 2019, About 4 years ago

Success is 90% hardwork. Luck plays a part but it takes a lot or work and worries to get anywhere. Getting started is the hardest. 30s is probably the most difficult time in ones life journey - freshly out of 'life in rose tinted glasses', just into newly found responsibilities, not yet established and a whole future to work for. But fear not young lady. You sound like the kind whos not afraid to pay for what you want. I am sure in 10 or 20 years time, you will be looking back and say to yourself, 'Glad I done that'.

Wishing you good luck and, most of all, have fun while you are at it. And dont forget to take your man along with you - more fun sharing.


20:40 PM, 15th December 2019, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by sam at 15/12/2019 - 16:36
Thanks Sam - sound advice! 🙂

terry sullivan

11:57 AM, 16th December 2019, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by V at 07/12/2019 - 21:45
check lease length and ground rent schedule

councils are usually a rip-off!

terry sullivan

11:58 AM, 16th December 2019, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by V at 15/12/2019 - 13:54
my local council estates have almost noone in employment

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