Can My Son Buy My Council House For Me?

Wondering whether your son can purchase your council house? Read on to discover how

Are you purchasing a Right-To-Buy property?

Home Right To Buy Mortgages Can My Son Buy My Council House For Me?
Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: April 30, 2024

The Right to Buy scheme allows you to purchase your council house at a discounted rate. But can your son buy your council house for you?

While it’s possible, there are factors to consider and it’s not as straightforward as buying your council house yourself.

This article explores the rules and eligibility criteria of the Right to Buy scheme, detailing how your son or daughter can help you purchase your council house, the conditions under which they can do so, and the steps involved.

What is Right to Buy?

Right to Buy is a government scheme introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government in 1980, offering council tenants the opportunity to purchase their homes at a discount. A certain amount of money is deducted from the cost of your house, which means you might not need to use a deposit if the discount is greater than the deposit needed.

So, if you’re buying a house with a market value of £200,000 and receive a discount of £80,000 through the scheme, you can use this as a deposit. However, some lenders may still ask for a deposit depending on your credit history and financial situation.

Am I eligible?

The easiest way to see whether you’re eligible for the scheme is to take this quiz on the government website. These questions include whether:

  • Your council house is your only or main home
  • You’ve been a tenant for at least three years
  • You don’t live in sheltered or other housing arrangements for elderly or disabled people

The scheme is available to tenants in England and Northern Ireland but has been abolished in Scotland and Wales.

Discounts on buying a council house

One of the advantages of the Right to Buy scheme is that you receive discounts on the purchase of the property. These discounts depend on a few factors, such as:

  • Length of Tenancy: The longer you have been a council or public sector tenant, the greater the discount you might be eligible for. Generally, you need to have been a tenant for at least three years.
  • Type of Property: Discounts can vary depending on whether the property is a house or a flat.
    • House: The discount is 35% if you’ve been a tenant for 3 to 5 years and increases by 1% every extra year after up to a maximum of 70%.
    • Flat: The discount is 50% if you’ve been a tenant for 3 to 5 years and increases by 2% every extra year afterwards to a maximum of 70%
  • Location: The maximum levels of discount can differ based on the local authority area, as some areas might have caps that are different from the national maximum.
  • Improvements Made: If you or the council have made significant improvements to the property during your tenancy, this could affect the valuation of the property and potentially the discount applied.
  • Cap on Maximum Discount: There is a ceiling on the maximum discount allowed, which varies regionally across England. This cap increases every April in line with the consumer price index (CPI).

If you want to know what discount you might receive based on your circumstances, use our Right to Buy calculator below:

Right to Buy Calculator

Our Right to Buy calculator will tell you how must discount you're eligible for on the purchase price of your property.

Select house or flat
In pound sterling
Discounts begin at 3 years

Your Right to Buy discount percentage could be:

Your Right to Buy discount value could be:

The cost of your property after the Right to Buy discount could be:

Now that you've worked out how much discount you're eligible for and know the amount you need to buy your property, your next step should be to seek professional advice if you need a mortgage to foot the cost. We work with brokers who specialise in Right to Buy mortgages, and they're just an enquiry away.

Can my son buy my council house?

Yes, your son can buy your council house through the Right to Buy scheme at a discount. He must have lived in the house for at least 12 months prior to the application and be named on the tenancy agreement.

If your son meets these criteria, he could join you in the application. If he is not listed on the tenancy or has not lived in the home for the required period, he would not be eligible to purchase the property under the Right to Buy scheme on your behalf.

Can a family member help me buy my council house?

Yes, a family member can help you buy your council house under the Right to Buy scheme. However, specific conditions must be met, such as:

  1. Residency Requirement: They must have lived in the property as their main home for at least the last 12 months.
  2. Legal Requirement: They need to be included in the tenancy agreement.

If a family member, such as a spouse or adult child, meets these criteria, they can be part of the application to purchase the property jointly. This can be beneficial in terms of combining incomes to meet financial requirements for the purchase.

if family members do not qualify to be co-applicants because they do not meet the criteria, they can still assist financially. They can contribute towards the deposit (if a deposit is needed), purchase price, or mortgage payments, even if they cannot be named officially as buyers.

Can I add my son to my council tenancy?

Adding your son to your council tenancy is possible, but the approval process depends on specific conditions set by your local council.

  • Tenancy Agreement: Review your existing tenancy agreement to understand the terms regarding adding occupants or changing the tenancy. Some agreements may have specific provisions or restrictions.
  • Council Approval: You will need to obtain permission from your local council. This involves submitting a request to add your son to the tenancy. The council will then assess factors such as the size of the property and whether it’s suitable for additional occupants without leading to overcrowding.
  • Residency Requirement: Typically, a minimum period of 12 months living in the property as his primary residence is required for your son to be added to the tenancy.

Contact your local council for the exact process and requirements. They will provide the necessary forms and guidance on applying to add your son to your council tenancy. It’s also a good idea to ensure this change is formally documented to avoid any issues in the future regarding tenancy rights or succession.

Can my son inherit my council house?

Yes, your son can inherit your council house under certain conditions. These are primarily related to the tenancy rights and the specific terms of your council’s housing policy. Below are some of the conditions required:

  • Succession Rights: Succession rights are typically granted to the spouse or civil partner of the original tenant automatically. However, if a family member, such as a son, lived in the house as their primary residence for at least 12 months prior to the tenant’s death, they may also be able to succeed the tenancy. It’s important to note the exact duration for this requirement may vary depending on local council rules.
  • One Succession Rule: Most council tenancies allow for only one succession. If the tenancy has already been succeeded once (if your tenancy itself was inherited, for example), then your son may not automatically have the right to inherit it unless specified differently in the tenancy agreement or allowed by the local council policies.
  • Type of Tenancy: The type of tenancy you hold can also impact succession rights. For instance, newer “flexible” tenancies, often fixed-term, may have different rules compared to traditional “secure” lifelong tenancies.

It’s a good idea to discuss your specific situation with your local council to understand the rules around inheriting a council house and whether there are any potential limitations. It’s also a good idea to consult with a legal advisor to ensure all legal aspects are properly managed.

Checklist for buying your council house with your son

If you’re considering buying your council house with your son, this checklist is a handy guide that will help guide you through the process:

  1. Check Eligibility:
    • Ensure that both you and your son are named on the tenancy agreement.
    • Confirm that at least one of you (ideally both) has been a public sector tenant for at least 3 years.
  2. Verify Residency:
    • Make sure your son has been living in the property as his main home for at least the last 12 months.
  3. Request an Application Form:
  4. Complete the Application Form:
    • Fill out the form accurately, providing all required details about the tenancy and occupants.
    • Both you and your son should sign the form if you are joint tenants.
  5. Submit the Application:
    • Send the completed application form back to your council.
  6. Receive Offer Notice:
    • Wait for the council to respond with an offer notice (Section 125 notice). This will include the price you need to pay and details about the discount, property valuation, and terms.
  7. Property Valuation:
    • Review the valuation and ensure it reflects a fair market price. You have the right to challenge the valuation if it seems too high.
  8. Arrange a Mortgage (if needed):
    • Consult with mortgage advisors to find the best mortgage deals available for buying your council house.
    • Apply for a joint mortgage with your son if additional funds are needed.
  9. Legal Considerations:
  10. Survey the Property:
    • Consider getting a professional survey of the property to check for any structural problems.
  11. Accept the Offer:
    • If you agree with the valuation and terms, accept the offer within the time limit (usually 3 months from receiving the offer notice).
  12. Complete the Purchase:
    • Work with your solicitor to complete the purchase. This includes signing the final documents and transferring the funds.
  13. Post-Purchase Adjustments:
    • Notify utility providers and update the property deeds and insurance policies to reflect the change in ownership.

By following this checklist, you and your son can smoothly navigate the process of buying your council house under the Right to Buy scheme. Ensure all documentation is carefully reviewed and deadlines are met to avoid any complications.

How a mortgage broker can help you

If you’re considering getting your son to purchase your council house through the Right to Buy scheme, a mortgage broker can help guide you through the process. Our unique broker-matching service will pair you with an advisor who specialises in Right to Buy mortgages.

Just call us on 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry and we’ll do the rest. We’ll simply ask for a few details and from there can find the broker to suit – it’s completely free and there’s no obligation, just the chance to find the right lender with expert support at your side.

Discover the options available to you if you want your son to buy your council house

About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for Online Mortgage Advisor of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

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