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Government announces 70% discount boost for Right to Buy council tenants (6 January 2014)

Date: 1/6/2014    |    

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Duncan Lewis, Housing Solicitors, Government announces 70% discount boost for Right to Buy council tenants

Community Secretary Eric Pickles has announced that council houses are to be sold off at a 70% discount in 2014, to enable more people to get on the property ladder.

UK property prices have risen by an average of 8.4% in the last year, with the biggest increase being seen in Manchester, where property prices have risen on average by 21%.

Some property experts say that the BBC’s move to Salford in Manchester has boosted property prices in Manchester and surrounding areas.

Prime Minister David Cameron is keen to help first-time buyers get onto the property ladder – the government’s Right to Buy scheme for council house tenants was launched under Margaret’s Thatcher’s Conservative government and offered 60% discounts on the asking price of council homes.

The extension of the Thatcher Government’s Right to Buy scheme from a 60% to a 70% discount will also involve raising the discount cap of £75,000 to bring it in line with inflation.

Eric Pickles said that the government does not want to be “in the business of vetoing ambition”. He added to move was intended to “drive aspiration” and also accelerate the rate at which the government delivers affordable homes.

Mr Pickles said that the Right to Buy scheme had been “strangled for years” as a result of a “miserly” cap on the discount, which prevented many council tenants from being able to afford to buy their homes.

“That’s why we reinvigorated the Right to Buy,” said Mr Pickles. “It’s all part of our long-term economic plan to make Britain a country on the rise, where hard working people can be rewarded with the security and peace of mind that comes from owning their own home.

“We’ll also continue to plough the cash from additional sales back into delivering new affordable homes for rent – which will help drive up the rate of house building across the country,” he added.

The government will extend the Right to Buy discount to 70% of a council property’s market value in the new tax year, which begins on 6 April.

The Labour Party has reacted to the announcement by saying the government has failed to keep its promise that for every home sold under Right to Buy, another would be built to replace it.

Labour has promised to build 200,000 affordable new homes if it wins the General Election in 2015.
Labour Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds said that the fall in house building under the Conservatives had contributed to the hardship many families were facing – adding that, under the current government, only one home had been built for every seven homes sold.

The current government has also launched the Help to Buy scheme for first-time buyers buying newbuild properties and existing buyers wishing to upsize their current homes.

Duncan Lewis Housing Solicitors

Duncan Lewis housing solicitors can advise on housing law matters, including issues such as Local Authority housing, housing possession, mortgage repossession, illegal eviction, housing benefit, Landlord & Tenant issues and disrepair of rental properties.

Duncan Lewis is also a leading firm of Legal Aid solicitors.

For expert help with housing law, contact Duncan Lewis housing solicitors on 020 7923 4020.