Can My Son Buy My Council House For Me?

Home Can My Son Buy My Council House For Me?
Sunny Avenue
Mortgages Sunny Avenue
31 May 2024

Buying a council house is an appealing option for many. It offers benefits like discounted prices compared to the market. A common question is, 'Can my son buy my council house for me?'

In this insight, we will guide you through the steps and requirements for purchasing a council house, whether alone or with family help.

In this insight, we have chosen to address the popularly asked question surrounding a council house purchase by a son. The answers that follow apply to either a son or daughter, over age 18.

Key Takeaways

  • Your son can buy your council house at a discount through the Right to Buy scheme if he has lived in the house for at least 12 months and you both apply jointly.
  • The Right to Buy scheme offers discounts to council housing tenants in England (excluding Wales and Scotland) who meet eligibility criteria.
  • Joint applications allow family members, including sons or daughters, who have lived with you for 12 months, to purchase the council house together.
  • Discounts on purchasing a council house vary based on factors such as the length of tenancy, property type (flat or house), and property value.

Can My Son Buy My Council House For Me?

Yes, your son can buy your council house for you at a discount through the Right to Buy scheme. To qualify, he must have lived in the house for at least 12 months before the application, and you both need to jointly apply for the Right to Buy.

As you are required to purchase the property jointly, you will both need to be named on any mortgage and title deeds. 

If you need to leave your council house and your son wants to buy it, he can do so through a regular property purchase process without the Right to Buy scheme. The specific requirements and procedures will depend on the local laws and regulations governing property transactions in your area. It is recommended to seek guidance from housing authorities or legal experts for further assistance.

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What is the Right to Buy Scheme?

The Right to Buy scheme, introduced in the UK around 40 years ago, offers discounts to council housing tenants who want to buy the property they've lived in for a certain period. While no longer available in Wales and Scotland, tenants in Northern Ireland and England can still benefit if they meet specific eligibility criteria.

Eligibility Criteria for Buying a Council House

To be eligible for purchasing a council house under the Right to Buy scheme, a tenant must meet the following conditions:

  • The council house is the applicant's primary residence.
  • The property is self-contained.
  • The applicant is a secure tenant.
  • The applicant has had a public sector landlord (such as a council, housing association, or NHS trust) for at least three years, which does not have to be consecutive.
Joint Applications and Family Member Involvement

A tenant can make a joint application to buy a council house with:

  • Someone who shares their tenancy.
  • Up to three family members who have lived with them for the past 12 months, even if they do not share their tenancy.

In the context of our primary question, "Can my son buy my council house for me?", if your son has lived with you for at least 12 months, he can be included in a joint application to purchase the property, and both of you can apply for co-ownership.

Discounts on Purchasing a Council House

Tenants who are eligible for the Right to Buy scheme can receive a discount on purchasing a council house, up to a maximum limit of £84,000 across England (except for certain boroughs in London, where it is £112,800). The discount amount increases each year in line with the rate of inflation.

The discount that a tenant may avail on purchasing a council house is primarily based on the following factors:

  • The number of years they have been a council housing tenant.
  • Whether they intend to purchase a flat or a house.
  • The monetary value of the property they intend to purchase.

In the case of purchasing a council house, a tenant may be able to get a 35% discount, while for a flat, it will be 50% if they have lived in council housing for between three to five years.

Succession and Inheritance of Council Houses

Council houses can be passed down, but this can only be applied once per tenancy agreement. If the tenancy has passed from one person to another, the successor will not be able to pass it down again. The only exception to this rule may be the permission for "second succession" or "discretionary succession" granted by local council authorities in their council tenancy agreement with renters.

In the case of our primary question, "Can my son buy my council house for me?", if you are a Secure Tenant and there has been no previous succession to the property, your son can inherit your council house.

Different Types of Tenancies for Council Housing

Tenancy agreements for council housing may be classified as follows:

Introductory Tenancy

This is a 12-month trial period for tenants during which their rights to exchange property or make modifications to it are limited. Your son will not be able to buy the council property in this scenario.

Secure Tenancy

This form of tenancy secures a tenant's occupancy in the council house for life unless they break any tenancy rules stated in the agreement. In this case, they may sub-let rooms in the property but not the entire premises.

Flexible Tenancy

This type of tenancy is usually for a fixed term of 2 to 5 years, at the end of which the council may decide to offer a renewed contract on similar terms, offer a secure tenancy, or not renew at any terms at all.

Joint Tenancy

Under this contract, the tenant and the joint tenant both become liable for rent payments and become eligible for all privileges under secure tenancy jointly.

Can a Family Member Help Me Buy My Council House?

Yes, a family member can help you buy your council house by providing the necessary funds. However, legal ownership of the property remains in the name of the eligible tenants.

Your family member could also help you to buy through the right to buy scheme. To qualify, they must have lived in the house for at least 12 months before the application, and you both need to jointly apply for the Right to Buy discount. That means both being on the property deeds and any mortgage.

Can My Son Inherit My Council House?

Yes, your son can inherit your council house, especially if you are a Secure Tenant and there has been no previous succession to the property.

Can I Be Refused Right to Buy?

Yes, you may be refused the Right To Buy when you make an offer to your landlord. However, the landlord needs to give a reason for their refusal to sell the property to you. If an applicant does not agree with a refusal to their intent of buying a council house, they can file an appeal with the council authorities.

Can I Add My Son To My Council Tenancy?

Yes, you can add your son (or any other family member) to your council tenancy with the permission of your landlord. It is advisable to consult with your local council authorities to understand the specific procedures and requirements for adding a family member to your council tenancy agreement.

Buying Your Council House With Your Son: Next Steps

The answer to the question "Can my son buy my council house for me?" largely depends on various factors such as eligibility criteria, the type of tenancy, and the specific scheme under which the purchase is being made. With the advice of one's local council authorities and a financial advisor, the right option can be chosen while saving time and ensuring a smooth process. If you are looking to proceed with purchasing your council home, you should seek mortgage advice. To get started, complete the Sunny Fact Find for mortgage advice. The information you provide help us to find the best-suited adviser for your needs. Your adviser then contacts you for a no-obligation conversation on how they can help. You decide how to proceed.

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Stuart is an expert in Property, Money, Banking & Finance, having worked in retail and investment banking for 10+ years before founding Sunny Avenue. Stuart has spent his career studying finance. He holds qualifications in financial studies, mortgage advice & practice, banking operations, dealing & financial markets, derivatives, securities & investments.

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