Selling House To The Council, Do They Buy Private Houses?

Written by Mathew McCorry

If you read my property blog now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you and I will make you read it.

Selling a property always seems to be a frustrating, tedious and difficult task. The whole process poses issues, especially when you are needing to sell your property within a certain time frame. There is no guarantee that traditional methods such as estate agents can find a buyer within a timescale that suits you.

Also, there can be added pressure for your property sale if the property you are trying to sell is a council house. Within this blog, it will discuss whether you can sell your council property and the procedures that you may need to go through to do so.

Can I sell a council house?

Unfortunately, there us no straight answer to this question. To start answering your question, you need to check with your local council’s housing department or the similar to this. Your local authority will be able to give you a better flavour as to where your property stands.

Currently, it is no secret that councils up and down the UK are low on housing stock. Many are keen to have people renting. On top of this, there has also been cuts in funding for many councils. Due to these cuts, it is hard to estimate how much funding each authority is given. Additionally, it therefore means that policies on properties in different authorities may be slightly different.

As well as local authority funding and spending, there are other factors that need to be considered. Within your local area and the type of property will impact on whether you are able to sell. Certain councils often look for properties with criteria. For example, within the Halifax borough, their may be a shortage of two-bed properties for the population. The council may not let you sell a property if its four-bed due to this criterion. On the other hand, some local councils may be willing to buy your council property back from you.

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How much is my council house worth?

You might be wondering whether your council house is worth less than that house across the street that's very similar, but not ex-council. The reason you might be thinking this is that when purchasing a council house you get a discount on it's market value, this is the councils Right To Buy scheme.

If you've been a tenant of a public sector property for between 3-5 years then you'll get a 35% discount, and 1% more for every extra year after that 5. If it's a flat however, you'll be able to get an even larger discount, which is still subject to the same duration, but it's set at 50% and then 2% for every extra year over the 5.

Essentially the answer is no, your council house will be worth it's market value, whatever that is determined to be. The only exception is that you may have to pay back some of your discount if you sell your home within 5 years of buying it from the council under the Right To Buy scheme.

Will the council buy my house back?

This completely depends. If you've bought an ex council property then you might be able to sell it back to your local council.

Councils have no obligation to buy your property back so it depends as to whether they are actively buying property or not, which is usually subject to how much demand they have for housing in the area.

The only way you can check if your local council are buying ex council houses back is by getting in touch with them directly. If they are, they will likely get an independent valuation done on your property & provide you with an offer based on this.

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What if my local authority will not buy my council house?

There are other ways. There are other processes you can go through. However, some may be lengthy and complicated. Bare in mind also, that some of the other different solutions to selling your home may not give you the full market value. Councils in general will struggle to pay you the market value for your property as they simply cannot afford to. Plus, you may still find yourself waiting to sell due to delays as the council will not be able to buy your property quickly.

Can I sell my house to the council and rent it back?

Councils won't offer you the chance of doing this, but there used to be something called the Sale and Rent Back industry. There were several private companies who offered you the option to sell your home and they would rent it back to you.

Currently, in 2020, the industry has been completely shut and there are no regulated firms trading, so if you get offered a scheme like this then it is illegal.

Is there another solution?

Here at The Property Buying Company, we can help you sell your property in a timescale to suit you. We are an alternative to other traditional selling methods. Over our years of trading, we have helped many customers with council houses sell their property in around two to three weeks. If you sell your property to us, we will help you at every step of the way. We may not be able to offer you the full market value for your house, however we will cover any legal fees.

We'll buy your home in as little as 7 days!

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