Council houses can be bought under government schemes or through private financing. Through this blog post, we aim to discover whether someone interested in a concrete based ex-council house can get a mortgage. In addition to this, we will also discuss the terms under which council homes can be bought and whether or not they can be rented out or resold after someone buys them out.

Can I Get Mortgage On A Concrete Ex Council House?

Yes, you can get a mortgage on an ex-council house made of concrete. However, it will be hard to find a mortgage lender as they usually consider ex-council property and structures made of concrete to be difficult to resell. 

Ex council houses are usually spacious with plenty of storage space. They are also made of sturdy structures but lack the modern outlook that new buyers are looking for. However, being cheaper as compared to new construction and private homes, they tend to be more affordable.

Since concrete is not commonly used in home building, there are fewer people who will be interested in purchasing a house that is made of this material This is the reason why it is difficult to convince a mortgage lender when you intend to buy an ex-council house made of concrete. 

Chances are that when you do find a mortgage lender for a concrete based ex-council house, you may have to pay a higher mortgage deposit. Since there will be fewer mortgage lenders willing to extend finances, you may find their mortgage rates less competitive.

Since the mortgage lender will be considering such a property to be of high risk, they may want to conduct extensive scrutiny to confirm whether or not you will be able to keep up with regular mortgage payments. In such cases, applicants with a bad credit history will find it extremely challenging to find a mortgage lender.

If your search for a mortgage lender fails, you may consider a government scheme to purchase a council through the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire schemes.

How Do I Know If My House Is An Ex-Council House?

Whether you are seeking information regarding a property that you have already purchased or intend to purchase, there are mainly two ways for you to find out if your house is an ex-council house:

  • you can either ask the estate agent through whom you purchased or are looking to purchase a property, or
  • you can check the details of the previous possession of the property by purchasing a copy of the title deed from Land Registry for a nominal fee.

However, this information will only be available to you if the property that you are inquiring about is already purchased by you or currently listed on the market and is available for sale.

If you have the exact address of the property you can visit the information section of the Land Registry website, enter the postal address and get details about the property’s previous ownership as well as the extension of its general boundaries. The service can give information regarding the current owner of the property free of cost; however, to download the title register of a property you will need to pay a fee of £3 for each copy of a title register or a title plan. For this purpose, you will need an email address, debit or credit card.

How Can I Buy My Council House?

One of the most common ways to purchase council property is the Right To Buy Scheme. Under this, council houses can be purchased by local council tenants by fulfiling the following conditions:

  • The council house is the applicant’s main home
  • The property is self-contained
  • The applicant is a secure tenant
  • The applicant has had a public sector landlord for at least five years


However, the Right To Buy Scheme only allows council tenants to purchase the property that they are living in and not any other council house that they may be interested in. In some cases, council housing tenants are eligible for the Cash Incentive Scheme or easy Home Purchase Scheme; but to avail of any of these, they will be required to forfeit their council accommodation and purchase a house in the open market. Their purchase will be supported by local council authorities.

In addition to the Right To Buy Scheme, there is also an option of buying your council house under a joint application. In this case, it is essential for the applicant to either file their council house application with someone as their joint owner and be willing to share their responsibilities as a house owner or have up to three family members (who have lived with them for at least 12 months) willing to share ownership rights.

Under “Preserved Right To Buy” you can purchase a council house that you lived in but the council sold it to a housing association landlord.

In case, you are a housing association tenant, you can apply for the purchase of your council house by filling out the  Right to Acquire Application Form To be eligible, your must spend at least three years as a council house tenant and fulfil all the eligibility criteria that apply to local council tenants. However, you should not apply under the Right To Buy or Preserved Right To Buy schemes.

Voluntary Right To Buy allows you to purchase a council house that you may not have lived in.

Can I Get A Discount On Purchasing A Council House?

Yes, if you are eligible for the Right To Buy scheme you will get a discount on purchasing a council house to a  maximum limit of £84,000 across England (except for certain boroughs in London where it is £112,800). The amount keeps increasing with the rise in the rate of inflation every year.

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

  • The number of years that you’ve been a council housing tenant
  • Whether you intend to purchase a flat or a house
  • The monetary value of the property you intend to purchase

In the case of purchasing a council house, you may be able to get a 35 per cent discount; while in the case of a flat, it will be 50 per cent if you’ve lived in a council housing facility for between three to five years.

However, if you have applied under the Right To Aquire scheme, you will be able to get a discount of around £9,000 to £16,000 on the price of your property; depending upon where you live in the UK. This discount may reduce if you have previously applied for under a Right To Buy or Right To Acquire scheme.

How Long After Buying A Council House Can You Rent It Out?

You can rent out your council house immediately after buying the property as there is no legal restriction on renting the place out once the process of transfer of ownership and other legal documentation is complete. In fact, according to some estimates, nearly 40 per cent of council property is rented out after it has been bought by tenants. 

Your local council may charge a one-time subletting fee which can be discussed with their legal team once you’ve made your decision to tent out the property and informed the council authorities.

How Long After Buying A Council House Can You Sell It?

Although you can legally sell your council house anytime after the purchase and completion of documentation for transfer for ownership, however, if you sell it before the end of a five-year term, you will have to repay the discount that you availed under the Right to Buy Scheme. 

Similarly, if you sell your council house before the end of a ten-year term, you will first have to offer it for sale to your council authorities or social housing landlord before you list the property for sale in the open market. If the landlord does not agree to buy the property or there is a conflict in the price that you offer versus the one they are willing to pay and there is no settlement between both the parties within 8 weeks, you can list your council house for sale in the open market.

If you intend to sell your council house after purchasing it, you may not be able to do so without foregoing the discount you availed through the Right To Buy scheme until you’ve lived in the property for a minimum of 5 years after the purchase. 

As the number of years of your stay in the property increase, the repayment amount of the discount decreases from 80 per cent after the completion of the first year to 20 per cent after the fourth year. Once you complete five years on the premises, you will not have to repay any amount from the Right To Buy discount.

Below is a detailed breakdown of the discount that sellers have to forego:

Year 1100% of the discount
Year 280% of the discount
Year 360% of the discount
Year 440% of the discount
Year 520% of the discount

Conclusion:

The above discussion makes it clear that while it may be difficult to find a mortgage lender if you intend to purchase ex-council property made of concrete, it is not impossible. The reason for a lack of interest by mortgage lenders for such property is the high risk of being able to resell the property, should the need arise. There is generally a smaller market of homeowners interested in buying ex-council property due to its simplistic design and then a concrete structure which is not as commonly used as brick and mortar. 

FAQs: Can I Get Mortgage On A Concrete Ex Council House?

Is it a good idea to buy an ex-council house?

Yes, it is a good idea to buy an ex-council as it will be cheaper than private property, more spacious, have a stronger structure and you will often find it located closer to everyday amenities.

Can I remortgage my ex-council house?

Yes, you can remortgage your ex-council house. However, you must give a one month notice to your council office and pay them a fee for the paperwork involved.

Is it hard to sell a concrete house?

Yes, it is harder to sell a concrete house as they have lower structural integrity. This is the reason why not many buyers are keen to buy concrete houses.

Is it worth buying an ex-council flat?

The reason why an ex-council flat may be a better buy than the private property is due to the spacious layput and sturdy structure that buyers will find in it.

Do local authorities buy back ex-council houses?

While local authorities are not obliged to necessarily buy back council property from private owners, they may be interested in doing so. In certain cases, you may have to inform them of your intent to sell an ex-council property before placing it on the market.

References:

Can You Get A Mortgage On A Concrete House? | Huuti

Getting a Mortgage on an Ex-Council Property

16 properties to avoid if you want to get a mortgage – Which? News

How To Find Out If A House Or Flat Is Ex Council – Monoperty.

Search for property information from HM Land Registry – GOV.UK

Buying an ex-council house in London: the pros, cons and what to avoid | Evening Standard

The real pros and cons of buying an ex-council home

Buying Council Flat: Right To Buy – HomeOwners Alliance

Council housing: Buy your council home – GOV.UK

Right to Buy: buying your council home – GOV.UK

Right to Acquire: buying your housing association home – GOV.UK

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?