Independent Mortgage Brokers & Qualified Advisors
Here at Avail Mortgages, we know that every customer has a unique set of circumstances. That’s why we offer tailored services that are personal to each customer, putting their needs and their concerns at the heart of what we do. Our team of mortgage experts is passionate about helping you to find a mortgage product that might be suitable for you. To do that, we offer impartial advice that you can trust, as well as access to a range of bespoke mortgage products and policies, thanks to our network of lenders that we’ve built up over the years.
Every broker at Avail Mortgages is fully qualified and works in line with the principles that are outlined in the Financial Conduct Authority’s* (FCA) ‘Treating Customers Fairly’* (TCF) initiative. This gives our customers peace of mind that our specialist brokers will deliver exceptional service, whenever they need us.
Whether you’re looking for a Right to Buy mortgage or another type of mortgage product, we can make the process stress-free and streamlined – finding the right mortgage deal doesn’t have to be stressful. Additionally, we have created a unique online mortgage calculator to help our customers in their search. We offer services across the whole of the UK including areas such as Leeds and Huddersfield, helping many customers to feel confident and reassured about their choice of mortgage. If you’re interested in receiving reliable and unbiased advice about potential mortgage deals for you, get in touch with our team today.
If you’re currently a council tenant but would like to own your own home, you might wonder what your options are when it comes to finding the right mortgage product for your circumstances. If you’re interested in staying in your current property but would like ownership, you may want to consider using the Right to Buy scheme*.
Right to Buy is a government scheme that was originally introduced under Margaret Thatcher, alongside the introduction of the Housing Act 1980. It allows most council tenants to buy their council property at a discounted price. Currently, the scheme is only available in England – it has been abolished in Scotland and phased out completely in Wales. As for Northern Ireland, there is still a Right to Buy scheme, but it does have different aspects to the one here in England.
How Does Right To Buy Work?
The ownership scheme allows you to get a substantial discount on the market price of your council house, if you choose to buy it. It’s a great way to get on the property ladder for an affordable price and without moving to a different property. In England, the maximum discount is £84,000, but increases to £112,800 for areas in London. The discount levels will change each year in April, in line with any increase in inflation and the consumer price index. You could also use a discount calculator to find out how much discount you may be entitled to.
The level of discount you’re entitled to will be calculated based on several factors. These include:
- The type of property you are buying and whether it’s a flat or a house.
- The value of the home.
- How long you have been a tenant for, with a public sector landlord.
- If you’re making a joint application and buying with somebody else. In this case, you can count the years of whoever has been a tenant for the longest amount of time.
The discount will also be affected if you have used the scheme previously. In this instance, you may receive a smaller discount. As for selling your home, you usually have to pay back some of the discount if you decide to sell within 5 years of using the scheme to buy the property. Your discount will also be decreased if your landlord has spent money on maintenance and repairs for your home and the building, such as significant structural repairs.
To buy the property through the Right to Buy scheme, your landlord obviously has to agree. To apply for the scheme and seek approval from your landlord, you must complete the Right to Buy application form* (RTB1 notice). Then, send it to your landlord, who will have to respond within 4 weeks of receiving your application. Note that this increases to 8 weeks if they have been your landlord for under 3 years. If the landlord is to say no, they must justify their decision. If they do not respond within this time frame, you may be eligible for a reduction in the sale price. Just complete the ‘initial notice of delay’ form (RTB6)* and send it to your landlord.
If your landlord is happy to sell the property, then they will send you an offer. If you’re buying a freehold property, this will be within 8 weeks of them agreeing to sell. For leasehold property, this increases to 12 weeks. This offer should provide you with the following information:
- The proposed sale price of the property and how this was calculated.
- Your discount and how this was calculated.
- A description of the property and any land that’s included in the price.
- Any known problems with the property e.g. structural issues.
- Estimates of service changes for the first five years (for a maisonette or flat).
Once you have received the offer, you have 12 weeks to respond. If this time has passed and you haven’t responded, the landlord will follow up with a reminder. You then have 28 days to reply or risk the landlord dropping your application. If you have changed your mind and no longer wish to sell, you can continue to rent.
If you disagree with the offer that the landlord has sent and you believe that the property’s market value has been set too high, you must then ask the landlord for an independent valuation within three months. The valuation will then be conducted by a district valuer from HM Revenue and Customs. They will inform you of the valuation and you then have 12 weeks to accept the offer or decide that you no longer wish to buy the property.
What Is A Right To Buy Mortgage?
A Right to Buy mortgage doesn’t differ too much from standard types of mortgages. Of course, the main exception is that you’ll apply for a loan to be taken out alongside a Right to Buy property purchase. The usual mortgage application process will apply, as will the affordability checks for mortgage applicants.
However, before applying for the loan, you must make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements for the Right to Buy scheme. Your eligibility will have an impact on the purchase price, the mortgage options that are available to you and how much you will ask to borrow from mortgage lenders.
The eligibility criteria includes:
- Your public sector property must be your main, or only, residence.
- You must be based in England.
- You must have a legal contract between you and the landlord.
- Your property must be self-contained.
- You must have been renting the property for at least three years, from a public sector body.
If you meet the eligibility criteria and can use the Right to Buy scheme, then you’ll need to meet the affordability requirements and general mortgage eligibility criteria, just like any other applicant. Mortgage providers may all have slightly different requirements, which is why it’s important to get expert advice from mortgage advisers. With access to a range of deals on the market, our mortgage brokers can help you to find a mortgage product that meets your needs.
Mortgage lenders will usually assess the following during your application:
Your credit score: Having a good credit score will work in your favour. Lenders will conduct a credit check to ensure that you don’t have bad credit. If you do, you may need to look into mortgage products that are suitable for those with bad credit history, as these may be better suited to you.
Your income: Lenders will check that you have the means to make regular loan payments to repay the mortgage. Some lenders will have annual income requirements to ensure that you have a stable, consistent income that can be used to repay your loan over your chosen mortgage term. They will typically multiply your income by 4 or 5 to calculate how much you can borrow. If you’re a self-employed applicant, the process may be different – lenders will want to see a record of your income.
Your outgoings: Lenders will want to know how much you spend every month on regular bills and essentials.
Existing debts: Mortgage providers will want information about outstanding debts, such as student loans and credit card bills and they will want to see that you have no legal issues regarding existing debt. Using these figures, they will calculate how much debt you have, as a percentage of your income. This is known as your debt-to-income ratio.
Your age: You need to be at least 18 in the UK to apply for any mortgage. Most lenders will require applicants to be under 75 at the end of the mortgage term. Some niche products are available though for people that are looking to purchase their council property later on in life.
Why Choose to Discuss Your Options With Avail Mortgages?
We’re proud to help a range of customers with varying personal and financial circumstances to find a mortgage product that might suit their needs. Established back in 2018, Avail Mortgages was built on a foundation of transparency, reliability and impartiality – we put these principles into practice in all of our services. We’re proud to have an approach that allows our customers to secure the right mortgage deal and insurance products for them.
Besides our approach that sets us aside and delivers an unrivalled experience, when you choose to work with us, you’ll have access to a wide range of policies and products. Over the years, we’ve built strong relationships with key lenders and therefore have access to many policies and lenders that could be your ideal solution. This gives our customers a variety of options, helping them to decide on the mortgage product that is best suited to their needs.
When you choose to work with Avail for mortgage and insurance advice, you can rest assured that you’ll have our support whenever it’s needed. We know that life gets hectic and our customers all have varying schedules and routines, which is why we can talk to you at times that are most convenient to you. You can get on with your life and we’ll fall into your routine in a way that best suits you.
As a modern, forward-thinking company, we always like to make life as easy as possible for our customers. That’s why we have an online client portal, that allows us to keep the process of finding the right product streamlined and straightforward. This online portal allows you to access your important documentation at any time, wherever you are.
No matter where you are in the UK, we can help. We help a range of customers across the UK, in places such as Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and York. With over 35 years of combined experience, you know that you’re in safe hands when it comes to receiving mortgage advice from us.
Get In Touch
If you’re based in the North, or further afield in England, and would like to find out more about obtaining a Right to Buy mortgage that suits you, then our team of mortgage experts would love to hear from you. Whether you have any further questions about the scheme, our services or would like to get started on finding the right mortgage lender for you, then contact us today! You can email us at [email protected], give us a call on 01484 556 245 or get in touch online. We’re happy to provide specialist advice regarding Right to Buy mortgages, or any other mortgage products that might be suitable for you. Whatever you have in mind, we can help you.