How the Right to Buy Scheme Can Allow You to Own Your Home

How the Right to Buy Scheme Can Allow You to Own Your Home

If you currently rent a council house, but would like the security of owning it yourself, then the right-to-buy scheme could help you do just that!

You could join thousands of council tenants who are now enjoying owning their homes. You could do this with our help, even if you’re self-employed council tenant or have a low credit score.

How would you like to own the council house you’ve already made your home, knowing the time, effort and money you spend on it in the future will be an investment?

Your dream of being a homeowner could become a reality with the right-to-buy scheme.

What is Right to Buy?

The right to buy scheme was introduced almost 40 years ago to allow eligible council and housing association tenants to buy their council homes at a discount.

If you’re eligible, you can also enlist the help of your spouse and other family members – who have also lived in the property – with a joint application.

At Clever Mortgages we can check if you meet the eligibility criteria and help you apply for a right to buy mortgage even if you have bad credit.

How does Right to Buy work?

There are certain criteria you must meet to be able to apply for a right to buy mortgage.

Right to buy do


  • Be a council tenant. Even if your council has transferred your home to a housing association, you could still have a ‘preserved’ right to buy. You can also still apply if you’re not a council tenant now, but were one when your home was transferred to a new landlord
  • Have lived in your home for at least three years – and it must be your only home. The longer you’ve lived in your home, the bigger the discount you’ll receive
  • Have kept your home in good condition
Right to buy donts


  • Have debts which have associated legal problems, such as bankruptcy
  • Have a possession order against your home
  • Live in a property which is due to be demolished

Sometimes it’s easy to miss-understand the small print, so our friendly  team will take the time to fully understand your circumstances and help you throughout the whole right to buy process.

How to Get A Right to Buy Mortgage if You Have a Low Credit Rating

We understand people’s circumstances are different and just how easy it is for unsecured debts to mount. It’s still possible to qualify for a right to buy mortgage though even if you have bad credit, for example have missed previous payments or defaulted on a loan.

At Clever Mortgages, we can provide all the advice you need to help you buy your council home, even if you have a poor credit rating. We can help you find a suitable right to buy mortgage that you’ll be able to afford now and in the future.

This means that you could still own your home with the right to buy scheme even if:

  • You have a less than average credit history
  • You’re self-employed or have complex income
  • Your property was built using a non-standard construction method

Why You Should Choose a Right to Buy Mortgage with Us

Clever Mortgages has a team of experts who can help find you the best right to buy mortgage for you.

We know the lenders that will say ‘Yes’!

We’ve already have helped 1000s of people to buy their own home and we’re here to assist you too to buy your council home through the right to buy scheme.

Our friendly, efficient and personalised service will ensure you’re provided with the best home buying experience. Buying a home can be daunting, but we’ll make sure we help you each step of the way.

Call us today and find out how it’s surprisingly easy to make your council home your own with right to buy.

Moving house – a countdown to move day

Moving house – a countdown to move day

Moving house is really exciting, but it can also be quite a stressful experience if you’re not prepared.

We’ve put together a list of things you need to do before the big day arrives! Tick these off and you should be all set for a smooth move:

  • Cancel or move existing bills/contracts
  • Redirect your mail
  • Arrange removals and pack
  • Let people know!
  • Get your new home ready

Cancel or move existing bills/contracts

You’ll have a handful of bills attached to the house you’re leaving and you’ll need to get these settled or moved to your new property to make sure you don’t pay for a service you aren’t using. You may need to cancel/move:

  • Utility bills (gas, electricity and water)
  • Landline, TV and internet bills
  • Council Tax
  • Any insurances on the house
  • TV Licence

You’ll need to bear in mind that some companies may charge admin fees if you change your details and your Council Tax could increase or decrease if you move into a different tax band area.

Redirect your mail

If you haven’t arranged for all of your bills, statements, subscriptions and letters to be sent to your new address, you may want to take advantage of Royal Mail’s post forwarding service.

This service will redirect your mail to any UK or overseas address for 3, 6 or 12 months from just £33.99 for each different surname. This may be ideal if you regularly receive mail, so your post reaches you sooner.

Arrange removals and pack

If you are not moving your possessions yourself, you may want to book a removal firm and get them ready to help you move. Do this in advance and take the worry away when moving day comes around. You may also want to book the day off for moving house, so check with your employer if you can!

To get ready for moving day, pack away the things you don’t need first and label the boxes so they are easier to unpack. You may be wise to disassemble large furniture in advance and have it ready downstairs so it can be moved easier. Be sure to take care of delicate items – plenty of bubble wrap may be needed!

Let people know!

Certain people will want to know you have moved house as they will need to update their records. These can include your:

  • Doctor
  • Dentist
  • Vet
  • Bank
  • Employer
  • School

If you have a good relationship with the neighbours you are leaving behind, it may be a good idea to let them know where you are moving to, so they can keep an eye on whether anything is delivered to your old address once you’ve left.

Get your new home ready

There’s nothing worse than getting to your new home and finding it’s dirty but you can be prepared for this. Before you unpack, clean your cupboards out and wipe down surfaces, so your nicely-packed cutlery, crockery and cookware is ready to store away.

Lastly, for a happy moving day take the kettle to your new home on the first trip. There may be plenty of tea and coffee drunk throughout your moving day!

Thinking of moving? Get ready now! Speak to Clever Mortgages now to discuss your mortgage and protection needs – Enquire.

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What the new stamp duty cuts can mean for you

As of the 22nd November, stamp duty will be scrapped for the majority of first-time buyers. This is part of the 2017 budget by the chancellor Philip Hammond and aims to help fix the housing market. Any first-time buyer looking to purchase a property under the cost of £300,000 will be exempt from paying the tax.

What the new stamp duty cuts can mean for you

As of the 22nd November, stamp duty will be abolished for the majority of first-time buyers.  This saving will be available in England, Northern Ireland and Wales until the end of March 2018. This is part of the 2017 budget by the chancellor Philip Hammond and aims to help fix the housing market.

Any first-time buyer looking to purchase a property under the cost of £300,000 will be exempt from paying the tax. Additionally, anyone paying up to £500,000 will only have to pay on the purchase over the threshold.

Mr Hammond has stated that 80% of first-time buyers will now pay no stamp duty when purchasing a property.

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is a lump-sum tax applicable to anyone buying land or property over a certain price in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Under the previous system all home buyers, including first-time buyers, would pay stamp duty up to 12% on properties over £125,000. In the same way, home movers will continue to pay no stamp duty on properties up to £125,00.

The changes do not apply in Scotland which has an independent system of land tax. Stamp duty will devolve to Wales from March 2018.

How much can you save?

The below table can help you work out how much you could save as a first-time buyer on a property up to £300,000:

Property priceStamp duty saving
Up to £125,000£0
£126,000 – £150,000£20 – £500
£151,000 – £200,000£520 – £1,500
£201,000 – £250,000£1,520 – £2,500
£251,000 – £300,000£2,550 – £5,000

Any first-time buyer paying between £300,000 and £500,000 will pay stamp duty at 5% of the purchase price in excess of £300,000. Those purchasing a property over the cost of £500,000 will not receive any relief. However, as the typical first-time buyer pays around £208,000* the average saving will be roughly £1,660.

How Clever Mortgages can help

At Clever Mortgages, we have experience helping first-time buyers from all types of situations get on the property ladder. We work with a long list of lenders to help you find the right mortgage to go with your new home.

*Source: The Guardian, 2017

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Myths around mortgages and credit scores

Your credit score is one of the most important pieces of information about you when it comes to borrowing money. Mortgage lenders use your credit record to help them make a decision on whether they should lend to you. However, despite their importance, there’s still a lot of misunderstanding and confusion around credit scores and what they mean.

Myths around mortgages and credit scores

Your credit score is one of the most important pieces of information about you when it comes to borrowing money. Mortgage lenders use your credit record to help them make a decision on whether they should lend to you.

However, despite their importance, there’s still a lot of misunderstanding and confusion around credit scores and what they mean.

The myths uncovered

Here we list some of the myths surrounding credit scores and what they can mean for your mortgage application.

“My credit score is too low to get a mortgage”

There’s no set minimum score required to get a mortgage. This is determined by the lender themselves. As lenders have different levels of tolerance, some will be more willing to consider you than others if you have bad credit. Although many won’t want to risk lending to someone with bad credit, there are lenders who can help.

If your credit score is low then applying with a company who specialise in offering bad credit mortgages will give you the best chance of getting approved. These mortgages work in exactly the same way as a standard mortgage, but interest rates will be higher and it’s likely that you will need to put down a bigger deposit.

“Negative information on my credit report will stop me getting a mortgage”

There are still mortgage options available to people who have negative information on their credit file. This might be a CCJ, defaults from previous loans or even a bankruptcy discharge. You may have otherwise been in an IVA or other debt plan to help repay your debts. If you’ve struggled financially in the past but are back on track now then there are lenders who will consider your application. This negative information remains on your credit file for a maximum of 6 years, so if you’re unsure that it still exists you should check your credit report. You can do this through a credit reference agency such as Experian or Equifax.

“I’ve never borrowed which means I’m a safer customer to lend to”

Lenders actually prefer to lend to people who have some history of making loan repayments. It provides proof that you have previously made payments on time and in full. As you’re likely to continue with this behaviour, it can make you be perceived as more trustworthy than someone who hasn’t borrowed before. This is because those who haven’t borrowed can’t provide any evidence to show they will make payments on time.

Having no credit can often make it just as difficult to get a mortgage as having bad credit. You should work to try and improve your credit score if you’re in this situation. This can often be the case if you’re a first-time buyer and have never had a mortgage or loan before. If you’re getting your first mortgage, here are some ways you can improve your chances.

“My partner has bad credit so neither of us will be able to get a mortgage”

If your partner has struggled with debt then it’s natural to worry about how this might affect you as well. The good news is that there are lenders out there who are willing to consider your application whether you’re buying a house individually or looking for a joint mortgage. If you have no financial links with your partner already, such as a loan or a joint bank account, then your partner’s credit score won’t affect you getting a mortgage independently of them. Even if you’re married you won’t be associated financially unless you have some sort of joint finances. Alternatively, you might be asking will my bad credit score affect my partner?

If you’re looking for a joint mortgage, however, you will become financial associates and will both be liable to repay. A joint mortgage will allow you to borrow more money, as it will take into consideration both your incomes.  Despite whether or not you have a good credit score, your partner’s bad credit will affect your interest rate on the mortgage and will likely require you to put down a larger deposit. As each person’s situation is unique, it’s best to speak with a mortgage advisor before applying.

Take a look at our article on joint mortgages for further information.

“Being on the electoral roll isn’t important”

If you have bad credit you should be doing everything you can to help improve your score. One of the ways you can do this is by making sure you’re on the electoral register. If you’re not then you should register as soon as possible. Although it’s not compulsory to vote, having your details available on the electoral roll allows lenders to easily verify your identity and address. This can have a positive impact on your credit score. If you’re not sure if you’re already registered, you can check on the website Your Vote Matters.

“Applying to different companies will increase my chances at being accepted”

Many people assume that if they keep applying for finance they will eventually find a company who will accept them. This couldn’t be more incorrect. When searching for finance, multiple applications can be one of the worst mistakes you can make. Each time you make a credit application it leaves a mark on your credit file. This is because the lender will typically carry out a “hard” search, which will leave a footprint on your credit file that other lenders can see. These have a direct impact on your scoring as they show your level of need for credit. If you have too many applications made within the same time period, lenders can be put off by your application as it can seem as though you’re desperate for credit and therefore potentially less likely to make payments on time.

The best way to approach finance applications is to do your research before applying and if you know you’re going to apply to more than one, then try and spread these out over a few months. If you want to make comparisons, you can always ask the lender to run a soft search for a quote, which will only be visible to you.

“I’ve not checked my credit score but I presume it’s ok”

Your credit score is not something that will be made itself known to you. So if you don’t check your credit score, you won’t know if it’s good or not. Many people have never checked their credit reports. Some people do this because they’re afraid of the result; others don’t check it because they don’t understand the importance of it. Some people also avoid checking their credit report because they think that this will have an impact on their score. In actual fact you should make sure you check your score regularly so you can know the situation you are in, how you can improve it and what help you to identify what types of finance you will be eligible for. This can help you avoid being rejected.

You can check your credit score through a credit reference agency such as Experian or Equifax.

“My bad credit will always hold me back”

Just because your credit is bad now doesn’t mean it will stay this way forever. There are a number of things you can do to improve your credit score and get your finances back on track. This might mean paying higher interest rates, for now, to make up for it, but over time you can prove to lenders that you’re a trustworthy person to lend to again.

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