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To have bought my Council House on Right to Buy when I have a good income

(109 Posts)
fuzzye Fri 28-Oct-16 10:43:11

I was given my Council House when I was 20. I was a Single Mum studying at University and on benefits. Since getting my house my situation has improved and now, aged 30, I have a very good income.

I made an application last year to buy my Council House on the right to buy. I paid £60,000. My house is currently worth £130,000 as I've spent £10,000 Renovating it. At the time of my Application the Council valued my house considerably below £130,000.

Noe there are now rules around buying your Council House when you have a high income, only that it must be your main home which this is for now. It was legal for me to buy it, and there is a lot of social housing in my area. The waiting list for a Council House is two weeks! There are many properties they have to advertise online as 'hard to let' as they have no tenants for them. So I've certainly not taken a house from anyone who needs it. On my estate also there are 4 houses currently standing empty.

It's a semi rural area and you have to have a local collection to live here. Very few people do and the population is only 8,000. Thousands of Social Housing was built around the factories here until they closed and the population diminished massively. It's not a rough area, just very sparsely populated.

Under my circumstances is it unreasonable that I feel no guilt at all in buying my Council House? There's a large number of bought Council houses in my area, and it's improved the area massively.

TirednessIsComing Fri 28-Oct-16 10:50:21

I think most people would leap at the chance in your shoes.

I'm not a fan of right to buy, in my area there aren't enough council houses for people desperately needing them let alone those who no longer do.

If I was in your area and offered the same chance...I'd find it hard to say no thanks.

Sparklesilverglitter Fri 28-Oct-16 10:52:09

I think bring in right to buy was one of the worst things they done and to allow it these days with waiting lists for council help being so long But you are able to buy so it that respect you did nothing wrong

deste Fri 28-Oct-16 10:53:11

You did the right thing. You should be proud of your achievements. You will get people coming on here saying it is wrong but just ignore.

maxfielder20 Fri 28-Oct-16 10:54:25

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Ifailed Fri 28-Oct-16 10:54:36

Every council house sold under right-to-buy is permanently removed from the pool of social housing and forces, often the poorest, more people into the hands of private landlords.

ijustwannadance Fri 28-Oct-16 10:56:05

You would've been daft not to.

IminaPickle Fri 28-Oct-16 10:59:56

I think right to buy is an immoral and obscene scheme which has done more to entrench division and poverty than any other policy.
I also think that anyone who doesn't take advantage of it is missing their best chance of securing their future and I would vigorously support them.
Crap system. sad

Mumberjack Fri 28-Oct-16 11:00:35

Don't feel guilty - I don't think many people who benefitted from Right to Buy lost much sleep over their decision.
My mum has just bought her council house after 30 years of tenancy - I don't see it as getting a huge discount as she paid rent all those years.
The wider moral problems around right to buy, private landlords, profiteering etc is a UK issue, not something in my opinion to take upon yourself.

Fewerofwhomithinkwell Fri 28-Oct-16 11:01:06

Don't feel guilty, you did what was right for you. I do wish the government would stop selling off these homes though.

QuiteLikely5 Fri 28-Oct-16 11:02:02

Why post this ? Why not ask your work colleague of you should feel guilty?

You come on here asking people if you should feel guilty? Why ?

MidsummersNight Fri 28-Oct-16 11:04:06

Is right to buy only in England now? I don't know of anywhere up here in Scotland that has it.

I think it's ridiculous & extremely unfair, but of course you're not being unreasonable in taking advantage of a shitty system. Anyone would, and everyone did. Leaving 20-something-yr olds like me with absolutely no hope for getting on the property ladder.

Meh, nothing that can be done I suppose!

vimtoqueen1 Fri 28-Oct-16 11:05:39

Good on you - you for it !

ElinoristhenewEnid Fri 28-Oct-16 11:10:32

If you have the opportunity to use Right to Buy you would be foolish not to use it. Yes it was always immoral and we are paying a heavy price for it in this country but it is there and legal so use it.

My dbs now wife had been a council tenant for over 25 years and my db provided her with the money before they were married to buy her house outright at a knockdown price. Council fully aware they were intending getting married at a later date but stated that if she applied before they were married it was totally legal.

This has meant that my db now rents out his own house that he owns outright as a btl and they live in her house which they are renovating. Has give 2 people who have survived on low incomes and insecure work for years a chance to enhance their lives.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 28-Oct-16 11:11:47

Where is the waiting list for a council house 2 weeks?!shock

EreniTheFrog Fri 28-Oct-16 11:12:03

I hate it when people bash those who've bought their council houses. I mean, are they morally any more upright for having paid the market rate for take out a mortgage for ££££ per month than the rest of us could afford?

Manumission Fri 28-Oct-16 11:13:22


MistressMolecules Fri 28-Oct-16 11:18:35

In your shoes I would have done the same and I say that as someone who finally got a council house 9 months ago (as a family - my husband, two children) after a long wait under extremely difficult and desperate circumstances with a very dodgy landlord who wasn't bothered about putting the lives of tenants in danger (long story) and facing homelessness. In fact, it is the only way I can see we will ever be able to buy a house and when the time comes we will to provide financial security for our children.

I think the lack of social housing does need addressing though and the system for getting housing when in need is not great, it all needs overhauling.

EssentialHummus Fri 28-Oct-16 11:20:46

RTB is a really problematic policy - along with about a 1000 other aspects of UK law and practice around housing and tenancy - but you, in your situation, did what was best for you. That's what most of us would do.

stubbornstains Fri 28-Oct-16 11:21:56

My oldest friend is currently considering doing this, for her kids, eventually. This is in an area where there is a shortage of social housing. I did have a bit of a SIOB moment, and she got defensive, but to be honest, if this huge opportunity is waved in front of people, then it's natural for them to want to take advantage of it. Who's to say I wouldn't do it myself, if I was in her shoes?

But, on a greater level, it is massively immoral, and has contributed greatly to the national housing crisis. This is an example where it's the duty of government to step in and change the law, rather than expect individuals to disadvantage themselves for the sake of their principles.

Liiinoo Fri 28-Oct-16 11:22:38

Of course it's not a fair system, but it is the system we currently have and you would be foolish not to take advantage of it.

Lweji Fri 28-Oct-16 11:24:34

I don't agree with the law on this, including on allowing people above a certain income to keep their council house (or at least to pay the low rent that often comes with it), but I don't think you should feel guilty at any point.

thisisafakename Fri 28-Oct-16 11:26:34

Of course it's unfair and morally wrong to do this when there is a huge affordable homes shortage. You need to look on a wider scale than just your own house and whether you personally are depriving someone of a home. Maybe not, but the scheme that you are taking advantage of is. There are hundreds of thousands of families stuck in the rental trap where they will never ever be able to own their own property and some of them will be living in pretty awful conditions but not be far enough up the list to get a council property. The right to buy scheme is enabling that.

However, I am sure you know all that and I fail to see why you came on here to talk about your 'high income', the huge discount you are getting and the fact that you feel no guilt about it. In this country, we seem to be fostering an 'I'm alright Jack' attitude so yes, your sentiments fit with that and I am sure a lot of people think that you are in the right. However, if you look just a little deeper than your individual housing estate, you will see that we live in a massively unequal society and you have just been handed £70,000 by the government for nothing when you are already a high earner when so many others are living in desperate and awful conditions with no way out.

ImAMoving Fri 28-Oct-16 11:30:05

Anyone would have done the same in your shoes, even if they didn't agree with selling off housing stock, why would you not take the chance to buy your home ridiculously undervalued? I don't think anyone would turn it down, whatever their circumstances as it is currently legal.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Fri 28-Oct-16 11:30:51

Not sure what you want from this thread tbh.

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