Selling a Council Flat

With many types of flats in the UK, you may be looking to sell a council or ex-local authority flat.

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Top questions and answers when selling a council flat

✅ What's the difference between a regular and a council flat?

A typical flat is a leasehold property and you’ll own for it for the duration of the lease, whilst a private person or entity will be the freehold who owns the building in which the flat is contained. Council flats by contrast were constructed by local authorities and you’ll have had to live in one with the local authority as your tenant before you can make an attempt to purchase it.

✅ How can someone who lives in a council flat attempt to buy it?

Through the UK government’s Right to Buy scheme that was introduced in the 1980s, giving people who live in council flats and houses the ability to make an offer to buy the property. There are certain criteria that homeowners have to meet, but if they successfully buy the property and it becomes an ex-council flat, they can try to sell it in the future.

✅ Will I have to pay any fees when selling my ex-council flat?

That depends on how you choose to sell it, because you will have to pay commission to estate agents or auctioneers if you decided to use either of those options for selling your ex-council flat. Alternatively, you could try selling your home to a trustworthy fast home buyer such as LDN Properties because they won’t charge any fees, which will maximise your sale profit.

✅ Are there any restrictions when it comes to selling my ex-council flat?

Yes, the UK government has in place certain rules that apply at specific times when you want to try selling your ex-council flat. For example, if you have owned the home for less than ten years after purchasing it through the Right to Buy scheme, when you decide to sell you must first approach your former landlord or another type of social landlord in the neighbourhood.

✅ How quickly will I be able to find a buyer for my ex-council flat?

The method that you choose for selling the home will determine the speed at which you can sell it. Using a fast buyer will often take just a few weeks from beginning to end. An auction will take at least a couple of months once you factor in all the steps of that process. And there’s no deadline when selling via an estate agent, it can be more than a year before you receive an offer.

✅ Why are some mortgage lenders against loans for buying ex-council flats?

Because they look at the unfortunate but very real stigma of owning an ex-council flat, including the fact that some of the homes have cladding, and they see the properties as being hard to sell at a profit in the event that the buyer can no longer meet their monthly mortgage payments. If that happens, the lender will have to sell the flat to cover the costs of the abandoned loan.

✅ How can I trust a quick home buyer when selling my ex-council flat?

The honest fast property buying companies are typically registered with a third-party entity called The Property Ombudsman (TPO) or equivalent. This organisation writes rules to shield you against potential fraud in the quick buying sector, and all TPO members must follow those policies.

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