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The right of council tenants in Scotland to buy their homes will be abolished within 2 years as the Scottish Parliament looks for ways to deal with the waiting list for council and housing association homes.
The right to buy scheme was introduced across the UK by the government of Margaret Thatcher and aimed to encourage council tenants to buy their homes by offering big discounts. It proved to be popular in Scotland where between 1980 and 2013, 455,000 Scottish homes had been purchased from councils and housing associations by their former tenants.
However, the popularity of the scheme has contributed to an acute shortage of social housing in Scotland. Now MSPs are voting on a proposal by the Scottish Government to end the right to buy in 2016. In the words of Scottish Housing Minister Margaret Burgess:
"With 185,000 people on waiting lists for council and housing association houses, we can no longer afford to see the social sector lose out on badly needed homes. By ending right-to-buy in two years we will protect up to 15,500 social houses from sale over a 10-year period and safeguard social housing stock for future generations."
Ms. Burgess’s comments were also echoed by Andy Young, from the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, who said that although the policy had been “beneficial to a relatively small number of individuals,” it was “clearly a loss to the greater public good.”
The decision to end the right to buy scheme has however been criticised by opposition politicians, including Scottish Conservatives, who have accused ministers of ‘kicking the housing ladder away’ from those aspiring to own their own homes.
Here at Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors, we’ve been keeping a close eye on developments relating to the right to buy scheme. Our Solicitors are currently investigating reports of mis-selling relating to mortgages taken out on right to buy properties over the last decade.
We have been contacted by a number of people here on Merseyside and also further afield who are worried they have been mis-sold a mortgage and are paying out more than they should. Unfortunately we cannot act in the cases of people who bought their homes in Scotlands, but we are investigating reports of mis-selling in England and Wales.
To find out more about our mortgage mis-selling investigations and how you may be able to claim thousands of pounds compensation if you have been mis-sold a right to buy mortgage, head over to our right to buy mortgage claims advice page now, or call our right to buy information line on 0151 345 0131.