Selling Your House to a Housing Association: A Guide
If you want to sell your house then one option you might consider is selling it to a housing association. Here’s what you need to consider if you are interested in selling your house to a housing association.
Do Housing Associations Buy Houses?
Housing associations offer similar types of housing to local councils. They often specialise in providing housing to people on lower incomes or who need extra support.
Housing associations offer some or all social homes, shared ownership homes, homes to rent or buy at market prices together with supported housing for vulnerable people. They also have a social purpose, to support local people and communities.
Housing associations are not for profit organisations that reinvest their income into the properties and the service they provide. Housing associations are also known as Registered Social Landlords or Private Registered Providers of Social Housing.
Housing associations source the houses and flats they need in several ways. Housing associations acquire properties from local councils, build their own new properties, buy new properties from builders and developers and also buy property from private sellers.
The Advantages of Selling Your House to a Housing Association
There are a few possible advantages of selling your house to this type of buyer. Housing associations can usually be considered a reliable kind of buyer. Once they agree to buy a quick sale should be possible and they are unlikely to back out or gazunder at the last minute.
Housing associations are usually cash buyers so buying a house is not conditional on getting a mortgage as with a sale to an ordinary private buyer.
Housing associations may buy your house no matter what condition it is in. They are often prepared to buy houses that require repair and renovation before they rent them out to their tenants.
You will also save on estate agency fees when selling direct to a housing association.
Will a Housing Association Buy My House?
Whether or not you can sell your house to a housing association depends on a number of things.
Housing associations buy property only in certain locations. They buy not only in the areas in which they operate but where they have a demand from tenants for more houses to rent and not enough housing supply.
Housing associations buy property only of the type they are able to let out. Two or three-bedroom properties are generally more popular. Housing associations may also buy very large family houses which are often in short supply. They may also buy houses that are suitable for disabled tenants which again are often in short supply.
Housing associations will usually not be interested in buying a property with a tenant in situ. They will usually expect the house to be available with vacant possession on completion. They will not buy a property where an existing tenant will be made homeless if they buy it.
Some housing associations will only buy houses that have been empty for some time (often at least six months) under schemes that are designed to bring empty houses back into use.
Some housing associations will only be interested in buying back homes that were previously council or housing association properties.
Can You Sell an Ex-Council/Ex-Housing Association House to a Housing Association?
If the house is an ex-local authority house or ex-housing association house it may be subject to a buyback condition. You may have to offer it to the local authority or housing association first in certain circumstances.
If the property was bought under the Right-to-Buy or Right-to-Acquire schemes within the last 10 years it is subject to the right of first refusal. This means that you must first ask the local authority or housing association if they wish to buy it before you can sell it on the open market.
If the house was bought from the local authority or housing association within the last five years you will need to repay some or all of the discount that was given.
Even if you do not have to offer the housing association first refusal they may still be interested in buying your ex-housing association property.
How Much Do Housing Associations Pay for Houses?
If you sell your house to a housing association they will usually pay market value for it.
If your property needs any renovation or repair to make it suitable for letting out this will affect market value. It is likely to mean you will get less for your house.
How to Sell Your House to a Housing Association
If you are interested in selling your house to a housing association here is how to go about it:
- Find out which housing associations operate in the area where your house is located. You can find the relevant housing associations, here.
- Contact the housing association or housing associations and ask if they buy houses
Provide some details about your house such as whether it is an ex-housing association or ex-council property and its location and approximate value. Check that the property you have to sell fits their requirements.
You can find more information about whether a housing association buys houses on their website. If there is no information on the website call them or send an email to ask.
Bear in mind that not all housing associations buy houses. It may be that no housing associations in your area buy houses currently.
- If there are no housing associations who are interested in buying your house then check to see if the local council may be interested in buying it.
Some local councils are interested in buying houses to rent out.
Find your local council, here.
If you decide to go ahead and sell your house to a housing association:
The housing association will send a surveyor to assess your house and value it. They will then decide whether it suits their requirements.
The housing association may expect you to produce an EPC or Energy Performance Certificate for your property.
It is a good idea to obtain an independent valuation of your house before you begin the sales process.
- If the housing association decides they are interested in your house they will make you an offer. The housing association will also set down the terms and conditions under which they will buy your property.
If you decide to go ahead and sell your house to the housing association the sale will proceed in exactly the same way as a normal property sale.
You will need a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the sale on your behalf. They will work with the housing association’s solicitor or conveyancer to process the sale.
So, Can You Sell Your House to a Housing Association?
The answer to this question is, yes, you can sell your house to a housing association. It depends on the type of house and whether there is a housing association able and willing to buy it, however.
You should also consider whether selling your house to a housing association is the best option for you and whether it will obtain the best price. Consider whether selling your house through an estate agent in the normal way or selling it to a house-buying company, might be a better option for you before making a decision.