Callcredit Blog

Housing association tenants should prepare to take advantage of the new Right to Buy


shutterstock_209858137_middle class terrace housingIn the midst of one of the most closely fought elections for decades and in the week that the parties launched their manifestos, all are looking to shore up their core vote as well as offer something to the crucial swing voters in an attempt to win on May 7th. Yesterday, the Conservatives sought to inspire their traditional voters with echoes of Margaret Thatcher and reach out to 1.3 million housing association residents by offering them the right to buy their home at a discount. Political observers are divided as to whether the policy is a welcome return to the “property owning democracy” which has long been a hallmark of popular conservatism, or a disastrous move which will exacerbate shortages of social housing.

But regardless of the rights and wrong of the policy, what about those residents who will be directly affected by it? For them it is undoubtedly an opportunity to get on the housing ladder, with all the advantages and opportunities that brings. To benefit, tenants will have to meet strict new mortgage affordability rules introduced since the financial crisis. It is essential therefore that they gain control of their finances and ensure they are in a position to take advantage of the right to buy scheme in the event that the Conservatives return to Downing Street. Noddle, the only genuinely free credit report service on the market, can help.

Noddle was launched by Callcredit three years ago and provides the UK’s 40 million consumers with free, lifetime access to their credit report. Mortgage providers use the information contained in an applicant’s credit report as one factor in deciding whether they are eligible for a mortgage. Applying for a mortgage without knowing what’s on your credit file can have a significant impact on whether you will be successful in the application. But by signing up to Noddle, prospective homeowners can see how lenders are likely to view them, understand their financial position, and if necessary, learn how to improve it so that when the time comes for them to apply for a mortgage, there are no nasty surprises.

There are just three weeks to go until the general election and with the polls and betting markets showing Labour and the Conservatives neck-and-neck—though both well short of a majority—no one is prepared to predict what the makeup of the next government will be. But all parties are fighting this election on platforms promising more homes to plug the UK’s chronic housing shortfall. Regardless of the outcome, prospective homeowners should be preparing now to take advantage of the opportunities this could bring. “Knowledge is power” and with Noddle, millions of consumers are empowered to make informed financial decisions for the future.

Author: Jan Smith, External Affairs Director

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