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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi we have lived in our council house for the last 12 years

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Hi we have lived in our council house for the last 12 years and done everything in it as it was a mess when we moved in. We have an assured tenancy and the house is run by an a housing association, which we were not tenants of when they purchased the stock in 1993 and the house we live in was built in 1929. We want to purchase this house as all our children were raised here and we have done so much here the garden and having a £11,000 kitchen put in. They have told us because of the reasons above we cant buy it which we think is so wrong a neighbour of ours who is 90 years old can buy hers and a young couple in a new buy can buy theirs. We are so frustrated can we do anything ( i have wrote to con mps who said they were changing the law if they got in which they did but not for assured tenants ( wont be voting for them again) can we go to a humans right court or a ombudsman Please help as we want to get on the ladder and live in this house which we love so much x

Alex Watts : Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : They are saying its because you have done improvements or you are an assured tenant you can't buy it please?

as we are assured tenants

Alex Watts : It's bad news I am sorry to say,
Alex Watts : The rules for this which are set down by Government and not the Council are clear.
Alex Watts : If it is your main home, you are a secure tenant and a public sector landlord you qualify.
Alex Watts : As you are not a secure tenant but an assured tenant you do not quality.
Alex Watts : If this was an ex council house now owned by a housing association and you were an assured tenant you would qualify.
Alex Watts : The Council is not trying to pull a fast one, they can only act in accordance with rules set down by central government.
Alex Watts : Therefore as it stands you do not qualify,
Alex Watts : I am sorry if this is not the answer you want, nor the one I want to give you but I have a duty to be honest.
Alex Watts : What you need is a change in the law.
Alex Watts : The only people that can do this are MP's
Alex Watts : I would suggest trying contacting your MP to see if they can lobby for you.

yes we know all of this our argument is this is descrimination as our neighbours have bought their house our other neighbour can buy his house and the other council tennants on the row can buy theirs but we cant??

Alex Watts : As for human rights court - it is not a right to have a home from the council, therefore any claim would fail.
Alex Watts : But are they secure tenants?

we have contacted local mp etc he was pretty much useless

Alex Watts : Ok.
Alex Watts : It is only discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, colour religion or age.
Alex Watts : Therefore any other form of discrimination is not unlawful.

they are exactly the same as us apart from they were council tennants before the housing authority took over the councils stock and so they still have the right to buy

Alex Watts : The only thing you could possibly do is seek an opinion from the European Court of Human Rights.
Alex Watts : You would need to seek a declaration under the right to a family life.
Alex Watts : But this link would be very tenuous.
Alex Watts : This is because my view is whilst there may be a link, it is not very strong as you are not being denied housing.
Alex Watts : But you could seek a court ruling from European Court on this.
Alex Watts : However the bad news is that you are unlikely to get legal aid because of the cuts and changes last year.
Alex Watts : This means you may have to pay for representation. If you win then you could seek the costs back from the government.
Alex Watts : But your only option is to seek a ruling from Europe on the grounds of a private life.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

if we were a bit older we would have been council tennants and would have the right to buy still, but if our neighbours have the right to buy surely thats unfair and arguably we are being descriminated against?? has no one ever challenged this in the past?? thats why we were thinking of contacting the euro court to see if they could do anything we are desperate to buy our house

Alex Watts : Sadly that does not qualify for discrimination.

If legal aid is not available what do you think it would likely cost us to do this??

Alex Watts : You would only be able to seek a declaration from the European courts in terms of this.
Alex Watts : If you do not qualify for legal aid a solciitor would charge around £175 an hour.
Alex Watts : It is maths to work out hours spent.

ok what do we need to do and your guess on cost?? will it be worth it

Alex Watts : But I would think around £25,000
Alex Watts : You need to see a Solicitor that specialises in administrative law and human rights.
Alex Watts : Where about do you live?

dereham, norfolk

Alex Watts : Ok. These are not Recommentions just ones that are local:
Alex Watts : ASHTON KCJ - Head OfficePhone Number: 01842 752401 Fax Number: 01842 753555 Web Site:

could we be eligible for legal aid in this matter do you think??

Alex Watts : ALLAN RUTHERFORD LIMITED - Head OfficePhone Number: 01603 621722 Fax Number: 01603 625414 Web Site:
Alex Watts : METCALFE COPEMAN & PETTEFAR LLP - BranchPhone Number: 01553 778 100 Fax Number: 01553 766 807 Web Site:
Alex Watts : I really don't know whether you would get legal aud
Alex Watts : aid
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything?

no thats great thank you Alex, I will give these guys a call tomorrow and see what they think

Alex Watts : Ok. All the best
Alex Watts : If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help:
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