A HOUSEHOLDER'S plan to raffle his home to first-time buyers has been declared illegal.

Mick Waddington came up with the idea of selling his house in Burnholme, North Yorkshire, to help young buyers get on the property ladder.

Two hundred and fifty raffle tickets were to be sold for £1,000 each and all money was to have been held by Mr Waddington's solicitor until the winner was picked.

But City of York Council has banned the raffle of the three-bedroom home, which was valued at £190,000. Officials sent a letter telling him the raffle was illegal under the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976.

Mr Waddington, 54, has called the raffle off, but will speak to his lawyer to try to find a way forward. He said that no money was collected, but said there had been a lot of interest.

He said: "I had no idea about this. I was so disappointed when I received the letter because of the response I have had."

Mr Waddington's concerns about young people not being able to afford property sparked the idea to raffle his home to first-time buyers.

The council's letter to Mr Waddington said the raffle broke the law on seven counts. Two breaches are that the total value of tickets sold should not exceed £20,000 and that no ticket should be sold for more than £2.

Dick Haswell, head of regulation at City of York Council, said: "You cannot have a lottery for private gain. You can only have a lottery for charitable purposes.

"If there is a way to get around it, I do not know what it is."