Right to Buy
Applying for the Right to Buy
If you wish to apply for the Right to Buy, please contact the Leasehold Services Team on 01954 713338 to obtain more information about buying your home.
The application process
Your right to buy application needs to be dealt with within certain timescales set out by the government.
The process is set out in the step by step guide below.
Firstly we will receive your application form, you will be asked to fill out an RTB 1A Form.
RTB2 Admittance/Denial Notice sent to tenant within four weeks (eight weeks if you have previously been a tenant of another landlord) of us receiving your application.
If your right to buy is admitted, we will contact you to arrange an inspection of your home for the purposes of the valuation.
We then have eight weeks if your property is a house, or twelve weeks if your property is a flat, to send you your Section 125 Offer Notice.
This Offer Notice will describe the property, tell you the price of the property and the discount you are entitled to.
If your property is a flat, the notice will also contain estimates of the service charges and maintenance costs you will have to pay as a leaseholder.
Your Offer Notice will also contain a structural defects sheet that will detail any structural defects that were noted at the time of inspection.
However, please note that we do not carry out a survey of your home - you will have to arrange this yourself.
Stating your intentions
Once you have received your Offer Notice, you have 12 weeks from the date of your offer to inform us of your intentions.
If you wish to purchase the property, you need to return your Right to Buy Acceptance Form, giving your solicitors details.
Alternatively, if you wish to withdraw your application you will need to return your Withdrawal Notice.
If you do not reply
If we do not receive a response from you within the 12 weeks stipulated, then you will be issued with a 28-Day Notice requiring the service of either a Notice of Intention to Proceed or a Withdrawal Notice.
If you do not reply within the 28 days then your application will be deemed to be withdrawn and your application will be cancelled.
Your intention to proceed
When you return your Acceptance Form, your file will be passed to our legal team, who will then be dealing with your purchase directly with your solicitor.
We have the discretion to serve a Notice to Complete your purchase, three months after you serve your Acceptance Form to Proceed on the Council.
If you do not complete the purchase within the time stipulated by the notice, then your application will be withdrawn.
Right to buy scheme for council tenants
- You will probably have the right to buy your home if you've been a tenant of a council dwelling for at least three years.
- Your tenancy doesn't have to have been with this council, or in your present dwelling, to qualify. Time spent as a tenant of another council or housing association may count towards your qualifying time.
- You will not be able to buy your home if a court makes a possession order against you, which says that you must leave your home.
- You may be able to exercise the right to buy jointly with members of your family who have lived with you for the past 12 months, or with someone who is a joint tenant with you. There are a number of dwellings excluded from the right to buy:
- sheltered housing for the elderly
- dwellings used for temporary housing
- dwellings let in connection with the tenant's employment, for example, a caretaker's house
- homes that are particularly suitable for occupation by elderly persons
A dwelling may also be excluded if the property was first let to you for occupation aged 60 or over.
If you need any more information about the Right to Buy, download the government booklet entitled Your Right to Buy Your Home.
Printed copies are available from our South Cambs District Council Offices at Cambourne.
The Government's new Right to Buy Agent Service offers free and impartial advice on Right to Buy and their advisors can help you through the process of buying your home through the scheme.
Obtaining a mortgage
There are many lenders providing different types of mortgages and deals, it is therefore vital that you shop around and consider all the options so that you can choose the best type of mortgage to suit your personal circumstances.
You may be required to pay an arrangement fee, but the cost of this will depend on your chosen lender.
Taking advice from an independent financial advisor is recommended.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) provides helpful advice for purchasers.
We do not provide mortgages for tenants and are unable to recommend any particular company.
The table below gives examples of monthly mortgage payments, depending on the amount you borrow and the interest rate. These figures are based on a repayment mortgage and borrowing over a 25-year period, and are for illustrative purposes only; you need to apply to a mortgage lender to obtain a quote.
Examples of monthly mortgage repayments
Purchase price of your home with Right to Buy discount
Your home will be valued, disregarding any improvements carried out by you, the tenant.
The discount that you are entitled to is then deducted from the value of your home to calculate the purchase price.
If you do not agree with the valuation that you receive from us then, within the first three months, you may appeal to the district valuer for a redetermination of the value of your home.
You must put your request in writing to the council. We will then instruct the district valuer accordingly.
Please note, the district valuer's decision will be final - even if it is higher than our own valuation.
If you have purchased a property through the right to buy scheme before, the amount of discount you received then, will be deducted from your discount when you buy again.
Selling the property you bought under Right to Buy
Repaying your discount
If you sell your property within the first five years of purchasing through the right to buy scheme, you will have to repay some or all of your discount.
A sale in the first year will result in 100% of the discount being repayable. This reduces by 20% for each full year of ownership, so that a sale during the fifth year of ownership results in only 20% of the discount being repayable.
The discount repayable is based on a percentage of the open market value of the property at the time of sale - the owner's improvements are disregarded.
If a tenant buys a property valued at £180,000 and receives a discount of £75,000, their discount in percentage terms is 41.67%.
Therefore, if a sale takes place in the first year of ownership, 41.67% of the market value of the property must be paid to the council.
If a sale takes place in the fifth year of ownership 20% of 41.67% of the property's open market value must be repaid:
- Sale of house in fifth year of ownership market value £250,000
- Market value on original sale £180,000
- Discount on original sale £75,000
- Discount on original sale as a percentage of open market value 41.67%
- Repayable discount
- Current market value - £250,000
- % Discount on original sale - 41.67%
- Original % discount on current market value - £104,175
- Repayable during fifth year - 20%
- Repayable Discount - £20,835If you purchased your home under the right to buy scheme on or after 18 January 2005, and you wish to sell or dispose of it within the first ten years, you must first offer it back to us to purchase at the full market value. If we do not wish to purchase the property back from you, you are then free to sell the property in the open market.
- The market value must be agreed between the parties or, if they are unable to agree, will be determined by the district valuer.
- Right of first refusal
Things to consider before buying your property
Before you make any decisions about buying your property, you should take time to consider whether it is the right choice for you.
Buying your home is probably the biggest financial decision you will ever make. Once you have purchased your property you will become responsible for all the costs in maintaining your home, including routine repairs, major structural repairs and improvements to it.
If you become a leaseholder by buying a flat, you will have to pay service charges each year, and also meet the costs of major repairs and refurbishment.
In addition to maintenance costs, you will have to keep up your payments on your mortgage to avoid your home being repossessed by your lender.
It is worthwhile to check that your budget can meet all the possible costs of home ownership. You should also bear in mind the prospects of your income changing and how that might affect the property's affordability in the future.
We recommend you speak to a financial adviser that is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to seek financial advice.
Right to Buy scheme
If you need any more information about the Right to Buy, download the government booklet entitled Your Right to Buy Your Home. Printed copies are available from our Cambourne Offices
You can also contact The Right to Buy Policy Team, visit the Right to Buy website.
Other costs involved when buying your home
You should employ a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer to look after the legal side of buying your property. Legal fees vary depending on whom you instruct.
It is always advisable to ask how much they will charge for doing your legal work, and obtain a few quotes, before instructing anybody.
We do not carry out a structural survey of your home and it is your responsibility to have a survey of your home carried out.
You may have to pay stamp duty, which is a tax that people pay when they buy a house. Stamp duty is calculated as a percentage on the price you pay for a property that is worth more than £120,000. You will pay 1% of the purchase price for a sale between £120,000 and £250,000 as stamp duty or 3% if the sale is in excess of £250,000
A report will be required by the mortgage company to confirm the value of the property and make sure it is suitable security for a mortgage
Land registry fees
When your purchase is completed, you must pay the land registry to register you as the new owner.
There are various searches that you will need to have carried out on your home. Your solicitor will inform you which searches will need to be conducted.
Was this web page helpful?