Housing Association Right to Buy Solicitors
Under the Right to Buy scheme, secure tenants of councils and certain housing associations have the legal right to purchase the homes they are living in at a discounted price. If you’re interested in using this government initiative to buy the property you currently rent and you need help from specialist solicitors to complete this process, you’ve come to the right place. The team at The Law House are experts in council property and housing association Right to Buy transactions and can help ensure that your purchase runs smoothly.
Do you have the Right to Buy?
The majority of council tenants qualify for the Right to Buy scheme. You should be eligible for it if your property is your only or main home, it is self-contained, you’re a secure tenant and you’ve had a public sector landlord (such as a housing association or council) for three years.
Bear in mind that if your home was previously council-owned but was sold on to a different landlord during your tenancy, you might still have the right to purchase it at a discounted rate. This is referred to as a ‘Preserved Right to Buy’.
How much of a discount can I get?
The discount you are eligible for will depend on the type of home you’re buying, its value and how long you have been a tenant with a public sector landlord for. If you’re buying a house and you’ve rented property in the public sector for between three and five years, you could get a discount of 35 per cent. After five years, the discount increases by one per cent a year. For a flat, you can get a discount of 50 per cent if you’ve rented a public sector property for between three and five years, and this rises after five years by two per cent a year.
Whether you’re buying a house or a flat, the maximum discount you can get in England is either 70 per cent or £78,600 (£104,900 in London), whichever is lower. Also, your discount may be reduced if your landlord has invested money in maintaining or building your home in recent years. In addition, you’ll usually be required to repay some or all of the discount you received if you sell your home within five years of buying it.
How can you apply?
To apply for the scheme, you’ll need to complete a Right to Buy application form (also known as an RTB1 notice) and send it to your landlord. They then have four weeks in which to respond. If they do not agree, they must give reasons why. If they do agree, they have a further eight weeks (or 12 weeks if you’re purchasing a leasehold property) in which to make you an offer setting out the price they want you to pay and how this was calculated. Their offer must also include details such as a description of the property, estimates of any services charges and any problems they know of to the structure of the building.
Once you have received this offer, you have 12 weeks to decide if you wish to proceed. If you don’t agree with the terms but you still want to buy, contact your landlord and tell them why. If you’re happy with the terms, confirm this in writing. From this point, your landlord, mortgage lender (if you have one) and solicitor will manage the purchase. Your solicitor will conduct all the relevant legal checks, prepare the documentation and arrange the transfer of money to complete the purchase.
How can The Law House help?
We know that purchasing a home can be one of the most important financial decisions you ever make. If you come to us for help with a Right to Buy council house or housing association property purchase, we will take care of the whole conveyancing process, ensuring it is as smooth and stress-free as possible. We offer a tailored, client-focussed service that fits around your requirements, and our specialists will be available to offer information and guidance throughout the process.
For further details about the Right to Buy scheme and how our solicitors can help you take advantage of it, don’t hesitate to contact us by phone, email or online form. You can also get in touch with us via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.