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Telford Solicitors Conveyancing

Right to Buy

Home / Conveyancing / New Build / Right to Buy

The Right to Buy is a scheme that was introduced in the UK in 1980s.  This scheme allows council and social housing tenants to purchase their home at a discounted price. The scheme was established to give council tenants the opportunity to become homeowners and to encourage the sale of council properties to reduce the social housing waiting list.

Our conveyancers are experienced in right to buy transactions and can help ensure your house purchase runs smoothly. 

The process of purchasing a council property under the Right to Buy scheme involves the following steps:

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Right to Buy, you must have been a Council tenant whose tenancy began prior to 18th January 2005 and have continuously been council tenants.  Any tenancy after 18th January 2005 must be tenants for a continuous period of at least 5 years before qualifying.

Application

The tenant must complete an application form (RTB1) to express their interest in purchasing their council home. This form can be obtained from the local council or from the government’s Right to Buy website.  The Council then have to reply within 4 weeks issuing to the Tenant form RTB2 confirming whether you do have the right to buy.  If the right does exist then the Council will issue, within 8 weeks (house) or 12 weeks (flat/maisonette) of issuing the RTB12, a Section 125 offer notice.

Section 125 Notice

This notice advises how much the property is valued at, the amount of the discount, details of any structural defects and if the property is leasehold, an estimate of anticipated service charges for the next five years.

Valuation

The Council’s valuation of the property will be given in the Section 125 Notice.  If the tenant does not agree to the valuation, they may refer to the District Valuer for arbitration.  If this route is taken, the District Valuer’s valuation is final and will replace the Council’s valuation even if it values the property higher.  When valuing the property the Council must not take into account any improvement works carried out by the tenant at the tenant’s expense.

Right to Buy Conveyancing

There are differences between a standard purchase transaction and a right to buy purchase transaction and therefore you are best to instruct a Conveyancer who is experienced in Right to Buy transactions.

Title – The Council will supply the “contract papers” to include the legal title to the property and a draft Transfer of Part or Lease.

Rights and Covenants – Schedule 6 Part 1 of the Housing Act 1985 (“the Act”) implies certain rights and covenants into every transfer made under the right to buy provisions.  The Transfer should also, according to the Act, include a covenant by the purchaser to comply with any covenants effecting the land and to indemnity the Council against any future breach.  Once we have approved the Transfer of Part this would be sent to you for you to sign prior to completion.

Searches – we will carry out any necessary searches on your behalf such as the Local, Drainage and Environmental.  Prior to completion we will carry out a Land registry search and a bankruptcy search.  A copy of the bankruptcy search must be sent to the Council prior to completion, this is due to an undischarged bankrupt does not have the right to buy.

Mortgage (if required) – we would report to you on your mortgage offer and get you signed up to the Mortgage Deed.

Completion – Right to Buy completions generally take place on a Monday.  Once a completion date is agreed the Council will advise of any outstanding rent arrears as these must be settled before completion can take place.

Sales within the Right to Buy discount period

The right to buy discount, or a portion of it, is repayable if the property is sold or otherwise transferred (except via an assent) within the discount period. This is on a sliding scale, essentially 20% per year.  If you sell within 10 years of purchase you may have to offer to sell it back to the Council.

Please feel free to contact us for a quote for your Right to Buy transaction.


For further information, please e-mail us or call 01785 223440