Right to Buy
The Right to Buy scheme helps eligible secure tenants of Local Authorities and Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) buy their own home.
You could receive a discount on the cost of buying your home of up to a maximum of £84,200 based on the amount of time that you have been a tenant.
Any land let together with your home (for example, gardens and garages) will usually be treated as part of your home.
To find out if you are eligible and get an estimated purchase price, please contact us.
Who has the right to buy
Council tenants who have a secure tenancy, which has been for a minimum of three complete years, may be able to purchase their existing dwelling.
|3, 4 and 5 years - 35%||3, 4 and 5 years - 50%|
|6 years - 36%||6 years - 52%|
|7 years - 37%||7 years - 54%|
|Discount will continue to increase by 1% for every complete year of tenancy, up to a maximum 40 years - 70%||Discount will continue to increase by 2% for every complete year of tenancy, up to a maximum of 15 years - 70%|
Please note that although 70% is the maximum percentage discount allowed, the actual maximum monetary amount of discount that you will receive is currently capped at £84,200.
Periods spent as a tenant of a Development Corporation, Commission for New Towns or Housing Associations may also in certain circumstances be counted. Periods of time spent with other public bodies may also be counted. For a list of these please see the back page of the RTB1 application form.
You will only be able to purchase under the scheme if your house or flat is your only home and is self-contained.
You cannot buy your home if a court makes a possession order, which says that you must leave your home. Neither can you buy your home if you are an undischarged bankrupt, have a bankruptcy petition pending against you, or have made an arrangement with creditors (people you owe money to) and you still owe them money.
Any tenant, or family member, with a court order for anti-social behaviour against them will not be eligible for the Right to Buy.
Any land let together with your home (for example, gardens and garages) will usually be treated as part of your home and included in your purchase.
Read more about buying your council home on the GOV.UK website.
You can download the RTB application form from the Gov.uk website. Please contact us if you need help filling out the form.
You must make your own arrangements for financing the purchase of the property. We do not provide mortgage facilities. For free independent unbiased information about mortgages visit the Money Advice Service website.
If you wish to exercise your Right to Buy, it is recommended that you seek independent legal advice to help with the legal process of buying a home.
If you would like more information about buying, including your discount entitlement and an estimate of the market value of your home contact us.
The following documents will be required with all new Right to Buy applications:
- 1 form of photo ID for each applicant.
- 1 recent proof of residency (not more than 3 months old) from your current address, for example, bank statement, utility bill for each applicant. If you bring in the original documents, we can arrange to take copies and give you back your documents.
- You must download and complete a permission to check information form.
- You must down and complete RTB supplementary form.
All new application documents must be delivered to us in person; please contact us to make an appointment and for help in applying.
How you may share the Right to Buy
You may share the Right to Buy with someone who is a joint tenant with you or 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 prior to an application being submitted.
Each member of the tenant's family (excluding joint tenants) wishing to share the Right to Buy must submit a statutory declaration, drawn up by a solicitor, stating their age, their relationship to the tenant and details of their length of residence with the tenants. They may also be required to provide additional proof of residency.
Common law spouses are regarded as a member of the tenant's family and may be eligible but would be required to submit a statutory declaration on the lines mentioned above. If you require further clarification please contact your Housing Officer using the contact details below.
Once you have applied to buy your home
Once you have applied for the Right to Buy, your property will be valued in its existing state of repair and the offer to sell will be based on this valuation figure.
While there is a Right to Buy application against the property no work other than emergency or essential works required by law to keep the property safe and secure, will be carried out. The property will also be removed from any programmed improvements.
We have to let you know within four weeks of receipt of your application if we agree or not. But if we need to make residential checks outside Stevenage, we will let you know within eight weeks.
An offer notice setting out the value of the property and the amount of your discount will be sent within eight weeks of accepting your purchase application if you are buying a house, or within 12 weeks if you are buying a flat.
Who will retain the deeds if you buy your home
We do not retain the deeds where a property has been sold under the Right to Buy scheme. If you have bought your property with a mortgage or loan, the deeds will be retained by your lender.
Your title deeds are important documents. If you hold the deeds to your property yourself, you should ensure that they are kept in a secure place.
Selling your home
If you want to sell your home within the five year discount repayment period you will have to repay some or all of the discount that you received.
The amount repayable will be a percentage of the amount you sell the property for. We can give you an estimated repayment sum once you have a valuation but the amount repayable will depend on the value of your home when you sell it
Under very exceptional circumstances we may consider waiving some or all of the discount repayable. Read the Right to Buy – Policy on Repayment of Discount for more information.
First Right of Refusal
If you purchase your home under the Right to Buy scheme and you wish to resell or dispose of it within 10 years, you will have to offer it back to us – for further information please contact us.
Warning - Deferred sale agreements and the Right to Buy
Some companies offer tenants money up front in a deal, under which the company ends up owning the property - this is known as a deferred resale agreement. This is good for the company, which can charge a higher rent than the local authority could when it let the property. But it is not always good for tenants, because the money they get may not be enough to buy another home.
Some tenants have found themselves homeless after agreeing to such deals. Also, since 18 January 2005, entering into a deferred resale agreement triggers the repayment of discount at the time that the agreement is entered into, not the time at which the ownership of the property is transferred.
If you are aware of a deferred sale agreement being entered into, we would like to hear from you, so that we may investigate any possible fraud.
If you would like more information about RTB and deferred sale agreements please contact us.
Resident and Estates team - Home Ownership