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Right to Buy

Information about the Right to Buy scheme

If you're a council tenant and you would like to buy your rented home at a discount, the Right to Buy scheme is available.

 

Who is eligible?

You probably have the Right to Buy (RTB) if:

  • You’ve been a council tenant for a minimum of three years
  • You hold a secure tenancy

However, the property you are applying to buy must be your only or principal home. You may be able to exercise the Right to Buy jointly with members of your family who have lived with you for 12 months prior to you submitting your application. You can also buy with someone who is a joint tenant with you.

Click here to check if you're eligibleopens new window

The Right to Buy discount

The discount will be based on:

  • how long you have been a public sector tenant
  • the type of your property which you are buying
  • the market value of the property

From 6 April 2021 the maximum discount is £112,800 in London. The maximum discount increases every April in line with the percentage change in the CPI (consumer Price Index). This discount applies to application received on or after 6 April 2021.

 

Flats

You will get a 50% discount if you have been a public sector tenant for three to five years.

After five years, the discount goes up by 2% for every extra year you have been a tenant, up to a maximum of 70%. However, the discount amount is capped at £112,800 in London.

 

Houses

You get a 35% discount if you have been a public sector for three to five years.

After five years, the discount goes up by 1% for every extra year you have been a tenant, up to a maximum of 70%. However, the discount amount is capped at £112,800.

You can contact the Right to Buy Agent service on 0300 123 0913 for free advice regarding Right to Buy.

 

The Right to Buy application process

The application form = RTB1

If you wish to buy your home and meet the qualifying criteria, you will need to complete and submit an application form. You can either contact us on 020 7364 5015 or email us at contactus@thh.org.uk to request an application form. Alternatively, you can download an application form from the Government’s website;

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-claiming-the-right-to-buy--2

We are happy to assist if you would like help in completing the application form or would like help with clarifying any part of the process.

You can also fill out an application on line from the Government's website at www.righttobuy.gov.uk. The link to the online application form is;

Right to Buy – Right to Buy (RTB1) online application form 

If you are using the online form, when you have completed it, save and print it out, sign in all the relevant places and send it to us. 

 

Accepting or denying your application - RTB2

Once we have received your application, we will have four weeks (eight weeks if you have held another tenancy with a different landlord in the past three years) to either admit or deny your application. Within the four weeks we will invite you and any family members included on the application (if applicable), to come in for a brief meeting to go through the Right to Buy process, discuss with you about becoming a leaseholder or freeholder in more detail, and give you an ‘information pack’. We will usually request all applicants to bring proof of identification to the meeting. If we are unable to meet with you face to face we would arrange a virtual meeting with you and send you the information pack.

 

Offer Notice - Section 125

Once we have admitted your application, we will value your home and make a formal offer called a Section 125 Notice (S125) within eight weeks (for houses) or 12 weeks (for flats) detailing the particulars of the sale which will include the sale price and the discount you are eligible for. The Offer Notice will also advise you of any planned major works for your building and what your contribution may be, should you decide to continue with purchasing your home.

Once you receive this offer notice, you will have three options, and you will have to let us know within 12 weeks whether;

  1. You want to buy your home
  2. You do not wish to buy your home, (and we will close your application)
  3. You are not happy with the valuation and you would like your home to be revalued by the District Valuer, who is an independent Government employee.

If you don’t respond to the offer within 12 weeks, we will send you a notice called 'default notice'. This notice gives you 28 days to let us know your decision. However, your application will be closed if we do not hear back from you within 28 days of sending you the default notice. A new right to buy application will be subject to a new valuation of your home.

If you have requested to have your home re-valued, you will receive a new Offer Notice with the District Valuer’s valuation, depending on the outcome the District Valuer’s determination may be less, same or higher than initial offer. We will advise you of the District Valuer’s review by way of a notice called the Section 128 Notice. You will also have 12 weeks to let us know your decision.

 

Completing the purchase of your home

Once you have informed us that you are satisfied with the sale price and that you wish to continue with your application, we will prepare your application to be sent to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets legal team for completion. We will make every effort to do this within a reasonable time period and we will you tell when your application has been sent to the legal team. Prior to this time we would have asked for your Solicitors' details. 

The legal team will send a sales pack to your Solicitors proposing a date for completion of the purchase.

Where an applicant is delaying the sale process or not completing all necessary transactions after accepting the offer to purchase and more than three months have passed from the date of the Section 125 or Section 128 offer notice, we would serve the applicant a notice to complete. This notice gives the applicant 56 days to complete the purchase. If the applicant has not completed the purchase after expiration of the 56 days, we will serve a final notice to complete. The final notice also gives the applicant another 56 days to complete the purchase. However, if after expiration of the final notice the purchase has not been completed, we may cancel the application. We advise applicants to contact us to discuss the situation(s) causing the delay before the expiration of the final notice.

 

Delays in processing your application - your rights

Most sales go through without delays; however, sometimes there are delays. If we do not send you the notice telling you if you have the Right to Buy (RTB2 notice) or the offer notice (Section 125 notice) within the times we should (please refer to the information above on time scales), or there are any other delays from us, you may be allowed a reduction in the purchase price of your home.

If you require more information regarding the above, please contact us (details below).

Alternatively, you can read more about the above from the Government (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government website - www.gov.uk

The link is; https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/793269/Your_Right_to_Buy_Your_Home_A_Guide_-_2019.pdf

 

Here to help

We strive to assist all Right to Buy applicants in understanding the process; as such we provide helpful information and update applicants on the progress of their applications.

 

Protecting public purse

We have a duty of care to ensure the public purse is protected, and that only eligible residents purchase their homes. Therefore, we carry out a number of checks during the Right to Buy process.

 

Further Information

If you would like more information on the RTB process, please call us on 020 7364 5015 and ask to speak to one of our helpful RTB officers. Alternatively, you can email us at contactus@thh.org.uk We would also advise that you visit the following websites and links:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/793269/Your_Right_to_Buy_Your_Home_A_Guide_-_2019.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/right-to-buy-buying-your-council-home

https://righttobuy.gov.uk/agent-service/

 

Please also visit the link below on our website for information on what the landlord's and leaseholders’ rights and responsibilities are. These would apply when you buy your home and become a leaseholder:

leaseholder-rights-and-responsibilities-overview