Right to buy

Content owner : housing@knh.org.uk Last updated : 18/09/2014

Can I buy my rented home?

You may have the right to buy your present rented home if you have been a secure tenant of a Local Authority, a Non Charitable Housing Association or have been provided accommodation by the armed forces. You must have spent at least 5 years as a public sector tenant and you will only be able to purchase under the scheme if your house or flat is your only or principal home and is self-contained.

You may not have the right to buy your home if:-

  • You have been served with a possession order
  • If your home is scheduled for demolition and an Initial Demolition order has been served.
  • If you are an undischarged bankrupt, have a bankruptcy petition pending against you or have made arrangements with creditors (people you owe money to) and you still owe them money.
  • If you or anyone residing in your home has been served with an injunction order, an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO), possession order (for anti social behaviour) or a demotion order is in force or pending against your tenancy.

Are all Council properties available to purchase?

You may not be able to buy some types of property.

These include:

  • Specialist housing for the elderly, such as sheltered housing, ground floor flats and bungalows.
  • Specialist housing for the disabled
  • Properties that you occupy in connection with your job

There are other exceptions to the Right to Buy which are fully explained on pages 26-29 of the Department for Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) ‘Your Right to Buy Your Home’


How do I buy my home?

You need to complete the RTB1 application form. You can obtain this form in the following ways:-


  • Download a copy of the form
  • Request one by e-mailing Right.To.Buy@kirklees.gov.uk with your name and address
  • Request one by writing to the Right to Buy Team, 2nd Floor, 30 Market Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2HG
  • Telephone us on 01484 223288 and ask for an application form to be sent to you.

Once you have completed the form you need to return it together with proof of identification for all applicants to:

Right to Buy Team
2nd Floor
30 Market Street
Huddersfield
HD1 2HG
A receipt will be issued to you in the post.


How do I know what the value of my home is?

Once we have determined that you qualify for the Right to Buy, we will arrange for your property to be valued. The valuation is based on the market value of your home as at the date of application minus any improvements you have made to the property at your own expense. The Council will send you an Offer Notice (Section 125) which tells you the price you have to pay and the terms and condition of the sale. An energy performance certificate will also be provided.

If you think your landlord has valued your home too high, you have the right under section 128 of the Housing Act 1985 to an independent valuation from the District Valuer.


Can I buy my flat/maisonette?

If you live in a flat or maisonette, you have the right to buy a long lease from your landlord. Individual flats are not usually sold freehold, and therefore you will be required to pay a ground rent of no more than £10 per year. In addition to this you will have to pay ‘service charges’, this is a charge made to cover communal services such as electricity, cleaning of staircases, repairs and maintenance of the building (e.g. roof repairs, lift maintenance etc.).

At the time when we inform you of the purchase price, we will also include a schedule of annual charges and any works due to be carried out to your property or the block in which your property is situated within the next five years and your likely contribution to the costs involved.


Do I have to pay for a valuation?

No, the Council will arrange for your home to be valued. However, we do recommend that you obtain an independent survey of your property and you may have to pay for a Mortgage valuation and other associated fees.


Should I be paying full rent before I can apply to buy my home?

No, if you are claiming housing benefit you are still entitled to apply to buy your home.


Can I apply to buy my home if I am in arrears with my rent?

Yes, the application can be processed, but you will be expected to clear any arrears before completion of the sale. However, if you have become subject to a possession order you may not be eligible to purchase your property until the order has been discharged through the Courts.


Can I expect to pay less than the market value of my home because I am a tenant?

Applicants who qualify for the Right to Buy are entitled to a discount on the market value of their home. The amount of discount will depend on the total number of years you have been a secure public sector tenant, this includes previous tenancies, not just the number of years you have lived in your present home.

If your home is a house or bungalow you will qualify for a discount of between 35% and 70% based on minimum tenancy of 5 years and maximum tenancy of 40 years

If your home is a flat or maisonette you will qualify for a discount of between 50% and 70% based on minimum tenancy of 5 years and maximum tenancy of 15 years.

Whatever percentage discount you are eligible to receive, your discount cannot be greater than the maximum allowed, which is £77,000 for the Kirklees area..


If I have made improvements to my home will it increase the value of the property?

When you apply to buy you will be asked what if any improvements you have made to your home. This information will be passed to the Valuer who will assess the value of the property as if the improvements had not taken place.


Who is responsible for repairs and maintenance to my home if I apply to purchase?

As soon as you apply to buy your home you will not be entitled to routine repairs or improvements (except for work required by law and to keep it weather-tight). Your home will be excluded from any planned modernisation works such as new windows etc.

If your home is a flat or maisonette it is likely that you will buy your home on a long lease (usually 125 years). Your landlord will be responsible for repairing and maintaining the external and communal areas of the building such as roof and lift areas and for providing buildings insurance cover. However, as an owner of your flat or maisonette you will be required to pay a service charge which will cover a reasonable share of the costs incurred by the landlord.


Can I apply for a mortgage from the council?

No, Kirklees Council does not offer mortgage facilities


How soon after I buy my home can I sell it?

You are entitled to sell your home straight away. However, if you applied to buy your home on or after 18 January 2005 and you sell or dispose of your property within 5 years of the date of your purchase, you will be required to pay back discount.

If you sell within the first year of ownership the whole of the discount will have to be repaid. Four fifths (80%) of the discount must be repaid if you sell within the second year, three fifths (60%) in the third year, two fifths (40%) within the fourth year and on fifth (20%) in the fifth year. After 5 years you can sell without repaying any discount.

In addition, the amount of discount to be repaid if you sell within the first 5 years of ownership will be a percentage of the resale value of the property, disregarding the value of any improvements you have carried out. .

For example, if your home was valued at £100,000 at the time you bought it from your landlord and you received a discount of £20,000, that means that your discount was 20%.

If your home is valued at £150,000 when you wish to sell it, and you want to sell it within the second year of purchase, you will have to repay £150,000 x 20% discount x 4/5 i.e. £24,000.


Right of first refusal

If you wish to resell or dispose of your property within ten years, you will be required to offer it to the Council at full market value. The market value must be agreed between the parties or, if they are unable to agree, will be determined by the District Valuer. If your offer has not been accepted within eight weeks, you will be free to sell the property on the open market.


What will happen to my home if I die within the discount repayment period?

If the property is sold, the same rules of paying back the discount applies as above. However, family members can take over the ownership of the property without paying back the discount as long as the property is not sold to the family members.


Will the Council buy back my home?

At the moment the Council does not buy back homes


Can I buy my home in joint names with my son/daughter/partner?

Any adult family member who has lived in the home for more than 12 months has the right to buy the property jointly with the tenant, providing the property is their only and principal home. Family members who do not live in the property cannot have their name included on the sale, however they are not prevented from assisting with private financial arrangements.



Right to Buy Agent Service

You can ring a dedicated local rate helpline, 0300 123 0913, to speak to a member of the Right to Buy agent service. www.righttobuycommunities.gov.uk/agent-service

This is a new service appointed by the DCLG which provides free and impartial advice on the Right to Buy. Whether you would like help in understanding your eligibility, the level of discount you could get, or guidance on affordability and working out the costs involved, they are here to help. They can also assist you in filling out your application and will be able to provide practical information on taking the next steps e.g. organising a mortgage, finding a solicitor or arranging a survey.

The advisors are available Monday to Friday, 8am until 6pm. You can call, email or even chat online with them.


Use of Personal Data

Kirklees Council is under a duty to protect the public funds it administers, and to this end may use the information you provide in connection with your RTB application for the prevention and detection of fraud. It may also share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds for these purposes.


Disclaimer

If you give false or misleading information or omit information for the purpose of gaining the Right to Buy, it may be regarded as a criminal offence and action could be taken against you including court action and the recovery of the property.


For more information

Right to buy

Visit the Government website

Contact the Right to Buy team

Leaseholder service

Contact the Leaseholder services