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					buying your home
Information about ‘Right to Buy’
and ‘Right to Acquire’
                                                                    02   An introduction
                                                                         ‘Right to Buy’ and ‘Right to Acquire’

                                                                    05   About the service
                                                                         Who has the Right to Buy/Acquire?
                                                                         Who can’t apply?

“    We have tenants at the heart of the organisation,
keeping decision-making local and involving the people who matter
              when developing services and initiatives.
                                                                         How do you apply?
                                                                         What happens after you apply?
                                                                         Purchasing your flat

                                                      ”             13

                                                                         Things to consider
                                                                         Ongoing costs
                                                                         Be aware

                                                                    16   Useful information
                                                                         List of numbers and publications

     The ‘Right to Buy’ and ‘Right to Acquire’ schemes are aimed at secure
     tenants of local authorities (councils) and assured tenants of registered
     social landlords or housing associations (such as RCT Homes) who
     previously held secure tenancies with local authorities.

     The schemes are open to
     eligible secure or assured tenants
     who can afford to buy.

     If you were a secure tenant of        This booklet has been produced
     Rhondda Cynon Taf Council             as a guide for secure and assured
     who transferred to RCT Homes          tenants wishing to purchase
     you have the ‘Preserved Right to      their property by exercising
     Buy’ with RCT Homes and can           their Right to Buy or Right to
     apply to purchase your property.      Acquire.

     The ‘Right to Acquire’ scheme         For further information, contact
     gives eligible tenants of RCT         the Right to Buy/Acquire Team
     Homes the legal right to buy the      at RCT Homes. The contact
     home they currently rent.             details are included at the end
                                           of this leaflet.

02               www.rcthomes.co.uk                                              03
     about the

     Who has the
     Right to Buy/Acquire?
     You must be a qualifying secure
     or assured tenant. If your tenancy
     commenced BEFORE 18th                Please note that if you are an
     January 2005 you must have           Introductory Tenant, this period
     spent 2 years as a public sector     is included toward the time
     tenant or registered social          necessary to qualify.
     landlord, e.g. with a local
     authority (Council) or housing
     association OR if your tenancy
     commenced ON or AFTER 18th
     January 2005 you must have
     spent 5 years as a secure tenant.

04                                        www.rcthomes.co.uk                 05
     Who can’t apply?                       We may also refuse your              What happens after                    concerns regarding an increase
     There are circumstances in which       application due to the type of       you apply?                            in property valuations. These are
     a Right to Buy or Right to Acquire     property you live in:                Following receipt of your             carried out by professional
     application may not be accepted.     g A property which is suitable for     application form, we must             external valuers on behalf of
                                            occupation by elderly persons,       confirm the dates of your tenancy     RCT Homes, whose valuations
  As a tenant your application              taking into account its location,    or tenancies held. This is            are based on the performance of
  may be refused if:                        size, design, heating system and     confirmed by checking our             the housing market in your area
g you are an Introductory Tenant            other features.                      housing records or contacting         at the time of valuation.
g you are in breach of a court order      g A property, which was let to         any other landlord where you
  against you for rent arrears              you, or the previous tenant, for     held a tenancy.                       The Offer Notice
g you are an undischarged                   occupation by a person aged                                                We will send you the relevant
  bankrupt or have a bankruptcy             over 60.                             On receipt of this information        notice with the offer price for
  case pending                            g Sheltered Housing for the Elderly.   we will confirm our decision in       your property. It also contains
g you are not using your home as          g Houses and flats on land bought      writing, called an RTB 2, either      the initial valuation, the discount
  a principal place of residency            for development and used as          confirming or denying that you        allowed, and the amount of
g you have been served with an              temporary housing.                   have the Right to Buy. A reason       years built up as a secure tenant.
  Initial or Final Demolition Notice                                             will always be given for denying
g you have a current suspended                                                   your application.                     If you are purchasing a flat, in
  court order against you for Anti-         How do you apply?                                                          addition to the above, there will
  Social Behaviour                          The Right to Buy/Acquire Team        Valuations                            also be service charges, insurance
g your tenancy has been secured             at RCT Homes will be able to         The next stage of the application     costs and possible maintenance
  as a homeless person under                guide you through the process        will be to request a valuation of     or improvement works added.
  Section 193 of the Housing Act            and tell you if you are eligible     the property. If you are unhappy
  1996                                      to qualify for the scheme. If you    with the initial valuation when you   The Notice may also state the
                                            qualify you must complete an         receive your Offer Notice, you        type of construction of your
                                            application form, ‘Notice            may request a redetermination of      property if it is of a non-
                                            Claiming the Right to Buy’, also     value carried out by the District     traditional type.
                                            called an RTB 1. This form is        Valuer, whose decision is final.
                                            available on request.                Please note that RCT Homes is
                                                                                 unable to discuss individual

06                                                                                                                     www.rcthomes.co.uk                    07
                                                                               Purchasing your flat               g Repair Costs: On your Offer
                                                                               For tenants wishing to purchase      Notice we may have itemised
                                                                               their flat there are additional      future works to be carried out in
                                                                               costs to consider.                   the first five-year period of your
                                                                                                                    lease. You must pay for these
                                                                               Service Charges                      works annually by instalments
                                                                               These are annual charges levied      over the five years. In addition
                                                                               on the flat, and must be paid by     to the works identified on your
                                                                               all leaseholders. They normally      Offer Notice, it may be necessary
                                                                               consist of:                          to carry out emergency or non-
                                                                                                                    itemised works, for which we
                                                                             g Ground Rent: This is a fixed cost    are able to charge up to a
                                                                               of £10, unless otherwise stated in   maximum of £200 annually.
     Discounts                                                                 the lease, a rent for the ground
     The Right to Buy discount for                                             on which the block is situated. g Insurance Costs: All leaseholders
                                                                                                                  of flats must take out buildings
     those tenants who must have
                                                                                                                  insurance with RCT Homes’
     spent two years as a secure
                                                                             g Management Charge: This is a       Insurer. This is an annual payment.
     tenant is calculated by using an   For Right to Acquire, the discount
                                                                               cost to cover all aspects of       An Insurance Schedule will be
     initial discount percentage of     is 25% of the valuation, up to a
                                                                               managing leaseholders and the      provided, which will itemise the
     32% for houses, and 44% for        maximum of £16,000. The
                                                                               block in which they live. For      areas covered and circumstances
     flats. The number of qualifying    discount for tenants who must
                                                                               example sending out service        when a claim may be made.
     years tenancy is then added to     have spent five years as a secure
     the discount.                      tenant, i.e., their tenancy            charge and insurance invoices,
                                        commenced on or after 18th             dealing with repairs and account
     For example, a tenant who has      January 2005, will be based on         enquiries.
     held a secure tenancy for 10       35% for houses and 50% for flats.
     years will have a discount of
     32% + 8%. (The 2 year qualifying   Please note that whatever the
     period is discounted).             percentage figures, the maximum
                                        discount allowed will be £16,000.
08                                                                                                                  www.rcthomes.co.uk                   09
     Delays                             Delays by the tenant
     Delays may occur with your         On receipt of your Offer Notice,
     application for many reasons.      you have three months to
     Delays by RCT Homes
     If there are delays in your        If, after this period, you have not
     application, you may serve the     responded, RCT Homes will
     following notices on RCT           send you a Notice of Intention,
     Homes:                             requesting a reply, and giving
                                        you a further month to respond.
g An Initial Delay Notice, an RTB
  6, which gives RCT Homes one          If you have still not responded,
  month to respond with a reason        RCT Homes may cancel your
  for the delay.                        application.
                                                                                Delays with the sale:
                                                                                Notices sent by RCT Homes
g An Operational Notice of Delay,                                               After you have accepted the
  RTB 8, which could, if you                                                    offer, your details are passed to
  receive no response within one                                                our solicitors to complete the       responded within 3 months, the
  month, result in a reduction in                                               sale process. If RCT Homes has       notice gives 60 days to reply.
  the sale price, calculated by the                                             not heard from you for some
  amount of rent you have paid for                                              time, they will send the following g 2nd Notice to Complete: If after
  the whole or part of the process.                                             notices:                             60 days we have not heard from
                                                                                                                     you a second notice will be sent
     The notices are available from
                                                                              g 1st Notice to Complete: For          giving you 56 days to complete.
     your Solicitor or Welsh Assembly                                           tenants who applied before the       If we have not heard from you
     Office on 02920 823872.                                                    18th January 2005 and have not       after this time your application
                                                                                responded within 12 months           will be cancelled.
                                                                                and for tenants who applied
                                                                                after 18th January 2005 and not

10              www.rcthomes.co.uk                                                                                  www.rcthomes.co.uk                  11
       things to
       When you apply to purchase a property you must be aware of the
       costs involved with, and ongoing costs of, home ownership.

     g The Mortgage: The offer price
       will denote how much money
       you will have to raise. This is a
       major expenditure and
       commitment and it is important g Survey Fees: Usually carried out
       at this stage to seek specialist  by a qualified surveyor, you may
       financial advice. You may also    have to pay for a full structural
       have to pay mortgage protection   survey to ensure that the property
       to cover payments for illness or  is structurally sound. It may also
       inability to work.                be a requirement of the purchase.

     g Stamp Duty: A tax currently        g Insurance: Most mortgage
       levied on properties valued over     companies require that you have
       £125,000.                            buildings insurance. In addition,
                                            depending on the type of
     g Legal Fees: Solicitors fees to pay   mortgage, life insurance is also
       for land searches, conveyancing,     required.
       title transfers, etc.

02                                          www.rcthomes.co.uk                  13
     Ongoing costs                      Repairs
     As a homeowner, remember           When you apply to buy your
     there will be regular financial    property, from the date of receipt
     commitments to consider such as:   of your application, only certain
                                        repairs will be carried out:
g Mortgage repayments: Also may
  include mortgage protection.      g We must keep the building
g Insurance: Buildings, Contents      wind and water-tight and carry
  and possibly Life Insurance.        out repairs affecting the Health
g Utilities: Such as Gas, Electric,   & Safety of the occupants.
  Water, Sewerage.
g Council Tax                       g We will NOT carry out day-to-
g Service Charges: For purchasers     day repairs and may cancel any
  of flats, which may also include    works that have not been issued
                                                                             Be aware
  repair costs.                       or issued and not completed.
                                                                             Someone may approach you
                                                                             from a finance organisation
     Please remember to seek         g We are NOT able to carry out          stating that the ‘Right to Buy’ is
     independent financial and legal   any repairs that will increase
                                                                             ending, or advising how easy it
     advice before deciding to         the value of your property, e.g.
                                                                             would be if they represented
     purchase. Failure to keep up      re-roofing.
                                                                             you with your application.
     with your mortgage repayments
     could result in you losing your   If you have any repairs waiting
                                                                             Be suspicious if anyone
     home.                             to be completed, or a repair you
                                                                             approaches you and DO NOT
                                       have not yet reported, please
                                                                             feel pressurised to agree or sign
                                       remember that you have the
                                                                             any documents until you have
                                       option to wait until they have
                                                                             had time to think and fully
                                       been completed before you apply
                                                                             understand the implications and
                                       to purchase your home.
                                                                             costs involved.

14              www.rcthomes.co.uk                                                                                www.rcthomes.co.uk   15

g Right to Buy/Acquire Team
  RCT Homes Tel: 01685 885222

g ‘What Mortgage?’ or ‘Your Mortgage’ available from most newsagents

g ‘How To Buy Your Home’ available from the Council of Mortgage
  Lenders Tel: 020 7438 8956

g ‘No Selling, No Jargon, Just the Facts about Mortgages’
  available from the Financial Services Authority Tel: 0845 606 1234
  Minicom/Textphone: 0845 730 0104

g ‘Thinking of Buying a Council Flat?’ or ‘Your Right to Buy Your Home’
  Booklets produced by the Department for Communities & Local
  Government available from RCT Homes Tel: 01685 885222

     Produced in accordance with Statutory Instrument 2681 (W187) 2005

  Community Housing Offices
g Aberdare – 01685 885353
g Mountain Ash – 01443 472461
g Pontypridd – 01443 407314
g Porth – 01443 734000
g Tonypandy – 01443 440303
g Tonyrefail – 01443 674133

  working with www.artsfactory.co.uk

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