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
Things to consider
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
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
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.
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
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.
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