Right to buy

Under the Right to Buy scheme, Bassetlaw District Council tenants can buy their home at a price lower than the full market value.  You can only apply for a Right to Buy if you have been a secure tenant for at least three years.  The longer you have been a tenant, the greater the discount you should be eligible for. Discounts go up to a maximum of £75,000 and are based on:

  • How long you have been a tenant
  • The valuation of your property
  • The size of property you are buying

Please be aware at the present time we do not sell Bungalows.

Guidance on 'Right to Buy your Home'

Contents 

Right to buy your home

Important - This information is intended to provide guidance regarding the Right to Buy process. It is not intended to be a statement of law or to provide any advice. You should always seek your own advice from an independent Solicitor or Legal Advisor.

Warning – Bassetlaw District Council and the Government are concerned that some private companies do not always give good advice regarding buying your home. Sometimes these companies may ask you to pay for a service that Bassetlaw District Council will provide for free. If in doubt, contact us first before you agree. Do not be persuaded to sign for anything unless you are sure it is what you want to do.

The Department of Communities and Local Government has produced a booklet on Right to Buy which we will send to you with an application form (RTB1) if you enquire about purchasing your Council house or flat. The booklet is a guide for explaining the procedures involved in the ‘Right to Buy’ process.

The criteria to buy

You will need to be a secure tenant for at least 3 years.

Be aware that:

  • Tenants subject to possession orders, postponed possession orders and suspended possession orders cannot exercise the right to buy.
  • At the present time we do not sell bungalows
  • A family member can share in the right to buy, if the property is their principle home and they have lived there throughout the last 12 months
  • You cannot apply if you are an Introductory Tenant

Your rights

If you are a secure tenant of the Council you have the right to buy your house or flat.

You or your successor can sell the house or flat at any time after you have purchased it. However, if you sell the property within 10 years of purchasing it you must first offer it to the Council at the full market value. You can then sell your home to anyone if the Council doesn’t agree to buy it within 8 weeks.

Additionally, if you sell your home within the first 5 years of purchasing it from the Council you will have to pay back all or a percentage of your discount when you complete the sale, irrespective of who the buyers are.

You have the right to buy your flat on a 125 year lease. Individual flats are not sold freehold. This lease allows you or your successors to live in the flat for the 125 year period for a ground rent of £10 per year.

If you buy your flat you will be required to pay a Service Charge which covers the repairs and services provided by the Council. More information is available on Page 10.

What happens next?

After you have applied to buy

Once you have returned the Right to Buy application form we will commence with the procedure to sell you your home.

Your RTB application form will be checked to make sure that you meet the Right to Buy criteria. Once this has been done we will send you a RTB2 notice normally within 4 weeks (or 8 weeks if you have accrued time with another qualifying landlord), which will inform you if your Right to Buy has been approved and who will be included in it.

All those named on the Tenancy Agreement, and those wishing to share the Right to Buy, must provide photo ID and documentary evidence to show that you are living at the property. A Housing Officer will also visit you at your home to validate your claim.

The Council will arrange for a valuer to value your home. The valuer will make an appointment to see you and when he/she visits, you can advise the valuer of any further improvements you have carried out to your home. There is no charge for this service.

You will normally receive notification of the purchase price within 8 weeks if a house (or 12 weeks if a flat) of receiving a RTB2 form. This will be in the form of a Notice of Purchase Price (also referred to as a Section 125 Notice). This notice contains the following important information: -

  • The market value of your home
  • The discount and purchase price
  • Any improvement you have carried out which the valuer has disregarded
  • Any structural defects including other observations, which the valuer has taken into account
  • An indicative plan
  • The Acceptance Form (which can also be used to cancel your application)

Home ownership

Cost of home ownership

If you buy your home there are often costs you need to budget for, some of which you do not pay as a Housing tenant. You also need to consider other costs as well as your mortgage repayments. These include:

Running Costs Running Costs Ave Annual Cost
Council Tax and Water Charges  
Insurance for Building and Contents  
Life Assurance  
Mortgage Payment Protection insurance  
Repairs and Maintenance  
Costs to buy your home Ave Annual Cost
Registering with Land Registry as the new owner  
Stamp Duty  
Property Survey  
Legal Fees payable to your Solicitor  
Potential contribution towards the repair and maintenance of shared amenities, e.g. water services or drains  
Total costs  


Service Charges

For buying flats only

As per the terms of your lease, you will be required to pay your share of the costs of responsive repairs, services and building insurance each year.

Additionally you will be required to pay your share of all costs connected to major capital works to the fabric of the block.

Upon you paying your share of the service charge the Council (as current Landlord) may provide services such as communal lighting and cleaning of communal areas to some flats (more specifically detailed within your lease).

You will also have to pay a charge towards the Council’s costs in managing the building.

You will be fully responsible for keeping the inside of your flat in good repair and the Council, as your Landlord, will have the right to inspect your home from time to time to ensure compliance with your lease.

You will still have to ask for permission if you want to change anything in the flat, i.e. knock down walls.

Purchase of the Property

What happens if you wish to proceed with the purchase

If you are happy with the purchase price and wish to proceed, you must let us know by returning the acceptance form within 12 weeks of it being sent by us.

During this time you will need to make enquiries about a mortgage and arrange for a solicitor (or licensed conveyancer) to act for you.

We also strongly recommend that you obtain a structural survey of the property before proceeding with the purchase. The Council will guarantee the condition of the property.

Once you have returned your acceptance form Deed plans will be prepared and the Council’s Legal Service will be instructed to prepare the conveyance documents. This normally takes a minimum of 6 weeks.

Right to cancel

What happens if you want to cancel your application

You can cancel your ‘Right to Buy’ application at any time during the process providing that the process has not been completed. You will need to advise us in writing, either by letter or on the bottom of the acceptance form. If you are a joint applicant we will need all signatures in order to cancel the application.

If you change your mind later, you can re-apply at any time, but you will need to go through the procedure again.

Tenancy issues

You will remain a secure tenant of the Council until you have completed the purchase of your home, unless you breach your tenancy conditions.

We will still carry out all essential repairs in accordance with the Council’s Repairs policy prior to completion. Generally these repairs will be of a minor nature and not of great cost, otherwise they may have an effect on the property valuation.

WE WILL NOT CARRY OUT IMPROVEMENT WORKS WHILST A PROPERTY IS UNDER A RIGHT TO BUY INSTRUCTION.

You should continue to report essential repairs through our Contact Centre whilst the Council is still the owner. Once you have completed the purchase you will then be responsible for all repairs and maintenance of your property.

When you submit your application to purchase your home any housing application will be placed on the suspended list until the ‘Right to Buy’ process is either completed or cancelled.

If you complete the purchase we will cancel your housing application and you will lose any ‘waiting time’. This also applies to persons over the age of 60 years who have applied for Senior Citizen accommodation. If you do not proceed with the purchase we will reinstate your housing application, and any accrued waiting time will also be reinstated.

If you are more than 4 weeks in arrears the council will not complete until your arrears are cleared.

Getting help

Contact Customer Services
Bassetlaw District Council
Carlton Forest House
Hundred Acre Lane
Worksop
Notts. S81 0TS 

Telephone: 0800 590 542

Email: customer.services@bassetlaw.gov.uk


Last Updated on Friday, July 23, 2021