Right to Buy Solicitors

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Right to Buy Solicitors

At JMW, our real estate residential experts are here to help prospective homeowners find out everything they need to know about the Right to Buy scheme and to guide them through what can sometimes be a complicated process. We have a wealth of experience in this area and can provide invaluable advice as you look to make the most of the scheme when buying a home.

Get in touch with our real estate residential solicitors today for expert Right to Buy advice. Simply call us on 0345 872 6666 or complete our online enquiry form and we will give you a call back at a convenient time.

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The Right to Buy Scheme Explained

Right to Buy is a government scheme that gives social tenants in England and Wales the opportunity to purchase their council houses at a reduced price. The initiative is available to those who have been a council or public sector tenant for at least five years in total.

The discount available through the scheme is based on the length of time for which you have been a tenant, the type of property you are living in and the location of the property.

However, the initiative is not open to you if:

  • The property is not your main home
  • You have been told by the courts to leave the property
  • You are being declared bankrupt or you are an undischarged bankrupt
  • The property is not self-contained
  • You owe money to creditors

The scheme offers a discount of more than £77,000 outside London and over £100,000 in the capital. Joint applications can be made with either someone who shares your tenancy or up to three family members who have resided with you for at least the past year.

There may still be an option to purchase your home under the Right to Buy rules - through a mechanism named Preserved Right to Buy - if your home used to be owned by the council and was sold to a housing association or other landlord while you were still living in it. However, this depends on various factors and you should ask your landlord to find out whether this is applicable to you.

The law surrounding Right to Buy can be complex. To give yourself the best chance of benefiting from the initiative, you should seek advice from legal experts who can explain the various options available to you in a simple and straightforward way.

Why Choose JMW?

Here at JMW, our Right to Buy solicitors have a range of services on offer to those thinking about opting for the Right to Buy scheme. We can provide you with more information about the initiative as and when you need it, and let you know about any legal implications your decisions may have.

We can also help you through the application process, and talk to you about Right to Buy mortgages and the conveyancing process. Our considerable expertise also covers selling a council house purchased through the Right to Buy scheme.

Our Right to Buy solicitors are renowned for their professionalism and dedication to always acting in your best interests. Contact us today to find out more about how we can assist you with any issue in relation to Right to Buy.

What Right to Buy Discount Am I Entitled To?

The discount you may be entitled to under the Right to Buy Scheme depends on a variety of factors including the property value, your location, whether you are a tenant of a house or flat, and the length of your tenancy.

In England, if you are a house tenant, you can get a 35% discount if you have been a public sector tenant for between 3 and 5 years. After 5 years, the discount increases by 1% for every additional year of tenancy, up to a maximum discounted price of 70% or £84,200 across England and £112,300 in London (whichever is lower).

If you are a flat tenant, the discount starts at 50% if you have been a public sector tenant for between 3 and 5 years. After 5 years, the discount increases by 2% for all council tenants for every extra year of tenancy, up to a maximum of 70% or £84,200 across England and £112,300 in London (whichever is lower).

Applying for the Right to Buy Scheme

To apply for the Right to Buy Scheme, you must first ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. These criteria encompass several conditions, such as: 

  • Being a secure tenant of your council home
  • Having resided there for a minimum of three years
  • Ensuring that the property is your only or main home.

Once you establish your eligibility, you can apply using the Right to Buy application form (RTB1 notice). Complete this form thoroughly, then send it to your landlord. The landlord has a duty to respond within a specified period – four weeks for a freehold property purchase, or eight weeks for a leasehold purchase.

Our Right to Buy solicitors will be with you every step of the way through the conveyancing process. We can advise you on making your application to consider that you are eligible and that everything is correct, to avoid any delays in buying your property.

Understanding the Right to Buy Offer

Once your application is accepted, your landlord will send you a Section 125 notice, or an 'Offer Notice'. This document contains the price they believe you should pay for the property and the discount you are entitled to. It also includes a description of the property, an estimate of service charges (for flats and maisonettes) for the next five years, and any structural issues they know about.

You have 12 weeks to accept the offer. If you are not satisfied with the terms, you have the right to appeal the valuation or dispute the service charges. If an agreement is reached, the sale will proceed.

Do I Need a Solicitor for Right to Buy Purchases?

While you are not legally required to have a solicitor for the Right to Buy process, it is highly recommended. The Right to Buy scheme involves various legal procedures that can be complex. Our Right to Buy conveyancing solicitors can help you to navigate through this process, to ensure it goes smoothly and that your interests are adequately protected.

Engaging with a solicitor becomes essential when considering the technical aspects of the process, such as verifying property deeds, conducting local authority searches, understanding the terms of the sale, checking for any legal issues tied to the property, and ensuring the transaction complies with all relevant laws and regulations. An oversight in any of these areas could lead to significant complications or additional costs.

With our expertise and experience in the Right to Buy scheme, JMW can provide you with comprehensive support throughout this process. Our team of conveyancing solicitors is well-versed in the intricacies of the scheme, ensuring that your application, valuation, and final purchase are all carried out accurately and efficiently.

Our team is ready to answer your queries, help you understand the Right to Buy conveyancing process, and assist in any disputes or challenges that may arise. Our aim is to make the journey from tenant to homeowner as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Right to Buy Scheme

Who is eligible for the Right to Buy scheme?

To be eligible for the Right to Buy scheme, you must be a secure tenant of a council or housing association property. You must have lived in the property as your only or main home for a minimum of three years, although this does not need to be consecutive.

How can I appeal if I disagree with the valuation or the terms stated in the 'Offer Notice'?

If you disagree with the valuation or terms, you have the right to request an independent valuation from the District Valuer. This must be done within three months of receiving your 'Offer Notice'. The District Valuer's decision is final.

What happens if I decide to sell my home after buying it through the Right to Buy scheme?

If you sell your home within the first five years after buying it through the Right to Buy scheme, you must usually repay some or all of the discount. The amount to be repaid reduces yearly after the third year. If you sell within the first year, you will have to repay all of the discount.

How long does the process of buying a home through the Right to Buy scheme take?

The process can take several months. It depends on how quickly the application is processed, how promptly any disputes are resolved, and how quickly a mortgage (if required) can be arranged.

Can I buy my home through the Right to Buy scheme if I have a joint tenancy?

Yes, if you have a joint tenancy, you can apply for the Right to Buy scheme. All the tenants in the leasehold property can apply jointly.

Can I use the Right to Buy scheme if I am an assured tenant of a housing association?

Assured tenants of housing associations do not usually have the Right to Buy. However, they may have the 'Right to Acquire' or be eligible for the Voluntary Right to Buy pilot.

If I'm not a British citizen, can I still apply for the Right to Buy scheme?

Yes, you can apply for the Right to Buy scheme even if you are not a British citizen, as long as you have the right to own property and live in the UK and meet the other eligibility criteria. You may be asked to provide proof of your eligibility when you apply.

Can I apply for a mortgage to pay for my home under the Right to Buy scheme?

Yes, you can apply for a mortgage to help finance your home under the Right to Buy scheme. Many lenders offer specific Right to Buy mortgages.

Talk to Us

If you are interested in purchasing your council property and want to know more about Right to Buy, or have completed the process and now need legal advice, JMW is the law firm to have in your corner. Get in touch by either calling us on 0345 872 6666 or by completing our online enquiry form, allowing us to call you back. 

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