.

Buying your council home

Can I buy my council home?

The 'right to buy' scheme gives secure tenants of local authorities the opportunity to buy their council home. To qualify, you must have been a council tenant for at least 5 years. Many secure tenants can buy their home at a discount to the full market price, your discount is based on the number of years that you have been a public sector tenant, but it is limited to a maximum of £77,000 in 2014/15.

Some properties are exempt from the right to buy such as properties occupied in connection with a tenant's employment or housing particularly suitable for elderly people and (in certain cases) people with disabilities.

To find out if you are able to buy your council home you need to complete a right to buy application form, which can be downloaded from the gov.uk website:

Gov.uk - Notice Claiming the Right to Buy (external website)

You will also need to download and complete a bankruptcy declaration form, one of these forms must be completed for each tenant and family member who wishes to join in with the right to buy. If you are a joint tenant and do not wish to join in you also need to complete a bankruptcy declaration form.

Right to Buy bankruptcy declaration form (pdf 32kb opens in new window)

If you have had any tenancies with another social landlord you will also need to complete a consent form so that we can confirm your tenancy dates with them.

Right to Buy previous tenancy check consent form (pdf 57kb opens in new window)

We may share the information you provide with other public sector organisations for the purpose of preventing and detecting fraud.

The right to buy application form, bankruptcy declaration form and previous tenancy check consent form should be sent to:

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Housing Services - Right to Buy Team
County Hall
Cross Street
Beverley
HU17 9BA

If you do not want to download and print these forms, please request a 'right to buy' application form online (opens in new window) and we will send you a pack through the post.

You should read the following document about the right to buy process before applying

Right to Buy Information (pdf 96kb opens in new window)

Further information is available on the gov.uk website.

Gov.uk - Your right to buy your council home (external website)

Gov.uk - Right to Buy Summary Booklet (external website)

If you are thinking of buying your council flat you should also read the following documents, available on the gov.uk website.

Gov.uk - Thinking of Buying Your Council Flat (external website)

Gov.uk - Residential Long Leaseholders (external website)

Please be aware that, in general, whilst your right to buy is current, we will not carry out planned maintenance or repairs to your property (except to keep your home wind and water-tight).

We will let you know within 4 weeks whether you qualify to purchase your home.

Top of page


How much will it cost to buy my council home?

If you apply to buy your council home, the service to process your application is completely free. Your mortgage provider may charge you for a survey and you will incur solicitor’s fees if you decide to proceed with the purchase. Private companies who offer services relating to buying your home may charge a fee.

If you are a secure council tenant and have the right to buy, you can buy your home at a discount to the full market price - we will arrange for your home to be valued. Your discount is based on the number of years that you have been a public sector tenant.

The discount starts at 35% for houses and 50% for flats and maisonettes. The discount rises by 1% per year for houses and 2% per year for flats and maisonettes (after the qualifying period) to a maximum of 70% for houses, flats and maisonettes. Whatever percentage discount you are eligible for, you can not receive more than £77,000 discount in 2014/15 as this is the maximum available under the scheme.

If you qualify for the right to buy scheme we will let you know in writing the valuation of your property, the discount you are entitled to and how much you can buy your property for, within 12 weeks of your application for a house or within 16 weeks for a flat or maisonette. You can then decide whether to proceed with the purchase or not.

Top of page

 

What is the maximum discount that I can get to buy my council home?

The maximum discount that you can qualify for to buy your council home is £77,000 in 2014/15.  This means that if you qualify for a discount on the purchase price of your council home of more than £77,000, the amount of discount you receive will be limited to (or capped at) £77,000 in 2014/15.

The maximum amount of discount will be reviewed annually in accordance with the Consumer Price Index.

The rate of discount for houses and flats varies according to how long you have been a tenant, and you have to have been a public sector tenant for five years to qualify for the scheme.

Top of page

How long will it take to buy my council home?

When we receive your completed right to buy application form we will acknowledge receipt within five working days. We will then request the information that we need to establish whether you have the right to buy.

Within four weeks of receiving your application we will send you a notice (RTB2 form) either admitting or denying your right to buy. If you do not have the right to buy your application will be cancelled. If you do have the right to buy, we will then obtain further information which is required to enable us to value your home. A valuation officer will have to visit your home, they will telephone you to make an appointment, so please ensure we have your correct telephone number. If we have problems contacting you this will delay the process.

Within twelve weeks of receiving your application form we will send you an offer letter (section 125 notice) which sets out the valuation figure for your home, your discount entitlement (whether capped or not), the terms of the sale and the actual purchase price. In the case of flats and maisonettes you will receive your offer letter within sixteen weeks, and will also be given the maximum annual service charges for the first 5 years after you have bought your property.

You then have twelve weeks to decide if you wish to proceed with buying your home. If you wish to go ahead with the purchase you must complete the RTB (Right to Buy) proceed form included in your offer letter, and return it to the right to buy team.

Email: righttobuy@eastriding.gov.uk
Telephone: (01482) 396154

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Housing Services - Right to Buy Team
County Hall
Cross Street
Beverley
HU17 9BA

If you are not happy with the valuation figure then you can request a redetermination by the independent district valuer. The redetermination must be requested within twelve weeks of the date of the offer letter. The length of time taken for this process depends largely on the workload of the district valuer.

If you wish to proceed with the purchase we will instruct our legal department within 5 working days of receiving your completed RTB proceed form. They will send the relevant paperwork to your solicitor within ten working days. The length of time for completion is then dependent upon your solicitor.

Your rent account must be clear before the process can be completed.

If you have any queries regarding the right to buy please contact the right to buy team.

Email: righttobuy@eastriding.gov.uk
Telephone: (01482) 396154

Top of page


Why will I become a leaseholder if I buy my council flat?

If you qualify to buy your council flat or maisonette under the right to buy scheme, it will be sold on a long term lease (usually 125 years) and you will become a council leaseholder.

It is sold on this basis as it forms part of a larger property that we own. In effect you are buying the inside of your flat or maisonette and the structure of the building (external walls, roof etc) remains in our ownership and is our responsibility to maintain. You may also be granted rights to use communal areas in relation to your property. However, under the terms of your lease you will be required to contribute annually to the cost of managing and maintaining the building in which your property is situated. This is called the service charge, and you will be given details of the charges with your right to buy offer letter (Section 125 Notice).

More information about buying your council flat is available on the gov.uk website.

Gov.uk - Thinking of buying your council flat (external website)

Top of page


Can I sell my council property once I’ve bought it?

You may sell your home whenever you like. If you sell your property within the first five years of owning it you will have to repay some, or all, of the discount that you received.

If you sell in your first year of ownership you will have to repay 100% of the discount you received, 80% in the second year, 60% in the third year, 40% in the fourth year and 20% in the fifth and final year. The discount to be repaid will be a percentage of the market value of the property when it is resold. The cost of any improvements that you made to your home after buying it, will be deducted from the sale price before the discount repayable is calculated (receipts will be required). After 5 years of ownership you can sell without having to repay any discount.

If you applied to buy your home under the right to buy scheme in, or after, 2005 and you wish to resell or dispose of it within ten years of the purchase date, you are required to offer it back to us or to another social landlord (nominated by the council) at the full market value. You can offer your ex-council home back to us online (opens in new window) or you can put it in writing and sent to the following address:

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Housing Services - Right to Buy Team
County Hall
Cross Street
Beverley
HU17 9BA

The value will be agreed between the parties involved or, if we are unable to agree, will be determined by the district valuer. If your offer has not been accepted by us within eight weeks, you will be free to sell the property on the open market.

Top of page

Rate this page