Right to Buy statutory information for tenants
Section 121AA of the Housing Act 1985 says that landlords must provide their secure tenants with information about the Right to Buy.
This page gives you the required information. If you are not able to access the information provided in the online links included in this document, you can talk to a Right to Buy Agent: 0300 123 0913; or you can contact the council’s Right to Buy team: 01926 456129 option 3, option 1.
When you can buy your home under the Right to Buy
You can apply for the Right to Buy scheme if you are a secure tenant of Warwick District Council and you:
- live in a house, bungalow, flat or maisonette which the council owns or on which it holds an appropriate lease
- are purchasing either in your sole name; or jointly with other people named on the secure tenancy. On a joint tenancy, the Right to Buy belongs to all tenants so you can either buy jointly; or individually where the other tenants agree to this.
- occupy the property as your only or principal home
- have the minimum qualifying tenancy period of 3 years public sector tenancy. The 3 year period does not have to be consecutive and can include your current tenancy and any previous public sector tenancy
Reasons why you might not be able to buy the property
- if you or someone you hold the tenancy with is subject to an order of the court for possession of the property
- if you or someone who is joining in the Right to Buy with you:
- is subject to a bankruptcy order
- has a bankruptcy petition pending
- is an undischarged bankrupt
- has made an arrangement with a creditor the terms of which remain unfulfilled
- benefits from a moratorium period under a debt relief order
- is subject to a suspension period under an order made under section 121A of the Housing Act 1985 due to anti-social behaviour
Other reasons why you might not be able to take up the Right to Buy
The right to buy does not arise in certain circumstances, including:
- where the landlord is a trust or certain type of housing association
- where the landlord does not own the freehold and the remaining lease is:
- a. 21 years or less if your home is a house/bungalow; or
- b. 50 years or less if it is a flat/maisonette
- c. in both cases, this relates to the date when the tenant serves the RTB1 (application form)
- where the property is within the boundaries of a building held by the landlord for purposes other than housing and was let to the tenant (or a predecessor) for the purposes of employment
- where the property is let for the purpose of housing disabled persons or elderly persons or persons with a mental disorder; and has substantially different features to ordinary dwellings
- where the property is held by the landlord on a tenancy from the Crown
- where a final demolition notice is in place
You can find a full list of the exceptions to the Right to Buy in Schedule 5 of the Housing Act 1985.
How to take up your Right to Buy
In order to exercise your claim to buy your property under the Right to Buy, you will need to complete the Right to Buy application form (RTB1) and send it to Housing Services, Warwick District Council, Riverside House, Milverton Hill, Leamington Spa, CV32 5HZ.
The application form and more information about applying can be found at Gov.uk - Right to buying your council home. You can also get more details from the Right to Buy Agents.
The date on which we receive your application is called the relevant date. This is the date the council will use to work out the value of your home and your discount entitlement.
If the value of your property changes while your application is being processed, for the purposes of the Right to Buy the value will remain the same as it was on the relevant date. Your discount entitlement will also be set at the relevant date and does not change during the application process.
You can cancel your application at any time. The council will not charge you for this but your solicitor and your mortgage provider may charge you for any services they have provided up to the date that you let them know that you are not going ahead with the Right to Buy.
How the sale price is calculated
The price you will pay for your home is based on:
- the market valuation of your property which we will arrange to be carried out free of charge
- how long you have been a tenant in your current home and any previous public sector tenancies you’ve claimed that can be confirmed
- the cost to the council of buying or building your property - if any work was done in the last 15 years, the cost of this work may reduce your discount
- previous Right to Buy purchases – you are only entitled to one Right to Buy discount in total so previous discounts given will be deducted from any discount you may currently be entitled to receive.
If you delay the Right to Buy application process, the council can serve a formal notice where:
- you have not responded to the formal offer letter within the 12 week notice period; or
- you have not taken steps to complete the purchase within a reasonable period of time – the reasonable period cannot be less than 3 months after the formal offer letter is sent to you
If you do not meet the timescales set out in the formal notice, the council can end your Right to Buy application.
If the council delays your Right to Buy application, you can:
- send an Initial Notice of Delay (RTB6) which requires the council to rectify the delay within a given response period – you can’t give the landlord less than a calendar month to respond
- send an Operative Notice of Delay (RTB8) – you can only do this if the council does not rectify the delay within the response period allowed by the RTB6 or serve a counter-notice. You may be entitled to a reduced purchase price if a valid RTB8 is received by the council.
You can ask the council to provide you with the delay forms. You can also download the forms at Right to Buy: buying your council home - delays.
You may want to send the delay notice by recorded delivery; or hand deliver it and obtain a receipt from the council as the notice is only effective once the council has received it.
You can only use the delay procedure while a delay is occurring. Once the delay has ended you cannot serve delay notices.
Costs of owning your home
There will be initial costs for taking up your Right to Buy. These costs vary but may include:
- Stamp Duty - you can find out more about this at: https://www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax
- legal fees – a fee will be payable if you use a solicitor or other legal representative to help you with buying your home
- mortgage fees – these can include:
- a fee if you use a broker to help you find a mortgage
- an arrangement fee to fix a mortgage rate with your mortgage lender
- a fee for your lender’s assessment of the market value of your property
- a survey fee for a professional inspection of your property (this is not the same as the assessment of market value undertaken by your mortgage lender). There are different types of survey with different costs depending on how detailed the survey is.
As a homeowner you will also have regular ongoing costs. These can include payments for:
- a mortgage or loan on your property
- building insurance
- contents insurance
- life insurance
- mortgage payment protection insurance
- Council tax
- water, gas, electricity, broadband and other services
- repairing and maintaining your property
- service charges – you can find more information on the Leasehold Advisory Service website
Remember - if you do not keep up with your mortgage payments, your lender may take possession of your home.
If you want further information about the Right to Buy, you can contact a Right to Buy Agent, telephone 0300 123 0913. Or, you can contact the council’s Right to Buy team on 01926 456129 option 3, option 1.