Voluntary Right to Buy
You may have heard in the Chancellors autumn statement (23/11/16) that the implementation of the new Voluntary Right to Buy (VRTB) scheme has been delayed. It was announced that there will be another pilot scheme commencing in 2017. Details will be confirmed after the General Election. At this stage we have no further information on which Housing Associations will be included in this pilot, or concerning the proposed detail of the new legislation. Once we hear more we will update this page with further information.
Please visit https://righttobuy.gov.uk/ for more detail on the scheme.
You can also read these NHF Questions and Answers on Voluntary Right to Buy
Preserved Right to Buy
If you were a secure council tenant and were living in your home when it was transferred from the council, then you may have a preserved Right to Buy. If you have the preserved Right to Buy then you may be able to buy your home at a discounted price if you:
- Don't live in sheltered property or a home adapted for a disabled person
- Don't have any possession orders, for example rent arrears
- Have never had any legal problems with debt.
The transfer dates are:
- East Dorset: 3 December 1990
- Wiltshire: 1 April 1995
- Weymouth & Portland: 20 March 2000
- Hampshire: 27 March 2000
- Somerset: 19 March 2001
- Purbeck District: 28 June 2004
Right to Acquire
If you do not have the preserved Right to Buy you may be able to purchase your home with a smaller discount under a scheme known as Right to Acquire. There are some exceptions particularly in rural areas.
For more information please contact our Right to Buy team.
The Right to Buy process
If you want to know more about the Right to Buy process, the following information will be useful to you.
- Complete your Right to Buy application (RTB1)
Return your completed application to the Right to Buy team with supporting personal identification for all applicants.
- We will send you a Right to Buy notice (RTB2)
We will send a RTB2 notice within four weeks of receiving your RTB1 form. We will tell you that either:
We are admitting your application, giving you the right to buy your home
We are denying your application if you do not have the right to buy your home, giving you the reason why we have turned your application down.
- Carrying out your property valuation
We will carry out a free property valuation to work out the value of your property. We will also carry out an energy performance inspection to rate how energy efficient your home is. This will help you decide if you want to buy your home.
- How long will it take before I receive my offer notice?
After your property valuation, we will send you an offer notice, called a section 125 notice. The offer notice will tell you the price you will have to pay and the conditions of the sale. We will send you this within either:
Eight weeks if you are buying a freehold property (normally a house)
- Twelve weeks if you are buying a leasehold property (normally a flat or maisonette).
- How do I proceed if I am happy with the price I've been given?
You must return your acceptance form within twelve weeks of you receiving your offer notice and include the name and address of your solicitor.
If you do not, we will send you a notice giving you another twenty-eight days to accept. If you do not contact us, we will assume that you no longer want to buy your home.
- What if I'm unhappy with the price I've been given?
If you are unhappy with the price you have to pay for the property, you can appeal to the District Valuer. You must do this within twelve weeks of receiving your offer notice by writing to our Right to Buy team.
If you do not agree with the District Valuer’s valuation you can request a Review Notice. Your Landlord and District Valuer can do this also. You must make your request within 28 days of receiving the Section 128 Notice. The review price the District Valuer puts on the property will be the final price.
- Buying your home
Once the legal documentation is ready it will be sent to your solicitor. If you do not give us your solicitor's details, the legal documents will be sent to you.
We will then send you a notice giving you fifty-six days to complete the purchase.
If the purchase is still not complete, a second fifty-six day notice will be sent. At the end of this period, if the purchase is still not complete, we will withdraw your application to buy your home.
If you decide you no longer want to buy your home you can withdraw at any point up to the day of completion.
- What if there are delays with the sale?
If we do not meet the timescales, you should ask us for a RTB6 form. This is an initial notice of delay form.
We will respond within one calendar month after we receive your initial notice of delay form.
If you have sent us the RTB6 form at the wrong time and we are not holding up the sale, we will send you a RTB7 form. This explains why you shouldn’t have sent the RTB6 at that time.
If we do not proceed within one calendar month, you should ask us for the RTB8 form. This is an operative notice of delay where we have failed to keep to the timescales.
Our Customer Scrutiny Panel independently scrutinised our Right to Buy service, appraising our process from a customer point of view. Here are their findings.
Send us your questions
If you have a question about Right to Buy, Preserved Right to Buy, Right to Acquire or the Right to Buy process, please email our dedicated team.
You can also call our contact centre on 0333 400 8222 and speak to the relevant person by asking for the Right to Buy team.