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Right to Buy

Eligibility for Right to Buy

The Right to Buy (RTB) is a government scheme that we operate. You can buy the council home that you are currently renting at a discounted price if you:

  • are a secure tenant
  • live at the property as your main home
  • have at least 3 years public sector tenancy in either council or housing association properties

If you can answer 'yes' to all of the above, then you are entitled to apply for the RTB your council home.

As an introduction, you can download the RTB summary booklet below:

Right to Buy summary booklet (PDF) [2MB]

You can also visit the government website ownyourownhome.gov.uk, where you can find more information and an application form. For independent advice on any part of the RTB, you should contact the government's official RTB agent service.

You will not be able to buy if:

  • a court has made a possession order meaning you have to leave your home
  • you are an undischarged bankrupt or have other legal problems with debt
  • your home is deemed suitable for occupation by the elderly

Buying your home

If you want to proceed with buying your home, contact us using the details below. We will issue the forms needed to start the process. Or you can visit the government website ownyourownhome.gov.uk.

Those eligible to buy their home are entitled to a discount. This will depend on the type of property, how long you've been a social tenant and whether you have had a discount in the past. Any discount is capped at £96,000 (was £87,200). This £96,000 cap applies only to applications received by us on or after 6 April 2023.

The price payable or your home will be the market value of your home less any discount.

We can only help with the application. You will need to find your own solicitor, surveyor and mortgage provider if you need one. There are additional costs, which may include stamp duty; legal and survey fees; valuation fees, and the costs associated with taking out a mortgage.

To find out about these costs, plus other important information, you should read the RTB booklet linked above or speak to a qualified advisor.

If you are buying a flat, the property will be leasehold and service charges will apply. The charges will include the costs of day-to-day repairs and major works as may be required. Independent advice can be found at lease-advice.org or from the official RTB agent service.

Fees 

We do not charge for the RTB. However, if you need your documents to be reissued for any reason, we charge £36 in advance for this service.

If you want to borrow more money or change your mortgage provider within the first five years after buying your home, you'll need our permission to do so. You must pay £150 in advance for assessing this request. This is non-refundable even if we decline your request.

To find out more, contact us using the details below.

Time limits

There are legal time limits we must meet for dealing with your application. These are included in the information we send, and also in the booklet above or on the government website.

If these deadlines are not met, you can serve an initial notice of delay and if we still don't respond, an operative notice of delay. These forms and other guidance are available at www.gov.uk

Once we issue an offer of sale to you, which includes the market value of your home and the price you need to pay, there is a time limit for you to complete. If you do complete, we can issue first then second notices before withdrawing your application. If withdrawn, you would need to reapply from scratch.

After buying your home

After completing the RTB, you will be responsible for all parts of owning, maintaining and insuring your home. This will include the costs of any mortgage or charge on your home; building, life or mortgage payment protection insurances; all household utilities including Council Tax, and ongoing repair and maintenance costs including service charges if you're buying a flat.

Although you are no longer a council tenant, there are three important times when you will need to contact us.

  1. To offer your home to us before you sell. For the first ten years after you buy your home, we have the right of first refusal. This means you have to offer the property to us first, but we do not have to buy the home from you. 
  2. To repay your discount if you sell your home. In the first five years, we have a charge against your home. You will have to repay some money if you sell your home. The RTB booklet will explain more, or you can contact us and we will can help.
  3. To borrow more money or change lender. As we have a charge against your home for five years from when you buy, you will need our permission to borrow more money or to change your lender. There is a fee to pay.

Finally, you need to be aware that your home is at risk of repossession if regular mortgage payments are not made.

Contact us

If you want to find out more information or proceed with buying your home, email righttobuy@nfdc.gov.uk or call 023 8028 5222.

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