Your Home. Your Right To Buy. Your Home

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1 Your Home Your Right To Buy Your Home

2 Contents Introduction Page 03 Can I buy my home? Page 05 Preserved Right to Buy and Right to Acquire...what do they mean? Page 06 Do I qualify for the Preserved Right to Buy or Right to Acquire discount? Page 06 If I qualify how much discount will I get? Page 08 Applying to buy your home: a step-by-step guide Page 10 Delays or problems with the sale Page 15 Things to consider before buying your home Page 16 Things to consider if you are buying a flat Page 17 Buying your home: getting a true picture of your financial commitment Page 20 Your mortgage Page 21 One-off costs when you buy Page 25 Ongoing home ownership costs Page 27 What if I buy my home and then decide to sell it? Page 29 Repayment of discount Page 30 Buying vs. Renting: helping you compare Page 32 Our service standards Page 34 Important: Contact us if someone else offers to help you buy your home. See pages 31 and 32. 2

3 Introduction City West Housing Trust has a duty to inform its customers about their Preserved Right to Buy (PRTB) or their Right to Acquire (RTA) the property they live in. Under the PRTB and RTA schemes, you can buy your home at a price lower than the full market value. This is because the length of time you have spent as a tenant entitles you to a discount. If you are thinking about exercising your PRTB or RTA there are a number of things you need to consider. Buying your home is probably the biggest financial decision you will ever make, so take time to consider whether it is the right choice for you. If you were a tenant of Salford City Council at the time of transfer to City West Housing Trust on the 6th October 2008 you may have the PRTB. If you became a tenant of City West Housing Trust after the 6th October 2008, you may be eligible for the RTA. Qualifying tenancy periods have to be met before the PRTB and the RTA can progress. 3

4 The process for the PRTB and the RTA are similar, however the discount is calculated differently and both follow Government legislation. The PRTB provides a discount towards buying a City West property, based upon the length of your tenancy with us. The RTA provides discounts, at a fixed rate, towards buying a City West property. This may change in the future if Government proposals in the Housing Bill relating to the RTB and Housing Associations are implemented. There are a number of stages in the process where there are statutory time limits for either City West or the applicant to carry out action or to respond. This booklet describes the PRTB and RTA scheme as it works today, taking account of the changes made by the Housing and Regeneration Act This booklet is a summary of the law relating to the PRTB and RTA. It is not intended to be comprehensive. If you wish to exercise your PRTB or RTA, it is recommended that you seek independent legal and financial advice about your individual circumstances. You should also seek independent financial advice about the different types of mortgage that are available. If you require clarification on any aspect of the PRTB or RTA process please contact our Home Ownership Team on , or write to: Home Ownership Team City West Housing Trust 52 Regent Street, Eccles, Salford M30 0BP. 4

5 Can I buy my home? Were you a tenant of Salford City Council at the time of transfer to City West Housing Trust on the 6th October 2008? or Did you become a City West Housing Trust tenant after the transfer? Does either of the above describe you? Then you may be eligible to buy your home at a discounted price below its current market value. This will normally include any land let to you as part of your home, such as gardens and a garage that you have exclusive use of. This booklet provides a simple guide to eligibility. If you do qualify, it will also help you decide whether or not buying your home is right for you. 5

6 Preserved Right to Buy and Right to Acquire... what do they mean? Both are ways to buy your City West home and are run according to Government rules, although the discount you receive when you buy your home is calculated in different ways. Generally speaking, the RTA provides lower levels of discount than the PRTB. For the criteria for the PRTB and RTA please refer to the introduction on page 3. Do I qualify for the Preserved Right to Buy or Right to Acquire discount? At City West we consider each application for buying the property you currently live in. This section will give you a broad guide to the likelihood of your application being successful. The qualifying periods for discount can include time spent in different homes and with different qualifying landlords as long as it was either a public sector (local authority) tenancy or housing provided by the armed forces. 6

7 You may qualify to buy your City West home at a discounted price if: You have spent at least 3 years as a Public Sector Tenant Someone who has a joint tenancy with you satisfies the above You lived with your parents after the age of 16 and you later became the tenant of the same house or flat Please note, if you became a customer of City West Housing Trust after the 6th October 2008 you may only be eligible for the Right to Acquire which carries a fixed discount of 9,000 in the Salford area. This may change in the future if Government proposals in the Housing Bill relating to the RTB and Housing Associations are implemented. You will not qualify to buy your City West home if: The house or flat you want to buy is not your only or principal home Your property is not self-contained A court makes a Possession Order which says that you must leave your home You are undischarged bankrupt or have a bankruptcy petition pending against you You have made an arrangement with people you owe money to (creditors) and you still owe them money Your home is of a type not included in the law relating to the PRTB. These include homes provided for older people, sheltered housing and homes built specifically for disabled residents. We can provide a full list of exceptions on request 7

8 If I qualify for the Preserved Right to Buy, how much discount will I get? For our customers who are eligible to apply for the PRTB the discount structure is detailed in the table below. Basically, the longer you have rented a home from City West or a local authority, the more discount you will get, subject to conditions and the maximum limit allowed in our area. If you are buying your City West home jointly with someone who has a qualifying period longer than yours, you will get their higher rate of discount (subject to the maximum limit for our area). Under the revised government legislation effective as from 21st July 2014 for the Right to Buy and the PRTB, the capped limit for the Salford and Greater Manchester Qualifying Period (years) House Flat % 50% 10 40% 60% 15 45% 70% 20 50% 70% 25 55% 70% 30 60% 70% 35 65% 70% 40 & over 70% 70% 8 area has been raised to the maximum discount available of up to 77,900. The maximum discounts will increase on 6th April each year if the Consumer Price Index increases. If the Index does not increase, the discounts will remain the same. You may share the PRTB or RTA with up to three family members over the age of 18. They must be a spouse, civil partner or wider family member, but do not have to be tenants themselves. Wider family members must have lived in the property as their main home continuously for the last 12 months. Whatever percentage you are eligible for, your discount cannot exceed this maximum limit for your area. For customers who are eligible for the Preserved Right to Buy the discount structure is detailed in the table below:

9 If I qualify for Right to Acquire how much discount will I get? If you are eligible for the Right to Acquire, you will receive the fixed discount of 9,000. This may change in the future if Government proposals in the Housing Bill relating to the RTB and Housing Associations are implemented. What if I have purchased before? If you have purchased under the PRTB or RTA scheme before, the amount of discount you received then will usually be deducted from the total amount of discount you can receive this time round. Cost floor reduction on discount Any discount we offer you may be reduced to take into account any cost of work we have carried out on your home. This rule is known as the cost floor. This may apply if your home has recently been purchased or built by City West, or money has been spent by City West on repairing or maintaining it. Under the cost floor rule, the discount you receive cannot reduce the price you can buy your home for to lower than the amount City West has spent on building, buying, repairing or maintaining the property. If the cost of works carried out over the 15 year period is greater than the market value of your home, you will not receive any discount. 9

10 Applying to buy your home: a step-by-step guide 1. Application: 4-8 weeks Request an application form Right to Buy application forms (RTB1) are available from the City West Home Ownership Team (contact details on page 4). Fill in the form carefully, it is used to decide whether you have the PRTB or the RTA, and how much discount you will get. Return the completed form to the City West Home Ownership Team. Because the form is an important legal document, it is a good idea to use recorded delivery or to deliver it by hand and get a receipt; otherwise you may be unable to prove that we have received it. You should keep a copy of the completed form for yourself application 4-8 weeks qualification 8-12 weeks offer notice 12 weeks accepting the offer legal representation completion 10

11 2. Qualification: 8-12 weeks What will happen We will acknowledge receipt of your completed form and then send you a notice (Form RTB2) telling you whether or not you have the right to buy your home with either the PRTB or the RTA. You should get this within four weeks of the date we receive your application form or within eight weeks if you have been a customer of City West for less than two years. If we agree that you do have the right to buy your home, we will send an instruction to the valuer to come and inspect your property to see how much it is worth. The valuer will contact you to make an appointment to do this. We will also arrange for an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) for your property. If we decide that you do not have the right to buy your home then we will explain why. If you don t agree with our explanation, you can get advice from a Citizens Advice Bureau or from a solicitor. If you are still not satisfied, you can write to the Department of Communities and Local Government or the Residential Property Tribunal. 3. The Section 125 Notice - 12 weeks What will happen When we agree to sell your home to you, we must send you a separate offer notice (known as the Section 125 Notice). If your home is a house and you are buying a freehold we must send this notice within eight weeks of you receiving your RTB2 form. If your home is a flat or you are buying a house on leasehold, we must send this notice within 12 weeks of you receiving your RTB2 form. 11

12 The Section 125 Notice is an important document and you should read it very carefully. It will include: A description of the property for which you have the PRTB or the RTA The price we think you should pay for it. To calculate this, we first work out how much your home was worth at the date on which you submitted your application form, and then take off your discount. If you have made improvements, these are not allowed to put the price up. If your discount is reduced for any reason, the notice must explain why An estimate of the service charges or improvement costs you will have to pay during the first five years after you buy your home (if it is a flat) A description of any structural defects that City West knows about The terms and conditions that City West thinks should be attached to the sale. These may be set out in a draft of the legal document for you to sign, as part of the notice, or on a separate sheet If you disagree with our valuation of your property When you receive your Section 125 Notice, you may feel that what City West thinks is the full market value of your home is too high. If so, you have a right to obtain an independent valuation from the District Valuer. Before doing so, you have to tell City West, within three months of receiving the Section 125 Notice, that you want a Determination of Value under Section 128 of the Housing Act

13 You then have four weeks to put your case to the District Valuer, who will need to inspect your home and it will be this valuation that counts. Even if it is higher than City West s valuation, you will still have to accept it or withdraw your application to buy your home. If you want to question anything else in the Section 125 Notice, for example the size of your discount, the effect of the cost floor, service charges, conditions of sale or your home s boundaries you should contact City West s Home Ownership Team. If you and City West disagree about something, you have the right to go to the County Court for a ruling, this can be expensive so you should take legal advice first. 4. Make your decision: Within 12 weeks of receiving your Section 125 Notice You now have to decide what you want to do: Buy your home outright for the full price, less any discount for which you are eligible or Withdraw your application, and continue to pay rent When you have decided You must tell City West in writing within 12 weeks of receiving your Section 125 Notice. If you do not let us know what you intend to do within that time, we will send you a reminder. If you do not reply within 28 days, we will assume you don t want to buy, and your application will not be dealt with any further. If you then change your mind you will need to begin a new application. If the value of your home has gone up in the meantime, then you will have to pay the higher price. 13

14 If there is a good reason why you can t decide within the time limit For example, if you were in hospital and you could not return the form in time, you should tell us and your time limit will then be extended automatically. If you decide to go ahead Begin to make arrangements for your mortgage. When you apply for a mortgage, the bank or building society will have a survey done, but this is only to value your home. It may not uncover any structural problems that may exist. You should get an independent survey from a qualified surveyor. For more information see A true picture of your financial commitment on page Getting legal advice Before deciding whether or not to buy you should get legal advice, particularly if you have worries about the terms of the sale. If you don t know a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer, you could ask City West or your bank or building society to suggest one. You should always ask how much it will cost before you employ a solicitor or licensed conveyancer. 6. Exchange of contracts and completion of sale The conveyancing process will now commence and your solicitor will handle all the legal documentation required to complete the purchase of your home. 14

15 Delays or problems with the sale Most sales go through quickly, but sometimes there are problems or delays. For example: If we do not send you Form RTB2 (the notice telling you if you have the Right to Buy) or the Section 125 Notice (offer notice) within the times mentioned in the step-by-step guide or are otherwise delaying the sale, you may be allowed a reduction in the purchase price To get this reduction, you first need to fill in an initial notice of delay (Form RTB6) and send it to City West. You must give City West at least one month to take the next step in the sale process. City West may send you a counter notice if we have already served you with a Response Notice or a Section 125 Notice, or if there is no action that can be taken to speed up the sale If City West does not send you a counter notice within the time allowed, you can send City West an operative notice of delay (Form RTB8) The rent you pay while the delay goes on will then be taken off the price you have to pay for your home. If City West delays the sale again, you can repeat this procedure. You can get the forms mentioned above from City West or the Department of Communities and Local Government. If there are any other problems with the sale and you cannot settle them with City West, you can get advice about your rights at a Citizens Advice Bureau or from a solicitor. You can also get advice from the Department of Communities and Local Government. Be wary if someone else offers to help you buy your home. Some tenants have found themselves homeless after agreeing to certain deals. 15

16 Things to consider before buying your home Buying your home is probably the biggest financial decision you will ever make. So take time to consider whether it is the right choice for you. Home ownership brings other costs Paying your mortgage each month is only one of the costs you ll have to cover. You will also become responsible for all the costs of running and maintaining your home, including routine repairs, improvements, major structural work and in some cases service charges. For a list of the costs you are likely to face when you buy your home, see pages Home ownership may mean you will not receive help with your mortgage payments As a tenant, you may be able to claim benefits to help with your rent. As an owner-occupier, you will not receive benefits to help with your mortgage costs. You may be entitled to other benefits to assist with living costs. Home ownership may reduce financial help available for your residential care If you are elderly and own your home, its value may be taken into account in assessing whether or not you are eligible for financial help with the costs of residential care. 16

17 During your application Repairs We will only carry out emergency and essential repairs that are necessary to keep your home wind and water tight. Rent You must continue to pay your rent whilst your application is progressing. Your current rent account and any former City West accounts must be fully paid before or on the date of completion of your purchase. Things to consider if you are buying a flat Why is it different from buying a house? If you buy a flat it will usually be on a long lease. This means that the block containing your flat will still be owned by City West and we give you and your successors the right to live in it for a fixed time, usually 125 years. For this right you will pay City West a charge (known as ground rent ) of 10 a year. Leaseholders can sell their properties at any time. The person who buys it pays to take over the remainder of the lease. So, if you buy your home on a 125 year lease and sell it after 15 years, the new buyer will get a 110 year lease. Because we always own the building, we remain responsible for the upkeep of the building as a whole along with any communal areas and facilities and you as an owner will be charged for our services. Our responsibilities under the lease Repairing the structure and outside of your flat and the rest of the building. This includes routine repairs and maintenance and also major maintenance and refurbishment works (for example, repairing the roof or replacing a lift), which can be very expensive Providing services like communal lighting, cleaning staircases and passageways and sometimes supplying hot water 17

18 Your responsibilities under the lease To keep the inside of your property in good repair Pay service charges as soon as they become due Service charges and what they include Your service charge is your share of City West s costs to provide our works and services. Service charges for flats in tower blocks can be very high, especially when a block is quite old and needs a lot of refurbishment. Service charges are broken down into two parts: Annual charges for day-to-day maintenance and the cost of services Major works charges a lump sum which can be 20,000 or more (per leaseholder) if the block needs a lot of repair or refurbishment work 18

19 How do I find out my likely service charges if I buy? To get a rough idea of our service charges in your block, it is worth asking someone who has already bought a home in it what charges they have had to pay. Or you could contact your local residents or leaseholders association. If you decide you want to buy, we must give you an estimate of any service charge you will have to pay during the first five years of your lease. If the lease says you must pay some of the costs of improvement, the estimate must cover these too. Once we have given you an estimate for these improvement costs, we are not allowed to charge you more than that figure during the first five years of your lease, except to take inflation into account. The estimate of service charges before you buy will also cover charges for building management services such as caretaking or the provision of hot water. Unlike repair and improvement charges, these charges are not capped in the first five years of the lease and so may change. After the first five years of your lease there will no longer be a cap on the amount we may charge you when major works are needed on your block. Help in the form of loans may be available to help you cover these costs. For useful information, ask for copies of our Major Works Payment leaflet and Major Works Payment Policy. What if I don t agree with the service charges City West proposes? You have a legal right to challenge our calculation of charges. For full information ask us for a copy of the Government booklet Long Leaseholders. 19

20 Buying your home: getting a true picture of your financial commitment A mortgage is just the beginning For most people, raising the money to make such an important purchase means taking out a mortgage a particular kind of loan designed to help purchase a property over a relatively long period. This period is typically 25 years but it may be longer or shorter depending on your age and other circumstances. Please remember there are other significant costs when buying your home, along with the cost of mortgage repayments. Are you sure that you (or both of you if you re applying jointly) can cover them all? If you are unsure, it may be that home ownership is not for you. For an at-a-glance comparison chart to help you decide see page

21 Your mortgage There are various kinds of mortgage which your bank or building society can tell you about, although you are also free to look elsewhere for a mortgage. An independent financial adviser may be able to help you consider what s available in the marketplace. However, not everyone can get a mortgage. Will I get a mortgage? In recent years, mortgage providers have made their conditions of lending much stricter. While lenders will consider each application on its merits, if one or more of the following apply to you, you may have difficulty getting a mortgage: You don t have any savings for a deposit. The lender may not be prepared to lend you the full amount that you need to purchase your home The lender feels your regular income will not cover the repayments on the mortgage You have had credit problems in the past You have had County Court Judgements against you You have changed addresses frequently in recent years 21

22 How a mortgage works You will have to repay the amount you borrow on your mortgage, plus interest, by instalments which are usually payable each month. Normally, mortgages have to be repaid over a period of 25 years, but the period can be shorter. Flexible mortgages may be available which allow you to vary your payments subject to rules set by the lender. If you sell your home later, you can use the money from that sale to pay off the rest of your mortgage. How much would I need to borrow? The amount you need to borrow on a mortgage would be: the full market value of your home minus any Right to Buy discount you may be entitled to minus any cash you can put towards the purchase as a deposit What is negative equity? The value of property can go down as well as up. If prices go down, some people find themselves in a situation where the mortgage on their home is larger than the amount they would be able to sell their home for. This is known as negative equity. 22

23 What if I can t keep up my mortgage repayments? If you can t keep up the repayments on your mortgage, the lender may go to court and ask to take over your home. City West does not have to give you another tenancy if you lose your home in this way. If you lost your income through unemployment you may be eligible to receive some benefits, your local Jobcentre can advise. However, any successful claim may not cover the full amount payable each month. How do I start looking for a mortgage? Compare the loan deals on offer before making up your mind. Get independent information by reading publications such as What Mortgage? or Your Mortgage, useful guides such as How to Buy Your Home, (available from the Council of Mortgage Lenders ). Housing and Money Advice Centres can also help. Before agreeing to any offer or deal, ask who the adviser works for, whether they sell mortgages or other financial services, and whether he or she gets a commission for selling you a particular product. 23

24 Before taking out a mortgage/loan, be sure you understand what the deal means for you in particular: Read the terms and conditions, including the small print what exactly do they mean? What is the interest rate? What would happen and how much would it cost if you wanted to repay the loan early? Resist any pressure to agree on the spot. Go away and think before signing anything. Can you afford the mortgage/loan and the other costs of buying and looking after your home? What would happen if you lost your job, or fell ill? If you are buying a flat, consider the service charges you will have to pay as a leaseholder which could be substantial see Things to consider if you are buying a flat on page 17. The process you will go through to obtain a mortgage is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This regulation also includes the banks, building societies and mortgage brokers who provide mortgages they have a duty to treat you fairly. All the well-known high street banks and building societies are FCA regulated. If you are in doubt, you can check any lender s status at The FCA has a Consumer Helpline

25 One-off costs when you buy You should employ a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer to look after the legal side of buying your home. City West or a Citizens Advice Bureau can tell you about local firms, while your local public library should have a list of the solicitors in your area and the type of work they do. Before employing anyone, always ask in advance how much their service will cost. Solicitors fees The process of changing a property s legal ownership from a seller to a purchaser is known as conveyancing. This is usually carried out by a solicitor, although licensed conveyancers provide an alternative. Either will charge you a one-off fee for their work. An engrossment fee will be payable to City West. Details of this will be advised by your solicitor. Land Registry fee When the sale is complete, you must pay the Land Registry to register you as the new owner of your property. Normally this fee will be charged as part of your solicitor s bill. Mortgage Arrangement fee When you take out a mortgage your lender may charge an arrangement fee. This is normally added to your mortgage payments so you won t see a separate bill for it. 25

26 Home Survey Before you buy a property you should have a survey done. This will provide you with a written report on the property s structural condition. There are two types of survey available, and whichever you choose you should ask for the cost in advance: A Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Home Buyers Survey and Valuation This is a report in a standardised format which will tell you about any significant defects in the property, but not minor ones. It is likely to be adequate for most properties and provides a guide to value A Building Survey This involves a detailed examination of all the visible parts of the property. It is a good idea to have such a survey done if the property is old, or in obvious need of repair, or if you are considering making alterations. This type of survey may not be available if your home is a flat 26 Note: A small number of house types have been officially designated as defective under Part 16 of the Housing Act City West is legally obliged to tell you if this designation applies to your home. When should I get my survey done? You should get a survey done only after you receive your section 125 notice. This is the notice that we will send you if you apply to buy your home see The steps to buying your home on page 10. The mortgage lender s valuation survey Unlike the surveys above, this simple check is provided by the lender. Its sole purpose is to confirm that the property is worth the money you are proposing to pay for it. Note: Your lender may be able to arrange for their valuer to carry out a survey while they are at the property, at extra cost, which could save you paying for a separate valuation.

27 Ongoing home ownership costs Insurance There are four main types of insurance homeowners should consider: Buildings insurance This is essential and if you have a mortgage your lender will insist that you have it. It covers the full cost of rebuilding your home if it were to be destroyed by fire or some other incident. In the case of City West flats, we as the landlord arrange this insurance for the whole block and we will expect you to contribute towards the cost as a condition of your lease Contents insurance As well as buildings insurance, you should insure the contents of your home against theft and other risks Life assurance This is needed to pay off your mortgage if you die before the end of the mortgage period. It means that your family is not left with the heavy burden of your mortgage debt Mortgage payment protection insurance You need to think seriously about how you would meet your mortgage repayments if you lost your income, say through unemployment or illhealth. Mortgage payment protection insurance may give you the security that you need There are various insurance policies which offer cover against these risks. The terms, level of cover, and costs vary. You should therefore shop around for policies that best suit your needs. 27

28 Repairs and maintenance If you are buying a house you will be responsible for the costs of all repairs and maintenance, regardless of the condition of the property when you bought it If you are buying a flat on a long lease, you will have to pay service charges to City West for the costs of repair and maintenance work done to your building (see page 18) It is your responsibility to get advice on the condition of your home before you complete the purchase. It is therefore important that you have a survey done see Home Survey on page

29 What if I buy my home and then decide to sell it? If you sell within the first five years... Following a Right to Buy purchase, you can sell your home at any time you like. However, if you do so within the first five years then you will be required to pay back some of the discount you initially received. For more information see Repayment of Discount on page 30. Also, if you sell within the first 10 years... You must give social housing providers first refusal. This means that you must offer your home to City West or another social landlord in the local area at full market value. The market value must be agreed between you and the social landlord. If you cannot agree, it will be determined by the District Valuer (the cost of this will be paid by the social landlord). If your offer has not been accepted by the social landlord within eight weeks, you will then be free to sell the property on the open market. 29

30 Repayment of discount If you have bought your home at a discount under either the PRTB or the RTA, you can sell it whenever you like. However, if you wish to sell within the discount repayment period specified below you will usually have to repay some or all of your discount: If you sell your home Amount of discount to be repaid within 1 st year of purchase 100% 2 nd year of purchase 80% 3 rd year of purchase 60% 4 th year of purchase 40% 5 th year of purchase 20% after 5 th year of purchase No repayment required Important: The amount of discount to be repaid if you sell within five years of purchase will be a percentage of the resale value of the property (not the value when you bought it from us) disregarding the value of any improvements. For example: If your home was valued at 100,000 at the time you bought it from City West and you received a discount of 20,000 that means that your discount was 20%. If your home is valued at 150,000 when you wish to sell it, and you want to sell within the second year of purchase, you will have to repay 80% of the 20% discount you received based on the current value (20% of 150,000 = 30,000 and 80% of this = 24,000). 30

31 Transfers to a third party agreed before you buy If, in advance of your purchase or within the discount repayment period, you enter into an agreement to transfer your property to a third party, then this will trigger repayment of your discount. Discount repayment is triggered from the date that you enter into the agreement. So, for example, if you enter into such an agreement before you have bought the property or during the first year after buying, you will have to repay the full amount of discount you received. Exemptions from repayment of discount Certain sales or transfers may be exempt from the requirement to repay discount. City West can advise further on exemptions if required. 31

32 If you need advice on any aspect of buying your home, always contact the City West Home Ownership Team first. If you are approached by a person or company offering to help you buy your home, check out what s in it for them and talk to us before signing up to any deal: Private companies and individuals sometimes claim that the RTB scheme may be changed or ended. They may be trying to persuade you to do something that benefits them rather than you. You may be asked to pay money for things that would be free of charge with City West for example, RTB application forms are available free from City West or can be downloaded at 32 Some companies offer customers money up front in a deal which actually means the company ends up owning your home known as a Deferred Resale Agreement. This is good for the company because they can then charge a higher rent than the local authority/housing association could when it lets the property. It s not always good for you, because the money you get may not be enough to buy another home. Entering into this kind of deal may also mean that you will have to repay any discount you received from us Buying vs Renting: helping you compare Deciding whether to buy your home may be one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Do not rush into it. This following page is for your use. You can use it to look carefully at the costs, advantages and disadvantages of buying. If you need guidance, please contact City West.

33 Costs of buying One-off costs Legal fees Survey fees Valuation fees Land Registry Stamp Duty Other costs Future annual costs Mortgage repayments Council Tax Water charges Insurance Life assurance Internal upkeep External repairs/improvements Service charges (if your property is leasehold) Advantages of buying Costs if any of your alternative option (For example, the costs of renting) Advantages of your alternative Disadvantages of buying Disadvantages of your alternative 33

34 Our service standards What we ll do and when we ll do it When you request a sales enquiry pack, we will send one to you within 5 working days Within 5 working days of receiving your application, we will provide you with a receipt We will write to you within 4 weeks of receiving your application, either admitting or denying your application to buy your home Within 20 working days of writing to tell you that you can buy your home, we will make an appointment for someone to visit and value your home We will send you a letter confirming how much your home will cost: - Within 8 weeks of acknowledging your application if you are buying a freehold property (normally a house) - Within 12 weeks of acknowledging your application if you are buying a leasehold property (normally a flat or maisonette) 34

35 How we will monitor our standards and communicate performance to you Our service standards set out the level of service you should expect from City West and we monitor our performance against the standards in a range of ways including: Customer satisfaction surveys Mystery shopping exercises Customer inspections Audits of how we delivered services We publish our performance on our customer website every 3 months and throughout the year in various publications. We review the standards every 2 years in consultation with customers to ensure they continue to meet their needs and expectations. 35

36 Getting in touch numbers are charged at local call rates from both landline and mobile phones and can also be deducted from any inclusive free minutes you may have. This means it should cost you less to call us from a mobile. Large print, audio and braille formats can be requested by phone or Français Polski We are a group member RTBv4Jun15

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