A guide to Preserved Right to Buy and Right to Acquire

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1 A guide to Preserved Right to Buy and Right to Acquire Customer Approved Customer Approved

2 Who has the Preserved Right to Buy (PRTB) You may exercise the PRTB if you are a tenant of Severn Vale Housing Society and: n Were previously a secure tenant of Tewkesbury Borough Council and you became an assured tenant when ownership of your home was transferred to Severn Vale Housing Society (SVHS) and have spent a minimum total period of 2 years in social housing or armed forces accommodation (this increases to 5 years where your tenancy commenced on or after 18th January 2005) and: n Occupy your house as your only or principal home and: n Were living in your home at the date upon which it was transferred to SVHS, or: n Are the joint tenant of a tenancy with a person who satisfies all the above or: n Were assigned the tenancy by a member of your family who immediately before the assignment satisfied all of the above; or: n Became the tenant of your house under divorce legislation in place of a person satisfying all of the above; or: n Are a family member of a previous sole tenant who satisfied all of the above in respect of your home who inherited the tenancy; or: n Are the former spouse or co-habitee of a deceased tenant who acquired the PRTB by succession Please note a family member can join in the PRTB if they can prove they have resided in your home for at least 12 months before you apply. This 12-month period does not apply to spouses. You may NOT exercise the PRTB if: n We are not your landlord; or: n You have not spent a minimum total period of 2 years in social housing or armed forces accommodation (or 5 years where your tenancy commenced on or after 18th January 2005); or: n You do not occupy the property as your main or principal home: or: n Your home is let to you in connection with your employment; or: n Your home is designed and has features making it suitable for people who are physically disabled, or for occupation by people suffering from a mental disorder or who have special needs, or is particularly suitable for elderly residents and in each case is one of a group of such properties; or: n Your home was first let before 1st January 1990, has features particularly suitable for elderly persons (but not in a group) and in each case satisfies other requirements we will outline on request; or: n We have served you with a notice that we intend to demolish your home within 2 years (note: we may serve you with a notice that we intend to demolish your home within 5 years in which case you may make an application to exercise the PRTB but we are not obliged to complete); or: n A court order is made obliging you to vacate your home by a specific date or the terms of a suspended court order are breached; or: n You are or are about to be, declared bankrupt or you have an arrangement in place with your creditors; or: n You are the subject of an Anti-Social Behaviour Order and your tenancy is temporarily demoted to an assured shorthold tenancy How to Claim the PRTB: n We will supply you with form RTB1 on request n You must complete form RTB1 and return it to us n We will let you know in writing whether or not you qualify for the PRTB within 4 weeks of receipt of your application (or within 8 weeks if you have been a tenant of ours for less than 2 years) n If you qualify for the PRTB a valuer will contact you and arrange to visit your home to carry out an open market valuation n Within a further 8 weeks (if you live in a house) or 12 weeks (if you live in a flat) we will send you a written offer notice that sets out the sale terms 2

3 n If you wish to proceed on the terms set out in the offer notice, you must advise us no later than 12 weeks from the date of the offer notice. Once accepted, SVHS will only be responsible for emergency repairs n If you wish to withdraw your application at any stage, please inform us in writing Price Payable: n The valuer will tell us the open market value of your home n If you qualify for the PRTB you are entitled to a discount on the open market value n The price payable for your property is the open market value of your home less the discount. The minimum qualifying period for a discount is 2 years in local authority/armed forces accommodation (or 5 years where this period commenced on or after 18th January 2005). Discounts for a house range from 32% to 60% and for a flat range from 44% to 70%. However, discount entitlement can never be more than a maximum determined by the Secretary of State. This depends on the region in which your home is located. We will advise you of the maximum discount available in your area on request. The maximum in the Severn Vale area is 30,000. Previous discounts given under the PRTB/RTB/RTA also affect the amount to which you are entitled n If you are not happy with the open market valuation you have the right to obtain an independent valuation from the District Valuer. You must tell us no later than 3 months from the date of your offer notice and you then have 4 weeks to put your case to the District Valuer. The District Valuer s valuation is final and will be the value used to calculate the purchase price even if it is higher than the original valuation. We will let you know the final valuation n If your home is a flat (or a house that benefits from communal facilities) you will also pay service charges after purchasing. You will pay a general service charge as a contribution to day-to-day expenses (lighting, cleaning etc). You may also be required to contribute to substantial major works and improvement costs (lift repairs, roofing repairs etc) that will add to the value of your home. Your offer notice will contain details of service charges, and for certain service charges there are limits for the first 5 years of your ownership Delay Notice Procedure: We must: n Admit or deny your PRTB within 4 weeks of receipt of your form RTB1 (or 8 weeks if you have been a tenant of ours for less than 2 years) n Send you an offer notice within 8 weeks (if your home is a house) or 12 weeks (if your home is a flat) of admitting the PRTB n Not delay unduly throughout the conveyancing process If we exceed these time limits, you can serve a notice of delay upon us. The First Notice of Delay: n If we do not comply with the above notice procedures, you can complete form RTB6 (your legal advisor will supply this) with details of outstanding matters on our part and send it to us n If we respond within 28 days with a valid counter notice adequately explaining the reason for any outstanding matters, then the first notice of delay that you serve has no further effect. If we create further delay at a later point, you must complete a new form RTB6 The Operative Notice of Delay: n If we don t respond within 28 days, you can serve an Operative Notice of Delay n You must complete form RTB8 (your legal advisor will supply this) stating that we did not respond to your First Notice of Delay within 28 days n If we respond within 28 days with a valid counter notice adequately explaining the reason for outstanding matters, then the First Notice of Delay and Operative Notice of Delay have no further effect. If we create further delay at a later point, you must complete a new RTB6 3

4 n If we do not respond to the Operative Notice of Delay within 28 days, any rent that you pay from the date by which we should have served a counter notice until we serve a counter notice will be credited against the purchase price of your property under the PRTB. We will calculate credit due and account for this on completion of your purchase Delay Notice Procedure for the Landlord Acceptance of Sale Terms: n You must respond to the offer notice confirming whether or not you wish to proceed with your application within 12 weeks of receiving it n If you do not respond within 12 weeks we can write to you to advise that if you do not confirm within a further 28 days, your application will be withdrawn and should you wish to purchase your property in the future, you will need to reapply n If you advise us within 28 days that you wish to proceed, your application may continue First Notice to Complete: n If you do not complete the purchase of your home within 3 months of receiving the offer notice, we will serve you with a First Notice to Complete n You will have 56 continuous days from this First Notice to complete your purchase Final Notice to Complete: n If you do not complete your purchase within this 56 continuous day period, you will be served with a Final Notice to Complete n You will have a final 56 continuous day period to complete your purchase n If you do not complete your purchase within this final period, your application will be withdrawn and you will need to re-apply to exercise the PRTB Unpaid Rent and Other Sums Outstanding to Us: n If you owe any money to us which has been due for 4 weeks or more (e.g. rent arrears) we are not obliged to complete the sale to you. You must pay any such outstanding sums to us before you are able to purchase your home n You must therefore continue to pay your rent and any other sums until you complete your purchase Selling your Property in the Future: There are a number of points you should be aware of when selling your property at a later date: n If you sell within five years of your purchase, you will be required to repay a proportion of the discount you have received. Within the first year of purchase the whole of the discount will have to be repaid, four fifths must be repaid if sold in the second year, three fifths in the third year, two fifths in the fourth year and one fifth in the fifth year. It is only after five years the property can be sold without repaying any discount n If you wish to sell the property within 10 years of purchase, you are required to offer it to either Severn Vale Housing Society or another social landlord in the area at the full market value. If the offer is not accepted within 8 weeks you will be free to sell the property on the open market Initial Costs Likely to be Connected with your Purchase: In addition to the purchase price of the property you will need to pay some or all of the following: n Mortgage arrangement and valuation fees to your lender if you are taking out a mortgage n Legal fees, plus the cost of searches of the property (enquiries of the local authority, environmental search, drainage search, etc.). Most solicitors will provide a full estimate of all these amounts free of charge n Land Registry registration fee. The fee depends on the value of your property n Stamp Duty in accordance with current legislation 4

5 Regular Costs of Home Ownership which you must Consider: n Mortgage payments n Building and contents insurance n Utilities - gas, electric, water, telephone etc. n Council Tax n Service Charges (if applicable) n Any maintenance and repair costs towards your home PLEASE REMEMBER IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP WITH YOUR MORTGAGE PAYMENTS YOU ARE AT RISK OF LOSING YOUR HOME Who has the Right To Acquire (RTA) You may be eligible to purchase your home through RTA and you may exercise the RTA if: n You are an assured tenant of Severn Vale Housing Society and: n You have spent a minimum of two years as a secure tenant of a local authority, in armed forces accommodation, or as an assured tenant of a Registered Social Landlord (RSL), such as Severn Vale Housing Society, (this period increases to 5 years if your tenancy commenced on or after 18th January 2005); and: n You occupy the property as your only or principal home; and: n Your home is a self-contained property; and: n Your home was built or purchased by an RSL funded on or after 1st April 1997 through social housing grant provided by the Housing Corporation, or a local authority, or transferred from a local authority to an RSL on or after 1st April 1997 or certain other public funding You may share the RTA with up to three members of your family if: n The property is their only or principal home; and: n They have been living in the property for the last 12 months (proof of residency must be provided) You may not be eligible to exercise the RTA if: n You are not a tenant of Severn Vale Housing Society; n You have not spent a minimum of two years as a secure tenant of a local authority, in armed forces accommodation or as an assured tenant of an RSL, (5 years if your tenancy commenced on or after 18th January 2005); n Your property is in a rural area designated by the Secretary of State; n The property is not your main or principal home; n You were granted your tenancy in connection with your employment; n Your home is particularly suitable for the elderly, the physically disabled, the mentally ill or the mentally disabled, taking into account its location, size design, heating system and other features; n Your home was let to you or the previous tenant for occupation by a person aged 60 or over, whether they were the tenant or not and was first let (to you or someone else) before 1st January 1990; n You are obliged to give up possession of the dwelling in pursuance of an order of the Court or will be so obliged at a date specified; n You are declared bankrupt or are about to be declared bankrupt; n You have been served with a notice of intention to demolish your home 5

6 The Procedure for Claiming the RTA: n An application form (RTA1) will be supplied on request by first class post or alternatively you can collect one from our Shannon Way offices n Once you have completed the RTA1 form and returned it to us we will provide you with an RTA2 form which admits or denies your application (reasons for denial will be given) within 4 weeks of receipt of your application n Once your application has been admitted we will request our appointed Valuation Officer to contact you to arrange an appointment to assess the current market value of your home n We will provide you with an offer notice within 8 weeks (for a house) or 12 weeks (for a flat) from the date of your RTB2 form. This notice will set out the terms and conditions of the sale n You have 12 weeks from the date of the offer notice to advise us of your intentions n Please note that the application can be withdrawn in writing at any stage if you wish The Price you will have to Pay: n The appointed Valuation Officer will provide us with an open market value of your home, which will be confirmed within the offer notice n If you are eligible for the RTA then you will be entitled to a discount on the valuation of your home n You will be entitled to a fixed amount of discount - these are published by the government and depend on the area you live in n If you have received a previous discount for a RTA purchase this will be deducted from the amount of discount you are entitled to for your current application n If you do not agree with the open market value you must inform us within 12 weeks of the date of your offer (Section 125 Notice) in writing, stating your reasons for disagreeing and we will arrange for the District Valuer to redetermine the value. The District Valuer s valuation is the final decision, even if it has been determined at a higher price than the original valuation The Delay Notice for Severn Vale Housing Society: n Following receipt of your offer notice, you must inform us of your intentions within 12 weeks of the date of the offer notice n If you do not respond within 12 weeks we will send you a reminder giving you a further 28 days to respond otherwise your application to purchase your home will be withdrawn and you will need to reapply n If you respond within the 28 day reminder period then your application can continue to be processed Notice to Complete: n If you do not complete the purchase of your home within 12 weeks from the date of the offer notice we will serve a first notice to complete on you. This requires you to complete within 56 days n Failure to complete within the first 56 days will result in a final notice being served upon you, this requires you to complete within a further 56 days or your application will be withdrawn and you will need to re-apply Unpaid Rent and Other Sums Outstanding to Us: n If you owe any money to us which has been due for 4 weeks or more (e.g. rent arrears) we are not obliged to complete the sale to you. You must pay any such outstanding sums to us before you are able to purchase your home n You must therefore continue to pay your rent and any other sums until you complete your purchase 6

7 Selling your Property in the Future: There are a number of points you should be aware of when selling your property at a later date: n If you sell within five years of your purchase, you will be required to repay a proportion of the discount you have received. Within the first year of purchase the whole of the discount will have to be repaid, four fifths must be repaid if sold in the second year, three fifths in the third year, two fifths in the fourth year and one fifth in the fifth year. It is only after five years the property can be sold without repaying any discount n If you wish to sell the property within 10 years of purchase, you are required to offer it to either Severn Vale Housing Society or another social landlord in the area at the full market value. If the offer is not accepted within 8 weeks you will be free to sell the property on the open market Initial Costs likely to be incurred which you must Consider: n Legal fees - solicitors should provide you with a quote prior to you appointing them n Mortgage fees and valuation fee payable to your lender n Surveyor fees - this will vary depending on the type of survey you have carried out n Land Registry fees n Stamp Duty in accordance with current legislation Regular Costs of Home Ownership which you must Consider: n Mortgage payments n Building and contents insurance n Utilities - gas, electric, water, telephone etc. n Council Tax n Service Charges (if applicable) n Any maintenance and repair costs towards you home PLEASE REMEMBER IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP WITH YOUR MORTGAGE PAYMENTS YOU ARE AT RISK OF LOSING YOUR HOME RIGHT TO BUY and RIGHT TO ACQUIRE ADVICE is FREE Severn Vale Housing Society has received reports of companies who contact tenants offering them help to submit a Right to Buy or Right to Acquire application but make a charge for this service. We wish to emphasise that such applications can be made to Severn Vale Housing Society directly by the tenant at NO COST to them. Help will be given, if needed, to complete the form either over the telephone or in person. For further details of either scheme or for an application pack please contact us on: or Alternatively you can visit our website where there is a special section about purchasing your home through Preserved Right to Buy or Right to Acquire. 7

8 GUiDE is Gloucestershire s Health, Social Care and Disability information service. They hold a database of local and national support organisations. This is a free and confidential service. Opening times: 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday. You can access this service by contacting GUiDE as shown below: t: e: w: USEFUL CONTACTS Solicitors Regulation Authority t: w: Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors t: w: More Information available The information contained within this document is produced to satisfy the requirements of the Housing (Right to Buy) (Information to Secure tenants) (England) Order 2005 Financial Services Authority t: w: Further detailed information is contained in the following booklets: Your Right to Buy your Home and Thinking of buying a Council Flat? These booklets can be obtained through Severn Vale Housing Society at our Shannon Way offices or by contacting us on: The booklets are also available online at Document Control Version: 1 Created by: Maeve Tyler, Customer Services Date created: 7th December 2010 Review: 7th December 2011 Customer Approved: 12th January 2011 Last mailed out: July 2011 Severn Vale Housing Society Limited Shannon Way, Ashchurch, Tewkesbury Gloucestershire GL20 8ND t: f: e: w: Office Hours: Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5.00pm Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm Registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act, Register Number: 28557R. Registered Office: As above. Tenant Services Authority Registration No.: L4171.

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