Right to Buy

The Government has announced plans to expand Right to Buy to all Housing Association tenants in a scheme called Voluntary Right to Buy (VRTB). At the moment VRTB has only been made available to tenants of five Housing Associations as the Government pilots the scheme.

Right to Buy is not currently available to our tenants except in the circumstances detailed below. We are awaiting further details and timescales, but more information can be found on our VRTB page.

Please see below for details of the current Right to Buy and Right to Acquire schemes.

Right to Buy

You probably have the Right to Buy if you are a Radian resident with a secure or fair rent tenancy agreement. Right to Buy also allows some Housing Association tenants to purchase their home if your home was owned by a council but they sold it to another landlord (e.g Radian) while you were living in it. This is called ‘Preserved Right to Buy’.

Some frequently asked questions about Right to Buy can be found below. For further information on the scheme and the discounts available, please visit the Right to Buy section on Gov.uk.

Alternatively you can contact the Right to Buy team on 0800 145 6663 or by email to rtbenquiries@radian.co.uk

 

Right to Buy gives eligible social tenants the opportunity to buy their home at a discount. You may be eligible to purchase under the ‘Preserved Right to Buy’ if your home was owned by a Council but was then sold to another Landlord (e.g. Radian) while you were living in it. The current maximum discount for Right to Buy is 70% or £78,600 (whichever is lower). The maximum cash discount (£78,600) will increase each April in line with inflation.

You may be eligible under Right to Buy if you have a secure tenancy, your property is your only or main home and is self-contained, and if you have been a public sector tenant for at least three years (including tenancies with councils, housing associations or NHS trusts) – it doesn’t have to be three years in a row, but you will need to evidence previous tenancies. You must also not be subject to any bankruptcy orders or have any outstanding possession orders.

If your home was owned by a Council and was then sold to Radian (or another housing association), whilst you were living in it, so you have a secure tenancy, you may be eligible under the Right to Buy. If you have an assured tenancy and have only had a Housing Association as your Landlord, you do not qualify under Right to Buy, but you may qualify under Right to Acquire. For more information, visit our Right to Buy page. The Government have announced plans to expand the Right to Buy to all Housing Associations but this is not yet in effect and we are awaiting further details.

You can purchase with someone who is named on your tenancy agreement, or with your spouse or civil partner. You can also join in up to three family members, but they must have been living at the property for twelve months prior to you making the application and will need to evidence that it is their main home.

The current maximum discount under Right to Buy is up to 70% or £78,600 (whichever is lower) outside of London. The discount is based on how long you have been a tenant, the type of property you are buying, and the value of your home. If you live in house, you will receive 35% for years 3-5 of your tenancy, and the discount will then increase by 1% each year up to the maximum of 70%. If you live in a flat, you will receive 50% for years 3-5 of your tenancy, and the discount will then increase by 2% each year up to the maximum of 70%.

As part of the Right to Buy application process, a qualified surveyor will come and value your property in order for your purchase price to be calculated. To gauge an idea of how much your property may be worth, you could look on www.rightmove.co.uk at similar properties or speak to some estate agents.

The first stage is for us to confirm if you might be eligible. You can email rtbenquiries@www.radian.co.uk with your property address, and we can investigate for you.

If it appears that you might be eligible we will send an application form out for you to complete and return. We will then gather some information to confirm your eligibility and then look to provide you with an offer that will detail your purchase price, any service charges you might need to pay, and other information to consider before you decide to buy.

Alternatively you can visit the Right to Buy Agency website for information about eligibility.

If you are looking to finance your purchase by using a mortgage, you will need to investigate and source this yourself. You can speak to an Independent Financial Advisor (see below for some suggestions). You can also speak to an advisor at the Right to Buy Agency for impartial advice – they can be contacted on 0300 123 0913 or their website which includes ‘getting a mortgage’. There are some companies that will offer to help you purchase your home under Right to Buy and will charge you a fee, we recommend that you investigate these companies thoroughly (as it may be that their offer is more beneficial for them than you).

A number of Independent Financial Advisers who have been recommended by our customers can be found below (please bear in mind that other financial advisers are available):

Imperial Financial
The Old Harbour Master’s House, 47 William Street, Southampton, Hampshire, SO14 5QH
Email: enquiries@imperialfinancial.co.uk
Tel: 023 8178 1545

Stephen J Douglas
9a Market Place, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 9LZ
Email: stephen.douglas@tiscali.co.uk
Tel: 01256 472722

The Mortgage Hut Limited
99 Leigh Road, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO50 9DR
Email: info@themortgagehut.net
Tel: 0800 084 3831

 

Other sources of advice:

Set up by the government, www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk provides free and impartial advice on saving money, budget planner, mortgage calculators and taking control of debt and much more.

Citizens advice provides free, confidential and impartial advice. As the Uk’s largest advice provider, the Citizens Advice service also delivers a range of money advice services. Go to www.citizensadvice.org.uk to find out more.

Step Change is a charity set up to support with debt problems and financial advice. Go to www.stepchange.org to find out more.

You will need to consider the costs of obtaining a mortgage and getting together a deposit. You will also need to consider solicitors fees, stamp duty, and the cost of any survey you may wish to have completed.

You also need to bear the ongoing costs of being a Home Owner in mind; you will need to pay for any repairs and maintenance to the property, any service charges that might be payable, your monthly mortgage costs, council tax, bills, paying for contents insurance and buildings insurance if it isn’t included in your service charges.

You can visit www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk to get free and impartial advice on saving money, budget planners, mortgage calculators and taking control of debt and much more.

You might find the Right to Buy Agency checklist useful in comparing costs as a homeowner and a tenant.

If you sell your home within the first five years after buying through Right to Buy or Right to Acquire, you will need to repay part or all of your discount. After five years, you can sell the property without repaying any of the discount. For more information on selling and repayment for Right to Buy, please visit Gov.uk’s advice on buying your council home. For information on the Right to Acquire please visit the Right to Acquire section on Gov.uk.

Right to Acquire

Right to Acquire allows some Housing Association tenants occupying eligible properties to buy their home. You can apply to buy if your property is your only or main home, is self contained and if you have been a public sector tenant for 3 years (either with a Housing Association, council, the armed services, NHS trusts and foundation trusts). Previous public sector tenancies can count towards the qualifying period and need not be continuous. If Radian acquired the property under a mortgage rescue arrangement and the previous owner is now the tenant, in these cases the tenant must have been a tenant in their current home for five complete years.

Your property must also have either been:

  • Built or bought by a Housing Association after the 31 March 1997 – and funded through a Social Housing Grant or
  • Transferred from a local council to a Housing Association after 31 March 1997

The discount for Right to Acquire is related to your property location, and is between £9,000 and £16,000.

Please see the Right to Buy FAQ section above for information about obtaining a mortgage, considering the costs of purchasing a property and useful links.

For further information on the scheme and the discounts available, please visit the Right to Acquire section on Gov.uk.

 

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