The Right to Buy Scheme ( RTB ) was introduced in October 1980 and gives eligible secure tenants of Councils and some other landlords the opportunity to purchase their current home at a price lower than the full market value. To date, more than 10, 000 tenants in Hackney have purchased under the RTB scheme. Fridaysmove offer people looking to exercise their Right to Buy in Hackney, conveyancing services through it’s Hackney Conveyancing Team.
How to Apply to exercise your Right to Buy
- The Hackney Conveyancing Team will not submit your application or assist in it. You will need to obtain an RTB1 application form.
- Complete and return it to Hackney Council at Leasehold & Right to Buy Services, 298 Mare Street, Hackney, London, E8 1HE. The form is an important legal document so you are best advised to send it by recorded delivery and/or obtain a receipt from the Council.
- Hackney Council will assess your application and tell you if you have the Right to Buy on what is called an RTB2 Notice. In most cases this should happen within 4 weeks. Approximately 85% to 90% of all applicants in Hackney are granted the Right to Buy.
- Hackney Council will arrange to value your home and calculate the price you have to pay after discount. Hackney Council will take your length of tenancy into account, plus other factors, such as any improvements you’ve made to the property and the cost of possible future works. The valuation is made according to what property prices were like on the day that you applied for the Right to Buy.
- Your home will be surveyed in order to produce an Energy Performance Certificate. This indicates how energy-efficient your home is. The Housing Act 2004 requires the Council to do this so it is important that grant access for this.
- The price, plus all the terms and conditions and other relevant information should be sent to you in a Section 125 Notice (also known as an Offer Notice). This should be sent to you within 12 weeks of the RTB2 being issued (or 8 weeks if you are buying a Freehold house).
- The Section 125 will contain details of the likely cost of future service charges and improvement contributions that you will be expected to pay if you become a Leaseholder. Freeholders do not usually have to pay service charges unless their homes are on estates.
- If you feel the value of your home is too high, you have the right to appeal to the independent District Valuer (DV). You have to do this within three months of the Section 125 being issued to you. The District Valuer will carry out a new inspection of your home and make a decision on its value. This new value replaces the original value, whether it is higher, lower or the same. You will be sent the new value in a Section 128 Notice, which replaces the original Section 125 Offer Notice. Since September 2008 it is possible, in certain limited circumstances, for the District Valuer to subsequently review his/her decision.
- Upon sending you your Offer Notice we will invite you to meet with one of the Hackney Council Officers if needed so that they can explain the information it contains and tell you what being a Leaseholder or Freeholder will involve. You are not obliged to meet with the Council but our Hackney Conveyancing team recommend that it is in your best interests to do so. You have 12 weeks to respond to the Section 125 (or Section 128) Offer. If Hackney Council do not hear from you within that time then you will normally be given an extra period of 28 days. If you have still not responded after that time your application will be closed.
- Before deciding to buy it is a good idea to get your own independent survey carried out. This will tell you if there are any problems with the structure of your home. Your mortgage company can often arrange this for you, for a fee. They may call the survey a “Homebuyer’s Report”.
- You can then decide to accept the Offer, appeal against the price or withdraw from the Right to Buy process. If you decide to withdraw then you can re-apply at a later date, but be aware that the Right to Buy rules may change in the future. Whatever you decide to do, you need to tell the Council in writing.
- Once you have decided that you want to buy your home you will need to obtain a mortgage. It is best to ask a few banks, building societies or other lenders about the mortgages they can offer you. You can also get suggestions about a number of lenders from an Independent Financial Advisor. Our Hackney Conveyancing Team will not be able to you in obtaining a mortgage.
- You then need to appoint a conveyancing solicitor to help you with the final stages of the purchase. This is where our Hackney Conveyanicng Team step in. We would be delighted to conduct your Right to Buy conveyancing in Hackney. You will need to inform the council of your conveyancer’s details as Hackney Council will need to send the details of your Right to Buy application to their conveyancing solicitors.
- While the conveyancing is taking place a date will be arranged for completion. Should you instruct Fridays, our Hackney Conveyancing Team to explain the lease to you. It is important that you understand what your rights and obligations as a leaseholder will be before you sign it. You will need to understand your service charge obligations.
- On the day of completion you will stop being a tenant and become a Leaseholder or Freeholder. However, completion will be delayed if you still owe things such as rent or court costs, so our Hackney Conveyancing Team will check with your Neighbourhood Housing Office how much you will need to pay. If you have over-paid your rent when completion takes place then you will be refunded.