Right to Buy
In order to qualify for the right to buy scheme, you will need to have been a public sector tenant for a minimum of five years.
Changes to the right to buy as of the 21st July 2014
The Government has recently announced changes to the legislation governing the maximum discount amounts allowable as part of the right to buy scheme. From the 21st July 2014, the maximum cash discount amount available to eligible tenants will be increased in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) on an annual basis.
For 2014/15, the maximum cash discount amount in London is being raised from £100,000 to £102,700.
If you have applied for the right to buy and have an application in progress, you should have received a letter from us informing you whether and how you are affected by the change in maximum cash discount amount. If you have not received a letter, please contact us as soon as possible on 020 525 7850.
Applicants affected are advised to seek independent legal and/or financial advice. You will have until the 11th August 2014 to inform us in writing whether you want to continue your application with the original discount. If you do not contact us, the new discount will apply automatically.
If you choose to proceed with the new discount and you have arranged a mortgage, you will need to speak to your lender to inform them. If you have appointed a solicitor to act for you, you will need to tell them too.
You will need to change your mortgage if you are now borrowing more than you need to. There is normally a fee to do this and your solicitor may also charge you an additional fee. If you have to find a new mortgage, it may be at a less favourable rate. Making such arrangements will also take some time.
The council won’t cover your expenses or give you more time to make these arrangements. If you are nearing completion and especially if you have been served a Landlord’s Notice to Complete, you may want to consider keeping your original discount to avoid these difficulties.
The Steps to owning your own home booklet gives you basic information about your right to buy, what you will need to think about if you want to take advantage of the scheme and any restrictions that may apply to either you or the property you live in.
You can download an application form from the Government's Right to Buy website. Please print the application form, as it must be signed and returned to:
Home Ownership Services,
153-159 Abbeyfield Road
Should you need to discuss your application in person it is advisable to make an appointment with a right to buy officer on 020 7525 7850.
Social homebuy is an alternative to right to buy and allows you to acquire your home on a shared ownership basis. This means you can buy some of the equity in the property but pay rent on the share that you do not own, allowing you to get closer to full ownership. You will also get a discount on the purchase price.
As with right to buy, you will still need to have been a council tenant for a minimum of two years if your tenancy started before January 18 2005 or five years if your first tenancy started after that date.