Right to Buy
If you've held a tenancy with us for three years or more you can apply to buy your own home. You can find information about the process in the government's Right to Buy: summary booklet
You cannot buy the property if:
- you live in supported housing designed to be specially suitable for older people or those with long-term health conditions
- you live in a property that is particularly suitable for older people and was let to be lived in by someone aged 50 or more
- you work for us and your home is part of your conditions of service (this only applies in some cases)
- you are an introductory tenant
You can buy the property with anyone in your family who is a joint tenant. You can buy the property with up to three members of your family who are not joint tenants if the property is their main home. Anyone (except your husband or wife) who is buying the property must have lived with you for 12 months before you apply to buy.
The Right to Buy scheme gives you a discount on the market value of your home. The longer you have been a tenant, the more discount you get, up to a maximum limit that is increased in April every year. This limit is set by the Government.
When you make a Right to Buy application any outstanding repairs or further request for repairs to your home will be suspended. This is to ensure that the valuation remains consistent throughout the process of the right to buy. Only urgent repairs will be carried out.
Freehold or leasehold
Tenants of houses and bungalows can purchase their property freehold, whereas those in flats can purchase a 125-year lease. If you want to buy your flat or maisonette, you will be buying the leasehold from us. As a leaseholder you have to pay us a nominal rent (known as a ground rent). We will also make an annual service charge for:
- communal repairs
- communal maintenance
- cleaning of communal areas and the estate
- ground rent
- communal lighting charge
- management charge
We maintain an on-going relationship with leaseholders, looking after communal areas, structural repairs and improvements to flats.
Remember, if you decide to purchase your house or flat you will have to pay for the following fees:
- solicitors' fees
- land search fees
- Land Registry fees
- stamp duty
- conveyancing fees
- structural survey fee
- deal with all enquiries and applications within the time limits set by the Government
- reinvest the money raised from sales to benefit the residents of Dacorum
- charge and collect a service charge to leaseholders for regular maintenance work
- collect from each leaseholder a contribution towards improvements carried out in their block of flats
- give estimates for work to leaseholders
Before you buy
The decision to buy a home is probably the biggest financial decision you will ever make, and it is a decision that should not be taken lightly.
There are a number of important factors that you should consider before buying your own home. These include:
- affordability - unlike your rent, your mortgage repayment will not include buildings insurance and a free repairs service. If you buy your home you will have to pay for these things yourself.
- housing benefit entitlement - as an owner-occupier you will not receive any housing benefit to help with your mortgage costs. You may be entitled to Income Support to help with such cost. However, this is not usually payable for nine months after you first claim it.
- if you are elderly and own your own home, its value may be taken into account in assessing whether you are eligible for financial help with the cost of residential care.
- if you are buying a leasehold flat/maisonette, you will have to pay a service charge. Information in respect of these charges will be provided to you as part of your Right to Buy offer letter.
How to apply
- Fill in and sign the Right to Buy form (RTB1) (PDF 438KB), Right to Buy additional information form (PDF 542KB) and Right to Buy additional information form 2 (PDF 327KB).
- Return them to us via email (email@example.com), post to Right to Buy, The Forum, Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP1 1DN or bring them into our offices.
What happens next?
- We must say yes or no within four weeks of getting your application. If we say no, we must say why.
- If we agree to sell, we’ll send you an offer. We must do this within eight weeks of saying yes if you’re buying a freehold property, or 12 weeks if you’re buying a leasehold property.
If you think our valuation of your home is wrong then you can ask the district valuer to give an independent valuation. You must make your appeal within 12 weeks from the date of the notice. The district valuer's decision is final, whether it is higher or lower than our valuation.
If you want to buy the property you will need to confirm this in writing and ensure the letter is signed by all those taking part in the purchase.
You should get an independent survey from a surveyor or structural engineer. The survey your bank or building society gets will only be for the valuation, and may not tell you about structural faults in the property.
If you are happy about the terms of sale and have arranged to borrow the money, you can buy your home.
Selling your Right to Buy home
If you wish to sell your property within 10 years of buying it through the Right to Buy scheme, you must offer us the opportunity to buy the property back at full market value. Find out more on our Right to Buy - selling your home page.
For further details on our Right to Buy scheme, please view our enhanced housing options page.
If you need to get in touch with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01442 228388.