What is the right to buy?
The right to buy was introduced by the Housing Act 1980 to give council tenants the legal right to buy their homes. The law relating to the right to buy is now set out in the Housing Act 1985 Part V which allows council tenants to buy their council home at a discount.
Who qualifies to exercise the right to buy?
Only a secure tenant may exercise the right to buy. To come within the definition of a secure tenancy:
the house or flat must be let as a separate dwelling
the tenant must be an individual who occupies the house or flat as his or her only or principal home and has been a council tenant for at least three years
the landlord must be a public sector landlord, such as a local authority
How is the procedure commenced?
The tenant initiates the procedure by serving an RTB1 notice on his or her landlord claiming to exercise the right to buy. The landlord must then respond within a prescribed time limit by a written notice either admitting the right or challenging it. When the right to buy has been established the landlord is required to serve a further notice on the tenant stating the price at which the tenant has the right to buy his or her house or flat.
What happens next?
Once all the relevant matters have been agreed or determined, the landlord is bound to convey the freehold in the case of a house or grant a lease in the case of a flat to the tenant. If the tenant fails to take all the steps necessary to complete the purchase, the landlord must serve a notice on him or her to complete within a period of not less than 56 days. Failure to do so will result in a deemed withdrawal of the tenant's notice claiming the right to buy.
Need a mortgage?
If so, you will need to instruct a firm of solicitors on your chosen lender's Conveyancing Panel.
Samuels & Co Solicitors are pleased to announce that we are on the Conveyancing Panels of the following Right to Buy mortgage lenders:
Barclays Bank UK PLC
HSBC UK Bank plc
National Westminster Bank plc
Nationwide Building Society
Santander UK plc
The Royal Bank of Scotland plc
TSB Bank plc
These notes are intended for general guidance only and individual advice should be sought as appropriate.
Contact Us for further details.