If you are a Council tenant, you may have the right to buy your home, whether it is a house or a flat.
Two of the main requirements are that:
- you are the legal secure tenant of the property; and
- you have been a tenant for at least two years, or for at least five years if you applied for the Right to Buy after 18th January 2005, of this council, another council or another 'Right to Buy' landlord
You Cannot Buy Your Home If:
- it is ‘sheltered’ housing for the elderly or disabled;
- it is a dwelling particularly suitable for the elderly and let to an elderly person;
- it is housing for the physically disabled that is purpose built or has been substantially adapted with communal facilities you can use; or
- you are an employee of the council and your home comes as part of your job
Can Someone Else Buy With Me?
Yes, anyone who is a joint tenant with you can buy with you. Other members of your family may also buy with you, however, they must have lived with you for the last 12 months and it is their only or principle home.
How Much Will I Have To Pay?
Your house will be valued at current open market value. If you have carried out any of your own improvements the value of these will be deducted.
You will then receive a discount on the market value and this discount depends on the length of time you have been a tenant of this or any other council or of another ‘Right To Buy’ landlord even if there are gaps between tenancies.
The discount is different for houses and flats or maisonettes. For houses, after 2 years of tenancy the discount is 32% with an additional 1% for each extra year up to a maximum of 60%. For flats the discount is 44% after 2 years of tenancy with an additional 2% for each extra year up to a maximum of 70% discount.
However, discount for all houses and flats is limited to £16,000.
Are there any other charges if I live in a flat?
If you are buying a flat you will buy the leasehold of the property. You do not own the land or the building but have bought the right to live in your home for a fixed period of time. There will be extra charges and you will have to pay an annual service charge which covers maintenance to the structure and exterior of the block you live in, and a contribution to the buildings insurance premium.
What costs are involved in buying my home?
When you buy a property you have to pay Land Registry fees, the solicitor’s fees, surveyor’s fees, mortgage arrangement fees, valuation fees and the mortgage itself.
What repairs will be carried out if I apply to buy my home?
After your apply to buy your home only certain repairs will be carried out until purchase. Improvement programmes such as the Carmarthenshire Home Standard and upvc window replacement will not be carried out on your home.
Can I later sell the property?
You can sell whenever you like. However, if you applied for the Right to Buy before 18th January 2005 you will have to pay back a percentage of the discount you received if you sell within 3 years of buying. If you applied for the Right to Buy on or after 18th January 2005 you will have to pay back a percentage of the discount received if you sell within 5 years of buying.
How Do I Apply?
Contact your local area housing office or contact the Home Ownership Officer on 01554 742196 and ask for the application form ‘Notice Claiming The Right To Buy’ RTB1, complete it carefully, make a copy for yourself and return it to the area housing office in Llanelli.
The Council will investigate whether you have the right to buy and reply to you within 4 week, or within 8 weeks if you have not been a tenant of this landlord for 2 years.
The property will then be inspected to assess what is included in the sale and assess its value.
You will then be notified (you will receive a Section 125 Notice) of the price you have to pay, including any discount and of any terms and conditions attached to the sale e.g. service charge if leased.
Following this you should arrange for a solicitor to oversee the sale and a surveyor to survey your home to advise you on its structural condition and value. You will also need to arrange a mortgage. Remember that you will probably need to provide some of the money yourself as a deposit.
Completing the sale
When everything has been arranged and you are happy to go ahead with the purchase, notify your solicitor and the Council. Your solicitor will then arrange for you to complete the legal documents and make payment for your purchase. The completion of this can take some weeks.
Following purchase of your home you will be responsible for:
- all maintenance and upkeep of your home
- paying your mortgage; and
- arranging buildings insurance to ensure the full value of your home is protected against fire, flood or other accidents.