The Right to Acquire can allow some customers to buy their home at a discount.
- Joint applications
- Who doesn’t qualify
- Initial enquiry
- The discount
- Application form
- Acknowledgement of Right to Acquire application
- Arranging a mortgage
- Valuation and offer notice
- Right to request a re-valuation
- Decision to acquire or not
- Completing the purchase
- Repairs and responsibilities
- Ongoing service charges
There are 4 requirements for having the Right to Acquire, which are as follows:
- You must have an Assured Tenancy
- You can apply to buy your housing association home if you’ve held a tenancy with a public sector landlord for 3 years*. These landlords include:
- housing associations
- the armed services
- NHS trusts and foundation trusts
* the 3 years within a public sector property doesn’t have to be consecutive (all together) as long as you confirm on your application form of the previous tenancies you held with other landlords (i.e. councils or housing associations).
A full list of landlord registered with the Homes & Communities Agency is on their website here: http://www.homesandcommunities.co.uk/
3. Your property must either have been:
- built or bought by a housing association after 1 April 1997 with grant funding
- transferred from a local council to a housing association after 1 April 1997
- The home you want to buy must also be:
- a self-contained property
- your only or main home
Please note you must have signed the tenancy agreement not just lived in the property with family members.
You can make a joint application with:
- someone who shares your current tenancy
- up to 3 family members who’ve lived with you for the past 12 months (even if they don’t share your tenancy)
Who doesn’t qualify
You can’t use Right to Acquire if:
- you’re being made bankrupt: https://www.gov.uk/bankruptcy/overview
- a court has ordered you to leave your home: https://www.gov.uk/council-housing-association-evictions/overview
- If you have a SECURE tenancy: https://www.gov.uk/right-to-buy-buying-your-council-home/overview
- you have ‘Preserved Right to Buy’: https://www.gov.uk/right-to-buy-buying-your-council-home
If you wish to enquire as to whether you are eligible you can do so by using the general enquiries form. The sales team who deal with all Right to Acquire enquiries will check to see if you as the tenant and your property fit the above criteria.
If you or your property doesn’t fit the criteria then you will receive a letter in the post confirming the reason why you or your property doesn’t fit the above criteria.
If you do fit the criteria then you will be sent an application form to complete. If you don’t have 3 years tenancy with Derwent Living but you have lived with a previous public sector landlord then we will write to them using the information you have provided on your application form to confirm that you were indeed a tenant of theirs and that you do have the Right to Acquire.
You can print an application off by following this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-acquire-application-form-rta1
If your account is currently in arrears we will not process your application form. You need to pay off any arrears prior to contacting us.
The discount is based on the location of your property and not the amount of years you have been within your tenancy. Most locations outside of London are set at £9,000 discount off the current open market value.
Once you have received the application form, you need to complete this and return to: Sales Team, Derwent Living, 1 Centro Place, Pride Park, Derby DE24 8RF
If you require assistance in completing the application form or have any questions regarding the Right to Acquire process, please contact the sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Acknowledgement of Right to Acquire application
Within 4 weeks of receiving your application form we will send you a letter and RTA2 form advising whether or not you have the Right to Acquire and what the discount will be. If you don’t have the Right to Acquire we will inform you of the reasons why on the RTA2 form.
Arranging a mortgage
If you need a mortgage, this is the time you should talk to a bank or building society.
Buying a home is the largest financial investment most people will ever make. You need to be sure that you will be able to afford your new home now and in the future.
Your earnings and any other outgoings will dictate how much you can borrow from a mortgage lender and therefore what you can afford to buy. Mortgage rates can vary and your monthly cost could rise and fall depending on interest rates.
Every month you will need to pay your mortgage, on-going costs (if applicable) such as an annual service charge and other bills such as water, gas, electricity, buildings insurance, contents insurance and council tax. Remember that your home could be repossessed if you do not keep up the repayments on your mortgage.
Government backed Money Advice Service: www.moneyadviceservice.co.uk
We aim to make access to the Right to Acquire as easy as possible for everyone. However, we must approve your mortgage as the rules state that your mortgage is from an approved lender.
Valuation and offer notice
If you do have the Right to Acquire we will arrange for your property to be valued. The valuer will contact you to arrange a convenient date and time to visit. Once we have received the valuation, we will write to you with an Offer Notice (RTA3) within 8 weeks if you are acquiring a house or 12 weeks for a flat or maisonette.
Your Offer Notice (RTA3) is an important document and includes:
- A description of the property you are acquiring
- The valuation of the property
- The discount you will receive off the market value
- How much you will have to pay
- Details of any cost floor (minimum purchase price)
- Estimates of the ongoing service charges or improvement costs (if your property is a flat or maisonette)
- Details of any structural defects (that Derwent is aware of)
- The terms and conditions of the sale
Right to request a re-valuation
If you are unhappy with the valuation you can apply for an independent valuation from the District Valuer. You must inform Derwent Living in writing, within 3 months of receiving your Offer Notice (RTA3) that you are requesting a re-determination of your valuation. Derwent Living will then notify the District Valuer and a further valuation will be carried out. An amended Offer Notice (RTA3) will be sent to you if the valuation is changed. You must inform Derwent Living whether you wish to go ahead with the purchase within 12 weeks of receiving the amended Offer Notice (RTA3).
Decision to acquire or not
Following the receipt of your Offer Notice (RTA3) and before deciding whether to acquire you should get an independent survey from a qualified surveyor and obtain independent legal advice. If you decide to proceed you must inform Derwent Living within 3 months of receiving your Offer Notice (RTA3), in writing (via post or email) with the name, address and telephone number of your solicitor.
If you decide not to go ahead with the purchase you must inform Derwent Living. If you don’t do this within 3 months then we will send you a reminder. If you don’t reply to this within 28 days your application will be cancelled.
Completing the purchase
When you advise Derwent Living that you wish to go ahead with the Right to Acquire of your home, our solicitor will prepare the legal documentation to be forwarded to your solicitor, who will contact you to arrange completion of the legal paperwork.
To avoid delays you must ensure that your rent account is clear of any outstanding debt prior to the completion date.
If Derwent Living does not hear from you or your solicitor they may send you a warning notice asking you to complete the purchase within the next 8 weeks. If the completion does not take place they may send you a further notice asking you to complete. If you do not reply your application will be cancelled.
If other aspects of your tenancy change, such as antisocial behaviour, demolition notices or bankruptcy, then Derwent Living will not complete your purchase.
Repairs and responsibilities
Following completion you will be responsible for all repairs, servicing, insurances etc. Derwent Living will have no further responsibilities therefore you need to take this into account when you decide to purchase your property.
Ongoing service charges
Any ongoing charges will be provided with the Section 125 Notice letter that you receive so you will know what you have to pay after completion.
If you are purchasing a house and it has ongoing annual service charges we will collect the charges from the completion date until the end of the financial year (either January to December or April to March) as part of your completion monies.
You will need to cancel your current Direct Debit and we will arrange for a new one to be signed for the new annual charge or you can make payment on 1 January or 1 April via our online payment system using your new tenancy reference number.
If you are purchasing a flat it will have ongoing monthly charges which we will collect from the completion date until the end of the following month. You will need to set up a Direct Debit to come out each month to pay for these charges.
Following completion, your Home Ownership Officer will write to you to introduce themselves and confirm what your ongoing charges are and how you can pay these in future.