Right to Buy
Things to consider
When you think about buying your home, you should consider that there are costs and new bills that you will be liable to pay:
- Once you own your home you will be responsible for your own repairs and maintenance costs and, unless you are a cash buyer, will have a mortgage to pay. If you buy a flat you will also have to pay for service charges and your proportion of any major works completed on your block.
- As part of buying your home, you will need to pay for a solicitor and conveyancing fees.
- If you are currently in receipt of Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit you will no longer be able to claim this to pay your mortgage.
- If you buy a house, you will purchase the freehold of the property outright.
- If you buy a flat or a maisonette, you will purchase a long lease of up to 125 years.
- The block will still be owned by the Council and we will be responsible for the maintenance of the building, including any communal areas and facilities.
- You will be charged the appropriate service charges every year.
To qualify for the Right to Buy a secure tenant must have three years tenancy with Great Yarmouth Borough Council, or other qualifying landlords. Other qualifying landlords include:
- another council
- some housing associations
- the Forces
- other public bodies
Who does not qualify?
There are certain situations in which a tenant is unable to qualify for the Right to Buy, including:
- tenants with less than three years qualifying tenancy
- tenants of Sheltered Housing Schemes and Disabled Housing Developments
- where a property is particularly suited for elderly people
- tenants without a secure tenancy
- tenancies granted under homeless legislation
- tenants who do not occupy the property as their only or principal home
- tenants who have outstanding possession orders
How to apply
The forms used to make a Right to Buy application can be found on the official HM Government Right to Buy website.
Alternatively, you can get an information pack and form by contacting the Rent Income Team on 01493 846726.
Completed application forms must be sent to: Rent Income Team, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Greyfriars House, Greyfriars Way, Great Yarmouth NR30 2QE
What happens to applications?
Following receipt of your application form, we will send an acknowledgement by post. We will also arrange a time to visit you at your home as part of the verification process.
The Council needs to ensure that its properties are not bought by fraudulent means and that it is not involved in any financial transaction that could amount to its handling the proceeds of crime (money laundering). We will aim to detect fraud in accordance with the methods outlined by the National Fraud Initiative. Please refer to our for more information regarding preventing fraud and money laundering.
Usually within four weeks of receipt of an application form and all supporting evidence, a letter is sent confirming your Right to Buy or rejecting your application.
An offer letter confirming your details and the purchase price is sent within eight weeks of this if it is a house, or twelve weeks if it is a flat or maisonette.
The tenant then has three months to decide whether to accept the offer or not. If accepted, the sale will proceed to the final stage, known as 'conveyancing', and the purchase will be completed.
During the Right to Buy process
Your home will be valued at the time you apply, so the Council will not carry out improvements to your home that are likely to increase its value after we've received your Right to Buy application.
Therefore, as soon as your application is received, your home will be removed from any planned maintenance programmes. These programmes include window and door replacements, bathroom and kitchen upgrades, heating upgrades and rewiring.
What happens if I decide to sell my property?
Under legislation introduced in January 2005, all properties (freehold and leasehold) now sold under Right to Buy legislation contain a covenant which compels the owner, if the property is offered for sale within ten years of the original purchase, to offer the property back to the Council. This is known as Buy Back. You may also have to repay some of the Right to Buy discount you received when you sell your property.
After ten years have elapsed from the Right to Buy purchase, owners can either offer the property to the Council to purchase or they can sell it on the open market.