Can I buy my home?

Purchasing your Home

As a tenant you may have the right to purchase your property from us through the Right to Buy (RTB) or Right to Acquire (RTA). You may also be able to purchase through the Voluntary Right to Buy (VRTB) Midlands Pilot.

It is always important to consider the implications of purchasing your property and additional responsibilities you will need to take on before you decide. These could include:

  • Repaying a mortgage and the costs associated with obtaining the lending. Failure to keep up to date with repayments on a mortgage could result in a lender taking repossession action. We advise you to seek independent financial advice before you commit to buying your home.You may also need to take out a Life Assurance policy alongside your mortgage to ensure it is paid off if you die before the end of the mortgage period.
  • You will be responsible for appointing your own solicitor and paying them any costs for the conveyancing work and searches.
  • You may be liable to pay stamp duty on your property purchase, we recommend you obtain your own independent advice on whether this is payable and how much it might be.
  • Taking out appropriate insurance. If you purchase a house, you will need to arrange buildings and contents insurance to ensure you are appropriately covered. If you purchase a flat or maisonette, we will provide the buildings insurance which you will pay through a service charge. You will however, be responsible for taking out insurance for your contents.
  • Flats & Maisonettes – you will purchase the long lease. We will still be responsible for maintaining the common parts, structure and exterior. Everything else, within your flat or maisonette will be your responsibility to maintain or repair.We will recover the costs for the maintenance of the common parts, structure and exterior of the building through a service charge and you will be responsible for paying your share. If there are major works carried out on the block, you will also be responsible for paying your apportionment of these costs. These can be several thousand pounds, you will be consulted prior to the work being carried out but you will not have the right to choose if the work is done. As the leaseholder, failure to pay these costs could result in the landlord taking legal action to forfeit the lease. This could result in you losing your home.
  • Houses – you will purchase the freehold title of the property. You will be responsible for all costs of repairs and maintenance. This includes external maintenance, roofs and structure as well as any land or gardens. If there is communal land around the property which is maintained by us, you may be responsible for paying a service charge for its upkeep.
  • If you sell your home within the first 5 years of purchasing through RTB/RTA, you will be liable to repay some of the discount back.

Please note this guidance is provided for information only and is not intended to be exhaustive. The Right to Buy and Right to Acquire are statutory schemes and this guidance may not be relied on as a statement of the law. You are advised to obtain your own independent legal advice if you are not clear on any aspect of the schemes.

Secure tenants

You may be entitled to the Right to Buy if you were granted a secure tenancy before 15th January 1989 and have maintained continuous tenancies since that time. This could be a continuous tenancy with us or with another housing association which went onto transfer your home to us.

Former local authority tenants

If you were a tenant of Birmingham City Council or Coventry City Council at the time your property was transferred to Opima or Whitefriars and have maintained a continuous tenancy or tenancies with us since then, you may have Preserved Right to Buy (PRTB).

Eligibility

  • You can apply if you have had a public-sector landlord for 3 years (housing association, councils, the armed services, NHS and foundation trusts).
  • The property is your only or principle home.
  • You are not bankrupt, have an IVA or debt order.
  • You cannot have any outstanding possession orders (including suspended possession orders), for either rent arrears or anti-social behaviour.

 

  • We cannot proceed if the property is due for demolition.
  • You do not live in a supported or other housing specifically for the elderly or disabled people.

 

Joint applications can be made, it can be with someone who shares your tenancy or up to 3 family members who have lived with you for the past 12 months (even if they don’t share your tenancy)

This is not an exhaustive list and further information on eligibility can be found on the government website at https://righttobuy.gov.uk/am-i-eligible/

Discount

The amount of discount will depend on how long you have held your tenancy for, whether you are purchasing a house or flat and the value of the property. The maximum discount available is £80,900. This will increase each year in April in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Houses – you will receive 35% discount if you have been a public-sector tenant for between 3 and 5 years. After 5 years, the discount goes up by 1% for every extra year you have been a public-sector tenant, up to a maximum of 70% or the amounts detailed above.

Flats – you will receive a 50% discount if you have been a public-sector tenant for between 3-5 years. After 5 years, the discount goes up by 2% for every extra year you have been a public-sector tenant, up to a maximum of 70% or the amounts detailed above.

We will compare the price after discount with what is known as the ‘cost floor’ for your home. This is the amount we have spent on purchasing, repairing or improving your home over recent years. The discount you will receive cannot reduce your purchase price below the amount we have spent.

Further information on the amount of discount you may be eligible for can be found on the government website: https://righttobuy.gov.uk/right-to-buy-calculator/

How to apply

You will need to obtain and complete an application form from the government website: https://righttobuy.gov.uk/apply/rtb-2014-form/

The completed application can then be returned to us by emailing the form to info@wmhousing.co.uk or sending it in the post to: Leasehold Services Team, WM Housing Group, 4040 Lakeside, Solihull Parkway, Birmingham, B37 7YN.

Should you wish to discuss this further you can contact the government appointed agent for independent advice. They can support you with completing your application and provide you with information on where to obtain financial and legal advice. They can be contacted on 0300 123 0913, emailing enquiry@righttobuyagent.org.uk, or visiting their website at https://righttobuy.gov.uk/

The Right to Acquire (RTA) allows most housing association tenants to purchase their property at a discount. The property must have been built or brought by the housing association after 31st March 1997 and funded through a social housing grant provided by Homes England or its predecessors, or a local council.

Eligibility

  • You can apply if you have had a public-sector landlord for 3 years (housing association, councils, the armed services, NHS and foundation trusts).
  • You have a secure or assured tenancy agreement (not shorthold).
  • The property must be your only or principle home.
  • You are not bankrupt, have an IVA or debt order.
  • You cannot have any outstanding possession orders (including suspended possession orders), for either rent arrears or anti-social behaviour.

 

  • The property has been built using funding from the Social Housing Grant.
  • We cannot proceed if the property is due for demolition.
  • You do not live in a sheltered or other housing specifically for the elderly or disabled people.
  • A property is not eligible if our borrowing linked to the property would not be covered by the funds we would receive from its sale.

 

Joint applicants can be made, it can be with someone who shares your tenancy or up to 3 family members who have lived with you for the past 12 months (even if they don’t share your tenancy).

This is not an exhaustive list and further information on eligibility can be found on the government website: www.gov.uk/right-to-acquire-buying-housing-association-home

Discount

You can get a discount of between £9,000 and £16,000 on the price of the property. The amount you will receive is set by the Government and depends on which local authority area you live in.

The amount of discount you will receive is shown on the table of discounts on the Government website: www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-acquire-discounts-by-location

How to apply

You will need to obtain and complete an application form from the Government website: www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-acquire-application-form-rta1

The completed application can then be returned to us by emailing the form to info@wmhousing.co.uk or sending it in the post to: Leasehold Services Team, WM Housing Group, 4040 Lakeside, Solihull Parkway, Birmingham, B37 7YN.

For further information on the RTA and the application process, you can visit www.gov.uk/right-to-acquire-buying-housing-association-home

Print this page