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RTB Application

Purchasing a property can be complex and time-consuming. However, evaluating property finance options at the earliest possible stage can simplify the process significantly.

Every council is legally obliged to process Right to Buy applications within a specific time frame. If they fail to do so, the tenant may be eligible for an even bigger discount on the price of the property.

If you are interested in purchasing a property through the Right to Buy scheme, the process takes place over six stages as outlined below:

  • Work out the costs and consider your budget
    Right off the bat, you need to consider whether or not you can genuinely afford to buy your home. Use our Right to Buy calculator to see what kind of discount you may be entitled to, before working out the total costs of buying your home. If in doubt, seek independent professional advice at the earliest possible stage.
  • Complete the application form
    The RTB1 application form can be completed online, or you can print a copy out, fill it in and hand it to your council. The completed form can be submitted electronically or through regular mail – always use recorded delivery if sending such documents by post. If for any reason your council is uncooperative, speak to a qualified Right to Buy adviser for more information.
  • Wait for the reply
    In most instances, councils are obligated to reply with a decision within four weeks. However, this is extended to eight weeks where tenants have lived in the landlord’s property for less than three years. In the event that your council fails to keep to their deadline, contact a qualified Right to Buy adviser for support.
  • Receive an offer
    An S125 offer notice will be sent to you within 8 weeks for a house or 12 weeks for a leasehold property. This offer includes details of the property value, the discount you are eligible for, the total price payable and additional terms and conditions. If you are dissatisfied with the specified value of the property, you have the right to appeal.
  • Organise your mortgage
    You should already have a good idea in mind as to how you intend to finance the property purchase. This is the time to finalise your mortgage arrangements, which may involve surveys, solicitors, financial advisers and so on. Contact UK Property Finance to discuss the most affordable mortgage options to suit your requirements and your budget.
  • Take ownership of your home
    When you are happy with the terms and conditions specified by your council and you’ve financed the purchase of the property, you can officially take ownership of your home. After which, you are free to do with it as you wish – renovate it, decorate it, extend it and so on. If you have any questions or concerns about the Right to Buy application process, contact a member of the team at UK Property Finance anytime,

Determining Discount Amount

The discount amount you may be eligible for your property will be determined by multiple factors, including but not limited to the following:

  • Previous discounts – If any of the tenants applying under the Right to Buy scheme have already purchased a discounted property under the same scheme or similar, this will reduce the discount amount. In the event that the previous discount was offered as part of a shared property purchase, a proportion of the discount will be taken away from the discount on the new property for each current applicant.
  • Cost floor rule – The ‘cost floor rule’ typically applies when a property has recently been built or purchased by a council, or significant money has been spent repairing or maintaining it.If the cost floor is the greater than the discount value, the discount could be reduced to zero. In which case, the tenant will be required to pay the normal market price for their property. The qualifying period during which the cost floor rule applies with council properties is the 10 years immediately prior to the RTB application being submitted, or 15 years for council properties acquired or built after April 2, 2012.
  • Repayment of Discount – It is important to note that if you purchase your property using a discount under the Right to Buy scheme, you will be liable to repay part or all of the discount if the property is sold within a given period after the RTB transaction is completed.  This timeframe can change but as a guide line if the property is sold within the 1st year following the purchase, all the discount will require repayment, if the property is sold between years 1 and 2 then 2/3 of the discount will require repayment, if sold within years 2 and 3 then 1/3 of the discount will require repayment and if sold after the 3rd year, no discount will require repayment.

For more information on the various factors than can affect the discount amount on your home, contact a member of the team at UK Property Finance anytime.

Right to Buy is an affordable housing scheme open exclusively to council property tenants (and some housing association tenants). Qualifying tenants upon meeting specified length-of-tenancy requirements are automatically given the right to purchase their home, with discounts available of up to £82,800, increasing to £110,500 for qualifying properties in London. Lower discounts of £24,000 and £8,000 are available in Northern Ireland and Wales respectively.
The UK government introduced the Right to Buy scheme to help public-sector tenants purchase their homes with potentially huge discounts from their actual market value. Right to Buy was introduced by the UK Government in 1980, though initial property discounts were relatively low - up to £16,000 maximum. Discount amounts were subsequently increased on an annual basis to reflect inflation and are now significantly more generous, opening the door to potential home ownership for more tenants than ever before.
It is already possible to qualify under the Right to Buy scheme to purchase a housing association property. However, there are specific terms and conditions governing the program. Tenants occupying ex-council houses who lived in the property at the time it was transferred to a new landlord have what’s known as ‘Preserved Right to Buy’. Otherwise, Right to Buy may qualify under a secondary ‘Right to Acquire’ scheme, for which discounts of £9,000 up to £16,000 are available. Contact your landlord or local housing association for more information.

There is an eligibility quiz on the official government Right to Buy portal. Check that out and answer a few simple questions to determine whether you may be eligible for an enormous discount on your home’s current market value.

Housing Association Tenants - Recent changes have affected eligibility for the Right to Buy scheme for occupants of housing association properties. Find out more and determine how much you could save by purchasing your home through Right to Buy.

UK Property Finance has extensive experience and expertise in all aspects of Right to Buy applications for council and housing association tenants alike.

If you purchase your property under the Right to Buy, you are perfectly entitled to let it out to tenants. However, you must inform your local council of your new address - i.e. where you will live while renting out your property.
Upon receipt of your application to purchase your property under the Right to Buy, your landlord is typically obliged to reply with a decision within four weeks. This is sometimes increased to eight weeks, depending on your length of residency in the property. A complete offer notification including the value of the property, the discount you are eligible for and the resulting purchase price for your home will be sent within no more than 8 weeks for a house, or 12 weeks for a leasehold property. If you choose to go ahead, it will then be your responsibility to organise a mortgage and the general administrative/legal side of the purchase process. From start to finish, it typically takes at least 3 to 6 months to purchase a property under Right to Buy, although it can be quicker.
Not necessarily, as many lenders accept the discount on the property’s value as the deposit. Depending on the lender, you may therefore not need to provide any deposit. Nevertheless, this is determined on a case by case basis. In some instances, your deposit obligations will be exactly the same as if you were purchasing a property through the normal channels. Right to Buy mortgage lenders in the UK require deposits of anything from 0% up to 20%, which must be paid before the mortgage completes. If you have concerns as to your ability to cover the necessary mortgage, contact a member of the team at UK Property Finance to discuss the alternative options.
The typical maximum discount available on a property in England is £82,800, increasing to £110,500 for qualifying properties in London. It is also possible to qualify for a discount under the Right to Buy scheme in Northern Ireland and Wales, where the maximum discounts available are £24,000 and £8,000 respectively. Anyone interested in purchasing a property outside England should consult with the relevant government website using the links below:
Possibly however the deposit you need to pay will be determined entirely by the size and nature of the mortgage you need to pay for your home. There are various different types of mortgages available, along with alternative secured lending options and general property finance packages. To discuss the available options and assess your suitability, contact a member of the team at UK Property Finance anytime.
Stamp duty is payable on all properties in the United Kingdom, including those purchased under the Right to Buy scheme. Stamp duty is only payable when purchasing a property with a value in excess of £125,000. Most property purchases are subject to the usual 3% stamp duty, which is payable at the time of the property purchase by the individual (or individuals) buying the home.
The maximum discount currently available under the Right to Buy scheme in England is £82,800, increasing to £110,500 for qualifying properties in London. Discount amounts are revised and updated every April, in line with inflation, For more information on any of the above issues or to discuss your eligibility for a Right to Buy discount in more detail, contact a member of the team at UK Property Finance today.
Right to Buy Mortgage Calculator

Last Updated: Apr 3, 2020 @ 2:37 pm
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