The Right to Buy scheme gives you the right to purchase your home at a discount.
The scheme is open to secure tenants of at least 3 years.
You cannot buy your home if:
- You live in sheltered housing
- Your home is not self-contained
- Your home has been specially adapted
- You work for us and your home is part of your conditions of service
- You have been ordered to give up possession of your home by a county court and have broken the conditions of that order
- You are an undischarged bankrupt, have a bankruptcy petition pending against you, or you have an arrangement with creditors (people you owe money to) and you still owe them money
How to calculate the discount
The percentage of discount you receive depends on the length of your tenancy.
The minimum discounts are 35% for a house and 50% for a flat (3 to 5 years inclusive).
The maximum discounts are 70% for a house (up to 40 years tenancy) and 70% for a flat (15-30 years tenancy).
As of 6 April 2018 the maximum discount available is £80,900.
Can I include anyone else in my application?
You may be able to buy your home jointly with members of your family who have lived with you for the past 12 months, or with someone who is a joint tenant with you.
What if I have purchased before?
If you have purchased under the Right to Buy scheme before, the amount of discount you got then will usually be deducted from your discount when you buy again.
What happens if I want to sell my house later?
You can sell your home whenever you like, but you may have to repay some or all of the discount within the first five years following completion of the sale. Any discount to be repaid will be based upon the resale value of your home minus the value improvements you have carried out following your purchase.
If you choose to sell your home within ten years of buying you will need to first offer the property back to South Tyneside Council who may choose to buy it from you at the full market value.
If, before the purchase or within the discount repayment period, you enter into an agreement to transfer your property to a third party in the future then this will start repayment of your discount from the point you enter into this agreement.
I have rent arrears. Can I still buy my home?
If the Council has obtained a court order for possession in respect of your arrears, your right to buy may be denied at any time prior to completion of the sale. If you have rent arrears you will not be allowed to complete the sale unless the arrears are cleared in full.
Once I apply to buy, can I still access the free repairs service?
Repairs only will be provided whilst your application is being processed. No improvements or replacements will be made. If you complete the sale then you will be responsible for any repairs needed to your home. If your application is withdrawn then you will be able to access the normal repairs service.
If I have carried out my own improvements, will these be included in the Right To Buy evaluation?
Provided you detail your improvements on your right to buy application these will not be included in our valuation.
What if my home is scheduled to be demolished?
If we plan to demolish your home, we may serve an initial demolition notice. This is valid for up to five years and will suspend the landlord's obligation to complete the sale in respect of any Right to Buy application made before the notice was served. It will also remove the need to complete any following application.
If we then serve a final demolition notice any existing Right to Buy applications are ended and no new applications can be made. A final demolition notice is valid for 2 years, and can be extended on application to the Secretary of State.
If you have made a valid claim to exercise the Right to Buy either before an initial or final demolition notice is served, you will have three months in which to claim compensation for expenditure connected with the process. E.g. Legal or survey fees. If we then decide not to demolish the property then a revocation notice must be served to you as soon as possible.
Can my Right To Buy be affected by Anti Social Behaviour?
Yes. If you, members of your household or visitors to your home are responsible for anti social behaviour then your Right to Buy may be denied or suspended in certain circumstances.
What does being a Leaseholder mean?
If you buy a flat or maisonette you buy a leasehold interest. This means you have the right to live in your home for a certain period without having to pay rent, except for a small ground rent. The period is set out in the lease. As a leaseholder you only buy the right to live in your own flat and so you also have to pay a share of the costs of the upkeep and repair of the building and the estate where your flat is situated.
The lease is the legal contract between you and South Tyneside Council and is a very important document. Once you and South Tyneside Council have signed the lease you both have to carry out your responsibilities as it sets them out.
Your lease describes the flat that you have bought and has a plan showing the flat plus any garden, garage or shed. It also shows the building containing the flat and the estate it is on. South Tyneside Homes is responsible for the upkeep, maintenance, repair and improvement of the building as a whole and the estate, and you are responsible for paying your share of these costs through your service charge.
Find out more about being a Leaseholder.