You must have been a public sector tenant for at least three years in order to qualify for the Right to Acquire.
Which properties can be bought?
The Right to Acquire applies only to properties built or purchased with public funds or transferred by a local authority after 31 March 1997.
Some properties are excluded from the Right to Acquire. For example homes provided specifically for the elderly, sheltered housing or homes in smaller rural areas (population of 3,000 or less).
The right to acquire does not arise if the net debt or the peak debt attributable to your home is equal to or greater than the purchase price plus the discount. This means that if the cost of the construction of your home, development works and acquisition costs of the land are the same or more than the valuation then the property cannot be purchased under this scheme.
If you live in a house you may buy the freehold. If you live in a flat you may be granted a lease for 125 years.
How much will it cost?
Your home will be valued at market value by FHG. The value of any improvements which you have made will be disregarded. If you disagree with the valuation you may appeal to the District Valuer, whose decision will be final.
You will be entitled to a discount on the market value of your home. The amount of discount you receive is a fixed amount based on your location. The fixed discount for Amber Valley is £9,000. The fixed discount for Daventry is £10,000.
If you have previously had a discount to help you buy a home, this may be deducted from your Right to Acquire discount.
Repayment of Discount
If you have bought your home under this scheme, you can sell it whenever you like. If you wish to sell within the first five years from purchase, then you will usually have to pay some or all of the discount.
The discount repayable is on a sliding scale over the five year period.
In addition to the amount of discount to be repaid, if you sell within five years of purchase, you may have to repay a percentage of the resale value of the property disregarding improvements.
At the time Mrs Wright purchased, her home was valued at £100,000. She received a discount of £10,000. Then, at the time of sale, the property is sold at a resale value of £120,000. At the time of the sale Mrs Wright is within the second year of purchase.
Calculation 1 (to determine the discount percentage):
Firstly we work out the discount percentage you received at the time of purchase (this percentage will be used in the resale calculation).
Discount ÷ valuation x 100% = Discount Percentage Received
In Our Example:
£10,000 ÷ £100,000 x 100% = 10%
Resale Calculation 2 (to determine the discount repayment):
Resale value x discount percentage received x repayment fraction = Discount repayment
In Our Example:
Mrs Wright sold her property at £120,000. Because she sold the property within the second year of purchase she will have to repay four fifths (80%) of the recalculated discount.
£120,000 x 10% x 4/5 = £9,600 (discount repayment)
Right of First Refusal
If you wish to resell or dispose of your home within 10 years from the date you purchased it, you will be required to offer it back to us at full market value. The market value must be agreed by both parties. If we are unable to agree the market value this will be determined by the District Valuer. If your offer has not been accepted within 8 weeks then you will be free to sell your home on the open market.
Expenses involved in buying
There are certain costs that you may need to pay on top of your purchase price. These are:
Stamp Duty Land Tax: If the purchase price is more than £125,000 the Stamp Duty Land Tax is between 1% and 12% of the purchase price, on a sliding scale.
Solicitors fees: The solicitors acting on your behalf will charge you a fee. This is not a set fee but one that will vary, so it is advisable to shop around.
Mortgage lender fees: Your mortgage lender will usually charge you an administration fee and a valuation fee.
Surveys: We recommend that you have a full building and asbestos survey before you decide to go ahead with the purchase.
Your mortgage lender will want you to take steps to safeguard your property purchase. This could include:
- Buildings insurance.
- Life insurance.
- Mortgage payment protection insurance.
- Contents insurance.
Your Responsibilities as a Home Owner
When you buy your own home all maintenance and repairs costs previously undertaken by your landlord will become your responsibility, for example:
- Routine repairs
- Major structural repairs
Once you have purchased your home you will not get housing benefit to help with your mortgage costs.
If you do not maintain your mortgage payments regularly you could lose your home.
If you buy the lease of a flat or maisonette Futures Housing Group will normally be responsible for carrying out external structural repairs and for the repair and maintenance of shared areas such as grounds, entrance halls and car parks. In most cases you will have to pay a service charge towards these costs. The service charge may also include a contribution towards the costs of:
- Improving the flat or the land where it is situated
- Providing caretaking
- Management fees
If I decide to buy, what do I do?
We will then let you know whether or not you qualify to buy. If you do, your home will be valued and you will be sent an offer stating the price and the discount available to you.
You are advised to have the property surveyed and you must arrange and pay for this yourself. You will also need to appoint a solicitor or conveyancer to act for you.
Should you have any queries or questions regarding Right to Acquire, please contact us.