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1 A GUIDE to Preserved RIght to BUy and right to acquire This leaflet will provide you with the information you need to help you make the decision about buying your current property.

2 CONTENTS INTRODUCTION Page 2 PRESERVED RIGHT TO BUY Who can apply for the Preserved Right to Buy How do I apply? Price Payable Delay Notice Procedure Delay Notice Procedure for the Landlord Page 3 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 RIGHT TO ACQUIRE Who has the Right to Acquire? How do I apply? Price Payable Delay Notice Procedure Page 9 Page 11 Page 11 Page 12 POINTS TO CONSIDER Unpaid Rent and other outstanding payments Selling your property in the future Initial cost likely to be connected to your property Regular costs of home ownership Advice is free Page 13 Page 13 Page 14 Page 14 Page 14 GET IN CONTACT Back Page

3 INTRODUCTION Preserved Right to Buy (PRTB) and Right to Acquire (RTA) are Government schemes that allow some tenants to buy their home at a price lower than the full market value. This is because the length of time you have spent as a tenant entitles you to a discount. Owning your own home provides you with freedom and also allows you to move onto the property ladder. Buying your home is a big decision for you and your family. You must consider all your options, along with your financial situation before you decide whether it s right for you. This leaflet will provide you with the information you need to help you make the decision about buying your current property. It will also explain the steps you will need to take to complete the move from renting to owning your own home. After you ve read through this leaflet, if you still have some questions please call us on and we ll be happy to help. 2

4 Preserved Right To Buy Now might be a good time to think about buying your home. Under the Preserved Right to Buy Scheme you could be offered up to 70% discount on a house or flat (up to a maximum discount of 80,900 on the open market value of your home). However buying your home is a big decision so it s always advisable to get independent advice before deciding whether buying is right for you. WHO CAN APPLY FOR THE PRESERVED RIGHT TO BUY? You may have the PRTB if you are a tenant of Severn Vale Housing and the following conditions apply: You were previously a secure tenant of Tewkesbury Borough Council, and you became an assured tenant when ownership of your home was transferred to Severn Vale Housing on the 27th April 1998, and you have maintained a continuous tenancy with Severn Vale Housing since this time. You occupy your house as your only or principal home. Plus one of the below: You were living in your home at the date which it was transferred to Severn Vale Housing and you are the joint tenant of a tenancy with a person who satisfies the above You became the tenant of your house under divorce legislation in place of a person satisfying all of the above You are a family member of a previous sole tenant who satisfied the above in respect of your home who inherited the tenancy You are the former spouse or co-habitee of a deceased tenant who acquired the PRTB by succession. 3

5 WHO CAN APPLY FOR THE PRESERVED RIGHT TO BUY? You will not be eligible for PRTB if: Severn Vale Housing is not your landlord Your home is let in connection with your employment Your home is sheltered housing for the elderly, the physically disabled, the mentally ill or the mentally disabled. Special rules must be met in these cases. Sheltered housing normally means that the property is one of a group of such dwellings, that a warden service is provided, and that there is a common room nearby. Housing for the disabled means a property that is one of a group and has features that are substantially different from those of ordinary dwellings and with special facilities that are provided nearby. Your home is particularly suitable for occupation by elderly persons (it does not have to be part of a group), taking into account its location, size, design, heating system and other features, and was let to you for occupation by a person aged 60 or over, whether they were the tenant or not; and was first let (to you or someone else) before 1 January We have served you with a notice to demolish your home within two years. We may serve you with a notice that we intend to demolish your home within five years in which case you may make an application to exercise the PRTB but we are not obliged to complete A court order is made obliging you to vacate your home by a specific date or the terms of a suspended court order are breached You are or are about to be declared bankrupt or have an arrangement in place with your creditors You are the subject of an anti-social behaviour order and your tenancy is temporarily demoted to an assured shorthold tenancy. This list is not exhaustive and we will be able to tell you whether your property qualifies when responding to your application. You may share the PRTB with up to three members of your family if the property is their only or principal home and they have been living in the property for the last 12 months (proof of residency must be provided). 4

6 HOW DO I APPLY? 1. Complete the RTB1 form which can be obtained from Severn Vale Housing. 2. Severn Vale Housing will then confirm in writing whether you qualify for the PRTB within four weeks of receipt of your application (or eight weeks if any previous tenancies need to be validated with another landlord). 3. A valuer will contact you and arrange to visit your home to carry out an open market valuation. 4. Within a further eight weeks (if you live in a house) or 12 weeks (if you live in a flat) you will receive a Section 125 offer notice that sets out the sale terms. 5. If you wish to proceed you must advise us no later than 12 weeks from the date of the offer notice. Once accepted, Severn Vale Housing will only be responsible for emergency repairs. If you wish to withdraw your application at any stage, please inform us in writing. 5

7 PRICE PAYABLE Qualifying tenants are entitled to a discount on the open market value. The valuer will inform us of the open market value of your home. The price payable is the open market value of your home less the discount. Discounts for a house range from 35-70%, and 50-70% for a flat. However the discount can never be more than a maximum determined by the Secretary of State which is capped at 80,900 You might get a slightly lower discount if you have taken up the opportunity of Right to Buy / Preserved Right to Buy / Right to Acquire before on another home or if your landlord has recently spent some money on improving your home. If you are not happy with the open market valuation If you are not happy with the open market valuation you have the right to obtain an independent valuation from the district valuer. You must notify us no later than three months from the date of your offer notice and then you will have four weeks to put your case to the district valuer. The district valuer s valuation is final and will be the value used to calculate the purchase price, even if it s higher than the original valuation. Service charges If your home is a flat (or a house that benefits from communal facilities) you will still pay service charges after purchasing. You will pay a general service charge as a contribution to day-to-day expenses (lighting, grounds maintenance, cleaning etc). You may also be required to contribute to substantial major works and improvement costs (lift repairs, roofing etc) that will add to the value of your home. Your offer notice will contain details of these charges, and for certain service charges there are limits for the first five years of your ownership. 6

8 DELAY NOTICE PROCEDURE Severn Vale Housing must: Admit or deny your PRTB within four weeks of receipt of the RTB1 (or eight weeks if any previous tenancies need to be validated with another landlord) Send you an offer notice within eight weeks (if your home is a house) or 12 weeks (if your home is a flat) of admitting the PRTB Not delay unduly throughout the conveyance process. If Severn Vale Housing exceed these time limits, you can serve a notice of delay. THE FIRST NOTICE OF DELAY If we don t comply with the above notice procedures, you can complete a RTB6 form (your legal advisor will supply this) with the details of outstanding matters on our part and send it to us. If we respond within 28 days with a valid counter notice adequately explaining the reason for any outstanding matters, then the first notice of delay that you serve has no further effect. If we create further delay at a later point, you must complete a new RTB6 form. THE OPERATIVE NOTICE OF DELAY If we don t respond within 28 days, you can serve an operative notice of delay. You must complete a RTB8 form stating that we did not respond to your first notice of delay within 28 days. If we respond within 28 days with a valid counter notice adequately explaining the reason for any outstanding matters, then the first notice of delay and operative notice of delay have no further effect. If we create further delay at a later point, you must complete a new RTB6 form. If we do not respond to the operative notice of delay within 28 days, any rent that you pay from the date by which we should have served a counter notice until we serve a counter notice will be credited against the purchase price of your property under the PRTB. We will calculate credit due and account for this on completion of your purchase. 7

9 DELAY NOTICE PROCEDURE FOR THE LANDLORD ACCEPTANCE OF SALE TERMS You must respond to the offer notice confirming whether or not you wish to proceed with your application within 12 weeks of receiving it. If you don t respond within this time we will write to confirm you have a further 28 days, after which your application will be withdrawn and, should you wish to purchase your property in the future, you will need to reapply. FIRST NOTICE TO COMPLETE If you don t complete the purchase of your home within three months of receiving the offer notice, we will serve you a first notice to complete. You will have 56 continuous days from this first notice to complete the purchase. FINAL NOTICE TO COMPLETE If you don t respond with 56 days, you will be served with a final notice to complete. You will have a final 56 days to complete your purchase. If you don t complete your purchase within this final period, your application will be withdrawn and you will need to re-apply. POINTS TO CONSIDER Please read the Points to consider section at the end of this booklet, which includes for example the initial costs and the ongoing costs associated with buying your home. 8

10 RIGHT TO ACQUIRE WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO AcQUIRE? (RTA ) You may be eligible to purchase your home through RTA if you are an assured tenant of Severn Vale Housing and if: You have spent a total of three years as a secure tenant of a local authority, in armed forces accommodation, or as an assured tenant of a Registered Social Landlord, such as Severn Vale Housing You occupy the property as your only or principal home Your home is a self-contained property Your home was built or purchased by a Registered Social Landlord funded on or after 1 April 1997 through a social housing grant provided by the Housing Corporation, or a local authority, or transferred from a local authority to a Registered Social Landlord on or after 1 April 1997 or certain other public funding. You may share the RTA with up to three members of your family if the property is their only or principal home and they have been living in the property for the last 12 months (proof of residency must be provided). 9

11 WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO AcQUIRE? (RTA ) You will not be eligible for RTA if: Severn Vale Housing is not your landlord You have not spent a minimum of three years as a secure tenant of a local authority, in armed forces accommodation or as an assured tenant of a Registered Social Landlord Your property is in a rural area designated by the Secretary of State The property is not your main or principal home You were granted your tenancy in connection with your employment Your home is one of a group of similar dwellings let for occupation by persons who have special needs and require intensive housing assistance You are obliged to give up possession of the dwelling in pursuance of an order of the court or will be so obliged at a date specified You are declared bankrupt or are about to be declared bankrupt You have been served with a notice of intention to demolish your home. This list is not exhaustive and we will be able to tell you whether your property qualifies when responding to your application. 10

12 HOW DO I APPLY? 1. Complete the RTA1 form which can be obtained from Severn Vale Housing. 2. Severn Vale Housing will then confirm in writing whether you qualify for the RTA within four weeks of receipt of your application (or eight weeks if any previous tenancies need to be validated with another landlord). 3. A valuer will contact you and arrange to visit your home to carry out an open market valuation. 4. Within a further eight weeks (if you live in a house) or 12 weeks (if you live in a flat) you will receive a Section 125 offer notice that sets out the sale terms. 5. If you wish to proceed you must advise us no later than 12 weeks from the date of the offer notice. Once accepted, Severn Vale Housing will only be responsible for emergency repairs. If you wish to withdraw your application at any stage, please inform us in writing. PRICE PAYABLE Qualifying tenants are entitled to a discount on the open market value. The valuer will inform us of the open market value of your home. The price payable is the open market value of your home less the discount. If you have received a previous discount for a RTB/PRTB/RTA purchase, this will be deducted from the amount of discount you are entitled to for your current application. If you are not happy with the open market valuation If you are not happy with the open market valuation you have the right to obtain an independent valuation from the district valuer. You must notify us no later than three months from the date of your offer notice and then you will have four weeks to put your case to the district valuer. The district valuer s valuation is final and will be the value used to calculate the purchase price, even if it s higher than the original valuation. You will be entitled to a fixed amount of discount these amounts are published by the Government and are typically between 9,000 and 16,000 depending on the area you live in. 11

13 DELAY NOTICE PROCEDURE ACCEPTANCE OF SALE TERMS Following receipt of your offer notice, you must inform us of your intentions within 12 weeks of the date of the offer notice. If you do not respond within 12 weeks we will send you a reminder giving you a further 28 days to respond otherwise your application to purchase your home will be withdrawn and should you wish to purchase your property in the future you will need to reapply. If you respond within the 28 day reminder period then your application can continue to be processed. NOTICE TO COMPLETE If you don t complete the purchase of your home within 12 weeks from the date of the offer notice we will serve a first notice to complete on you. This requires you to complete within 56 days. Failure to complete within 56 days will result in a final notice being served on you, this requires you to complete within a further 56 days or your application will be withdrawn and you will need to re-apply. 12

14 POINTS TO CONSIDER UNPAID RENT AND OTHER OUTSTANDING PAYMENTS If you owe any money to Severn Vale Housing which has been due for four weeks or more we are not obliged to complete the sale to you. You must pay any outstanding money to Severn Vale Housing before you are able to purchase your home. SELLING YOUR PROPERTY IN THE FUTURE There are a number of points that you should consider when selling your property at a later date. If you sell your house within five years of your purchase you will be required to repay a proportion of the discount you have received (see below): SELLING YOUR PROPERTY Within the first year Within the second year Within the third year Within the fourth year Within the fifth year = = = = = AMOUNT TO BE REPAID The whole discount 80% of the discount 60% of the discount 40% of the discount 20% of the discount It s only after five years the property can be sold without repaying any discount. If you wish to sell your property within ten years of purchase, you are required to offer it either to Severn Vale Housing or to another social landlord in the area at the full market value. If the offer is not accepted within eight weeks you will be free to sell the property on the open market. 13

15 INITIAL COST LIKELY TO BE CONNECTED TO YOUR PROPERTY In addition to the purchase price of the property you will need to pay some or all of the following: Mortgage arrangement and valuation fees to your lender Legal fees, plus the cost of searches of the property Land registry registration fee Stamp duty in accordance with current legislation. REGULAR COSTS OF HOME OWNERSHIP Mortgage payments Building and contents insurance Utilities (gas, electric, water) Council tax Service charges Maintenance and repair costs. We strongly recommend you seek independent financial and legal advice. Please remember if you do not keep up with your mortgage payments you are at risk of losing your home. ADVICE IS FREE Severn Vale Housing has received reports of companies who contact customers offering to help submit applications, for a charge. However we wish to emphasise that you can apply directly to Severn Vale Housing at no cost to you. We will give you any help you need to complete the form, either over the phone or in person. 14

16 GET IN CONTACT Telephone: Alternatively you can visit the Government website which contains booklets and information which can be downloaded. Visit Severn Vale Housing Society Limited Shannon Way, Ashchurch, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire GL20 8ND Version: 7 Created: 07/12/10 Customer approved: 12/01/11 Updated: 06/04/18 t: e: w: Office hours: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 8.30am pm Wednesday 10.30am pm Friday 8.30am pm Follow us on Facebook: Follow us on If you would like this publication translated, in large print or audio format, contact A Registered Society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act Registered No: 28557R. Registered Office: as above. VAT Registration No The Homes and Communities Agency Registration No. L4171.

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