Buy your council house (Right to Buy)
The Right to Buy is a government scheme which gives qualifying council tenants a chance to buy their homes.
Am I eligible?
If you are a tenant of Epping Forest District Council you will usually qualify for a discount from the full market valuation of your property if you have been a public sector tenant for at least 3 years.
The first step is to check that you meet these conditions:
- You have a secure or flexible (fixed-term) tenancy
- The house or flat you wish to purchase must be your only, or principal, home and it must be a self-contained property
You cannot purchase under the Right to Buy if any of the following exceptions apply:
- You live in sheltered housing or a home particularly suitable for occupation by older people
- You live in temporary housing on land due to be developed
- An ‘absolute possession order’ has been granted against your property (usually due to rent arrears or other breach of the tenancy conditions)
The amount of discount you can receive depends on the length of your tenancy and the type of property. From 6 April 2023 the maximum discount you can get is £96,000, unless your home is in London where the maximum discount is £127,940. If you buy your property, then sell it within 5 years, you must repay some of the discount to us.
Your discount may be reduced by the “cost floor rule”. This may apply if your home has recently been purchased or built by your landlord or they have spent money on repairing or maintaining it.
If the initial purchase, or building cost of the property by your landlord, or the works carried out on the property over the 10 year period is greater than the market value of your home, you will not receive any discount.
This period is 15 years if your home was built or acquired by your landlord after 2 April 2012.
Can you afford it?
Before you think about buying your property it is a good idea to think about the costs involved. There are other one-off costs besides paying for the value of your property, such as stamp duty, surveys and solicitors fees.
If you are buying a flat or maisonette you will become a leaseholder and you will be responsible for paying service charges, ground rent, repairs and maintenance fees. You must also consider major works. These are repairs and improvements that we make to your building that you may need to pay towards.
If you are buying a house, it is likely that you will become the freeholder. This means that you are responsible for paying all the repairs and maintenance work.
Applying for the Right to Buy
Buying a home can be a long process. The same applies when buying through the Right to Buy Scheme.
Once you have checked you are eligible and read the detailed guidance
You must contact us to complete our ‘Right to Buy Additional Information Form’ as well as the Government’s RTB1 application form. Do not apply online at GOV.UK, contact us for an application pack.
You can request an application pack directly from us by email or phone.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call 01992 564428
Our home ownership team will explain the conditions of purchase and give guidance on the whole procedure, from valuation to completion. This service is completely free of charge – you will not be charged an application or valuation fee, or for our legal costs.
More information on the right to buy process can be found under section 5 the tenants handbook.