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.
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 three 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; or
- 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. The discount amount is currently capped at a maximum £80,900. Please note: if you buy your property, then sell it within five years, you must repay some of the discount to us.
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.
Leaseholders – 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.
Freeholders – 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
After you have applied online you must contact us to complete our ‘Right to Buy Additional Information Form’ which must be submitted at the same time as the Government’s RTB1 application form.
Alternatively, you can request an application pack directly from us.
Our home ownership team will explain the conditions of purchase and give advice on the whole procedure, from valuation to completion. The Council’s 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