Right to Acquire

Right to Acquire graphicRight to Acquire allows housing association tenants to buy their current home at a discount. You can apply to buy your home if you have held an assured tenancy, in your own name, with us for three years or more. Discounts for this scheme are set by the Government and are between £9,000 and £16,000 depending on where you live.

For example, if you live in a three-bedroom house in Chelmsford valued at £350,000 and you qualify to receive the maximum discount of £13,500 you would pay £336,500 for your home.

You can visit the GOV.UK website to find out the discounts in your area. Your discount might be reduced if you’ve used Right to Acquire or Right to Buy before.

Your home is exempt from Right to Acquire if:

  • We do not own the freehold of your home and our lease on a flat is less than 50 years in term;
  • It is particularly suitable for elderly or disabled people, including those where support is provided;
  • It is being provided as temporary accommodation;
  • It is due to be demolished within 24 months;
  • It is within a ‘designated rural area’ by order of the Secretary of State;
  • Your home was not built, or purchased with public funds.

We strongly recommend that you read all the information available to you to help you decide whether you would like to buy your home. On the right-hand side of this page you can find some ‘useful documents’ that you should read. You may also find our frequently asked questions at the bottom of this page helpful.

The GOV.UK website contains lots of useful information about Right to Acquire.

As you are responsible for financing the purchase of your own home it is a good idea to seek advice from a financial advisor. For free, impartial, advice about money, please contact The Money Advice Service on 0800 138 7777.

If you would like more information about buying your home through the Right to Acquire scheme, please complete the form below and we will send you our pre-qualification pack. This pack includes an approximate market value of your home, to help you decide if this scheme is right for you.

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FAQs - Right to Acquire

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  1. Can I buy a different property to the one I live in?

    Under the Right to Acquire you can only purchase the home you currently live in, if it’s eligible. You will not be able to purchase another of our properties.

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  2. Can I buy my home with cash or do I have to have a mortgage?

    It’s up to you how you fund the purchase, whether by cash or mortgage. However, we will ask you to declare how you intend to fund the purchase. Large cash amounts are subject to money laundering regulations and both yours, and our, solicitors will carry out the relevant checks. We would strongly recommend that you seek professional financial advice before going ahead with the purchase.

    You would need to discuss any specific funding issues with your lender directly. For example, if you wanted to use your discount as a deposit for a mortgage or if you can borrow additional money to make improvements to your home.

    If you have rent arrears you can still apply to buy your home. However, you must make any outstanding payments before completion.

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  3. Can I buy the garage I rent from CHP?

    We do not sell individual garages so if you are paying a separate rent for a garage, you will not be able to buy this with your purchase of your home.

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  4. Can I share my Right to Acquire with anyone else?

    You can share the Right to Acquire with up to three family members who have lived with you for at least the past 12 months (even if they don’t share your tenancy). Qualifying family members include a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece.

    If you are sharing your Right to Acquire with a spouse, civil partner or partner they must be living with you, and if your partner is not your spouse or civil partner they must have been living with you for at least 12 months.

    Family members can give you the money to buy your home, but the purchase will be in your name (the tenant) only. Family members who are giving you the money, but do not live with you, will not be included in any of the Right to Acquire documentation. You will also need to be able to prove to your solicitor that the money has come to you legally.

    Please be cautious if someone you do not know contacts you regarding buying your home or offers you money to buy it. They may be trying to persuade you to do something that benefits them rather than you. If this happens we strongly recommend that you seek legal advice.

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  5. How much discount will I get?

    The discount is a fixed amount depending on the local authority area your home is in.  See the GOV.UK website for more information.

    Currently in 2018/19 the maximum discount available is as follows:

    Maximum discount for different districts
    Brentwood and Epping Forest £16,000
    Basildon, Chelmsford, Harlow and Uttlesford £13,500
    Castle Point, Colchester, Maldon and Rochford £11,000
    Braintree and Tendring £10,000
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  6. How much is my home worth?

    We value our homes every year, so we will give you an estimated price that you can use as a rough guide to help you decide if you can afford to buy. If you decide to go ahead with your Right to Acquire application (RTA1) and it is agreed by us, we will then arrange for your property to be valued by an independent valuation company.

    We will ask you what, if any, improvements you have made to your home and pass this information to the valuer who will assess the market value of your home as if the improvements have not taken place.

    We will then write to you with an offer notice stating the current full market value, less the discount you are entitled to, which will be the amount you will have to pay to buy your home.

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  7. Is there any charge for applying for the Right to Acquire?

    We will not charge you for applying for the Right to Acquire. However, you will incur some charges if you decide to go ahead with the purchase, such as solicitors’ fees, surveyors fees, a mortgage fee, stamp duty, and Land Registry fees.

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  8. We have a joint tenancy, but only one of us wants to buy. Will that be okay?

    Yes, provided the tenant not wanting to buy gives their consent on the application form (RTA1). However, we will still need to meet with them before we progress the application.

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  9. What is the difference between freehold and leasehold?

    If you live in a house your home is likely to be a freehold property. This means that you will buy your home and the land, which we will show you on a plan at the offer stage.

    If you live in a flat or maisonette you will be buying your home as a leasehold property, which will usually include any sheds or storage areas that are included in your tenancy. This means that if you buy your home, we will give you a full 125-year lease. We will still own the freehold of your home.

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  10. Why might you deny a Right to Acquire application?

    Your Right to Acquire may be denied if:

    • You have not been an assured tenant for three years;
    • A joint tenant hasn’t given their consent for the other tenant to buy without them;
    • We’re unable to verify your, or other applicant’s, identity;
    • The property isn’t your main home;
    • We do not hold enough interest in the property i.e. a lease for less than 50 years for a flat or less than 35 years for a house;
    • There’s a court order for possession of your home against you or someone at your home;
    • The court has suspended your Right to Acquire because of antisocial behaviour;
    • You are ‘un-discharged bankrupt’;
    • You are being declared bankrupt;
    • You have made a voluntary arrangement with creditors i.e. an individual or company voluntary arrangement;
    • We plan to demolish your home and you’ve been served a Demolition Order.
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