Right to Buy

The Right to Buy scheme allows most council tenants to buy their home at a discount.

The Preserved Right to Buy scheme is available to some of our tenants who held secure tenancies on a home with Chelmsford Borough Council, which were then transferred to us on 11 March 2002.

Right to Buy graphicIf you have continuously remained our tenant since 11 March 2002, you may be eligible to exercise a Preserved Right to Buy. If you are eligible you will receive a discount off the market value, depending on your length of tenancy, up to a maximum of £80,900.

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 £80,900 you would pay £269,100 for your home.

If your tenancy with us started after 11 March 2002 you probably won’t qualify for the Right to Buy your home, but you may be eligible to buy it through the Right to Acquire scheme.

You can apply to buy your home under the Preserved Right to Buy if:

  • You were a secure tenant of Chelmsford Borough Council whose home was then transferred to us in 2002;
  • You have had a continuous assured tenancy with us since your home was transferred to us;
  • It’s your only or main home;

Your home is not eligible for Right to Buy 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.

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 links to useful information that you should read. You may also find our frequently asked questions at the bottom of this page helpful.

The government’s Right to Buy website contains lots of useful information, including a handy affordability calculator.

The government also has a Right to Buy Agent service, which offers free, impartial, advice and can help you through the process of buying your home. Right to Buy advisors are available from Monday - Friday 9am to 6pm. You can call them on 0300 123 0913 or chat with them online.

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, once you’ve read through all the information and got the relevant advice, you decide you would like to buy your home through the Right to Buy scheme, please contact us, using the form below, so we can help you with the application process.

Contact us

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FAQs - Right to Buy

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

    Under the Right to Buy you can only purchase the home you currently live in. 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 money laundering regulations and both your, 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 directly with your lender. 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 you?

    We 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 Buy with anyone else?

    You can share the Right to Buy 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 Buy 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 Buy 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?

    Discount is calculated based on the length of time you have been an assured or secure tenant based on a sliding scale up to a maximum of 70% of the purchase price or £80,900 – whichever is the highest. See GOV.UK for more information.

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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 Buy application (RTB1) 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 Buy?

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

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  8. I’m thinking about moving on a mutual exchange, will I be able to buy my new home?

    If you have a Preserved Right to Buy because you have been an assured (secure) tenant since before 11 March 2002 you will keep this right if you are moving to another home owned by us.

    If the tenant you are exchanging with does not have the Right to Buy, they will not gain this on exchange.

    If you are exchanging with a home that is not owned by us, you will lose your Right to Buy.

    The home you are moving to must be owned by us and must also be eligible for the Right to Buy.

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  9. 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 (RTB1). However, we will still need to meet with them before we progress the application.

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  10. 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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  11. Where can I get advice on buying my home?

    The government’s Right to Buy Agent service offers free and impartial advice on Right to Buy and, if you decide home ownership is the right choice for you, can help you through the process of buying your home, including providing information on finding a mortgage, appointing a solicitor, and arranging a survey.

    Right to Buy advisors are available from Monday - Friday, 9am to 6pm. You can phone them on 0300 123 0913 or chat online with them

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  12. Why might you deny my Right to Buy application?

    Your Right to Buy may be denied if:

    • You weren’t a continuous assured tenant with Chelmsford Borough Council before homes were transferred to us on 11th March 2002;
    • Someone other than the named tenant has applied;
    • 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 Buy 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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