Right to Buy Mortgages > Applying for the Right to Buy

Applying for the Right to Buy

Buying a home through the Right to Buy Scheme is not a particularly complex procedure, but like any property purchase can take a considerable amount of time to complete.

If you decide that you want to exercise your right to buy, the first thing you will need to do is ask your landlord for a Right to Buy application form (RTB1). This must be completed very carefully and sent back to your landlord.

Your landlord will use the information provided to assess whether you are eligible for the Right to Buy Scheme, and if so, what percentage discount you are entitled to. They must then send you a RTB2 form informing you of their decision within four weeks of receiving your application, or eight weeks if you’ve been a tenant of your current landlord for less than two years.

If your landlord decides that you do not have the right to buy, they must explain their decision to you. You may appeal against your landlord’s response, but only if your application has been turned down on the grounds that your home is suitable for the elderly.

Your Section 125 notice

If your right to buy application is accepted, your landlord will send you a Section 125 notice (your right to buy offer) within eight to twelve weeks, depending on whether you are buying a house with a freehold (you will own the building and the land it is built on) or a leasehold house, flat or maisonette.

The Section 125 notice will include:

  • the price you should pay for the property, according to your landlord, and how this has been worked out
  • the discount you are entitled to and how it has been calculated
  • a description of the property and any land included in the price
  • estimated maintenance and repair costs (service charges) for the first five years of ownership
  • details of any known problems/defects with the structure of the property

If you disagree with the valuations stated in the right to buy offer notice, you can apply for an independent assessment to be carried out by a district valuer. This must be done within 3 months of the notice being served.

The final steps

Once you have received your Section 125 offer notice, or you have your home valued by a district valuer, you will have 12 weeks to confirm to your landlord that wish to continue with your home purchase. You will then be able to proceed with the final stages of the home buying process, e.g. property survey, legal advice (conveyancing) and getting your mortgage in place.

If, however, you fail to notify your landlord of your intention to buy, you will run the risk of your application being dropped and may have to start the whole process again.

Alternatively, if you change your mind and decide that you do not want to buy your home, you can pull out of the sale and continue your tenancy agreement.

Right to Buy application tips

Before you ask your landlord for a Right to Buy application form, you should:

  • Find out roughly how much your mortgage repayments will be and whether you will be able to meet these regular payments over a long period. Remember, as a property owner you will no longer be entitled to housing benefit to help with your payments.
  • Take into account all of the additional costs involved, such as council tax, insurances, maintenance and repairs.
  • Check that you have enough money to put down a reasonable deposit on the property.

Once you complete your background research and start your Right to Buy application, you should:

  • Stick to the stated deadlines and make sure that you comply with all of the requirements, at every stage of the application process.
  • Ensure that you fill out all forms thoroughly and as accurately as possible as these will be used by your landlord to determine whether or not you have the Right to Buy.