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The stages in the Right to Buy

Step one: Applying to buy

Start by downloading the Right to Buy claim form.

Step two: Our response    

Once we have received your claim form, we must send you a notice (form RTB2) telling you whether or not you have the Right to Buy. You should get this within four weeks of the date we received your Right to Buy claim form (or within eight weeks if you have been a tenant with us for less than your qualifying period).

If we say that you don’t have the Right to Buy your home, we must explain why.

Step three: Our offer notice

If we agree to sell your home to you we will arrange for your home to be valued. We must then send you a separate offer notice (known as the Section 125 Notice), which tells you the price you have to pay and the terms of the sale. We must send this:

  • Within eight weeks of you receiving your RTB2 form if your home is a house and you are buying a freehold, or 
  • Within 12 weeks if your home is a flat or maisonette

The Section 125 Notice is an important document and you should read it very carefully. It will tell you five main things:

  • It will describe the property to which you have the Right to Buy
  • It will tell you the price we think you should pay for it. This will be how much your home was worth, minus your discount, at the date on which we received your application form
  • It will give estimates of the service charges or improvement costs you will have to pay during the first five years after you buy your home, if it is a flat or maisonette
  • It will describe any structural problems that we know about
  • It will contain our terms and conditions of the sale

Step four: Appealing to the District Valuer

When you get your Section 125 Notice, you may feel that we have set the full market value of your home too high. If so, you have a right to get an independent valuation from the District Valuer. Before doing so, you have to tell us, within three months of receiving the Section 125 Notice, that you want a ‘determination of value’ under Section 128 of the Housing Act 1985. You then have four weeks to apply to the District Valuer. He or she will need to inspect your home.

The District Valuer’s valuation will be the one that counts. Even if it sets a higher price on your home than we did, you will still have to accept it or withdraw your application to buy your home.

Step Five: Resolving other questions about the Section 125 Notice

If you have any questions about anything else in the Section 125 Notice, you should contact us.

Step six: Getting a survey

Before you finally decide to buy, you should get an independent survey from a qualified surveyor. When you apply for a mortgage, the bank or building society will also get a survey done. But this is only to find out how much your home is worth, so that they know how much to lend you. It may not uncover any structural problems in your home.

Step seven: Getting legal advice

Before deciding whether to buy, you should get legal advice, particularly if you are worried about anything to do with the sale. You should always ask how much the advice will cost before you ask a solicitor or licensed conveyancer to handle your case.

Step eight: Telling us what you want to do next

You will now have to decide if you want to buy your home for the price shown on the Section 125 Notice, or withdraw your application to buy and so continue paying rent.

When you have decided, you must tell us in writing. You must let us know your decision within 12 weeks of receiving your Section 125 Notice. If you have asked the District Valuer to value your home, you must tell us what you want to do within 12 weeks of getting that valuation.

If you don’t let us know in time what you intend to do, we will send you a reminder. If you don’t reply within 28 days, we will think you don’t want to buy, and we will stop dealing with your application.

Step nine: Enquiring about a mortgage

If you need a mortgage (loan), you should talk to a bank or building society at this point.

Step ten: Completing your purchase

If you are happy to buy your home on our terms, and you have arranged to raise the money, you are ready to go ahead and buy. You should tell us as soon as you are ready, and ask your solicitor what legal documents you need to sign and how to pay us. It may take a couple of months before you become the owner of your home.

You should let us know as soon as you are ready to buy. If we don’t hear from you for a long time, we may send you a warning notice. This will ask you to complete the purchase within eight weeks or write and tell us that you disagree with the terms of the sale. If you don’t do either of these, we may send you a second notice asking you to complete your purchase. If you still do nothing, we will stop your application.

We cannot send you the warning notice until at least three months after sending your Section 125 Notice.

If you would like to speak to someone about the Right to Buy please contact our Right to Buy Officer .

Finance and Leasehold team

Tel: 01522 873280

Email: financeandleaseholdteam@lincoln.gov.uk