Right to Buy
Former Council tenants that have transferred over to EastendHomes from Tower Hamlets Council, as part of Housing Choice are normally able to buy their current home under the Right to Buy Scheme.
There are some exclusions to this: for example, a property that is a purpose built warden controlled buildings (over 50s) and Homeless family units.
Application forms are available from all EastendHomes offices or from our head office at Tayside House. A guide is also available at these offices.
Those EastendHomes tenants who do not qualify for the Right to Buy may be able to purchase their property under the Right to Acquire.
How to apply
Application forms are available from all EastendHomes offices and once completed, the form should be sent to:
31 Pepper Street
London E14 9RP
or hand delivered to one of our offices.
Once we have received your application this will be date stamped, as this is the date with which the valuation will be based on.
Having received your claim form, EastendHomes will send you a notice (form RTB2) telling you whether or not you have the Right to Buy. You should receive this within 4 weeks of EastendHomes receiving your application.
For an application to be valid at least a sole tenant, one joint tenant or both joint tenants with over 2 years tenancy have to apply. For new tenancies commencing on or after 18th January 2005, the period is 5 years, unless the tenant has previously and continuously held a public sector tenancy.
At any given time the maximum amount of applicants for any Right to Buy is 4 people. In the case of a non-recognised tenant you must provide three forms of proof that you have resided in the dwelling for 12 months prior to the application being made.
All the people included on the tenancy must sign the application form confirming whether they intend to purchase or not, acknowledging that they understand their rights.
Exceptions to the Right to Buy
Applications will be denied for the follow reasons:
- A sole tenant or both joint tenants have less than 2 years tenancy (5 yrs on or after 18.01.05).
- Tenant(s) who have a suspended possession order against them.
- An applicant who applies without either the sole tenant or joint tenants wishing to buy.
Are there any exceptions to having less than 2 years’ tenancy?
Yes, where a tenant has succeeded to a tenancy only under the first succession because the original tenant has died, they are entitled to receive that tenant’s discount. This means for example, that if the previous tenant had held the appropriate tenancies for 8 years then the successor would be entitled to have those years added to their discount.
Also a tenant who has mutually exchanged into the property will effectively take over the tenancy by way of assignment.
How much will it cost me to buy my home?
The maximum discount that EastendHomes can give depends on how long the tenancy has been held for, and the type of property. This amount will be taken off of the Valuation that EastendHomes will carry out on your property.
If you think that the valuation is too high you have the right to appeal, you would need to request a re-determination. This would be carried out by a District Valuer who is completely independent of EastendHomes.
Please be aware of other costs that you will have to pay when buying your home, these are as follows:
- Stamp Duty – properties that have a market value of £125,000, or more are subject to stamp duty. This is a tax calculated as a percentage of the purchase price; for the current rates of stamp duty see the HM Treasury website [link].
- Solicitors Fees – every property that is bought through the Right to Buy has to be done through a Solicitor. The cost of a Solicitor’s fees varies from Solicitor to Solicitor.
When I have bought the property, what other costs do I have to pay?
Many people are under the misconception that when they buy their home, there are no other costs to pay for.
As a home owner as well as being liable for general household costs, such as electricity and gas you are also liable for the following:
- Service Charges – Your share of the Landlord’s cost is known as a service charge. You must pay part of the cost of managing and maintaining the communal parts of your block and estate. EastendHomes will provide you with an estimated bill at the beginning of the financial year. Once EastendHomes accounts are finalised, we will then send you an actual bill for that financial year. If the actual bill is less than the estimated bill we have sent then we will credit your account or the following year’s bill with that amount. Buildings Insurance forms part of your service charge. If the costs of your actuals are higher than your estimated bill you are liable to pay the difference, or it will be added to the following year’s bill.
- Water Rates – On completion of your Right to Buy, until the end of that financial year this is paid through EastendHomes. The next financial year you will be billed directly from the water board.
- Major Works – Your share of the Landlord’s cost is known as Major Works. You must pay towards the block’s and estate’s need for repairs and maintenance, such as a new roof or new windows, and improvements. These costs can be in the several hundreds or thousands of pounds each year and as a leaseholder you are liable to pay a reasonable share of the costs for these works and services.
- Ground Rent – This is a nominal fee, normally of £10.00 rent which has to be paid every financial year.
- Council tax – You will be paying council tax at the moment as a tenant and as a homeowner you will continue to do so.
- Life Insurance – this is needed to pay off the mortgage in the event that you were to die before your mortgage has been fully paid. A lender may request that you take a policy out.
A leaseholders’ guide is available at your Local Housing Centre.
Thank you for taking the time to read this information. If you require any further assistance then please call 020 7517 0422 or 020 7517 0423 or you may visit your Local Housing Centre.
Surgeries are held monthly on your estate on a one-to-one basis, please visit our website or contact one of our offices for further information.
We are able to provide some translation assistance upon request.