Right to Buy service standards
What is the Right to Buy service?
The Right to Buy team helps tenants who want to buy their
We receive and assess applications from secure tenants who are
interested in buying their home. The law sets out the actions
and timescales our customers are entitled to. We assess
whether you are entitled to buy your home and whether the property
is eligible to be sold under the Right to Buy scheme.
Our Core Values
We have a set of core values that apply to all Your Homes
Newcastle services. These have been agreed with
customers, the YHN Board and staff. They are:
- Accountability – acting openly and taking
- Integrity – acting fairly and honestly
- Passion – working positively with
- Respect - treating everyone with care and
- Forward thinking – proactively seeking
improvements and solutions
These values are central to the way in which our services are
Why have service standards?
Core Values are about the way we behave and how we deliver
services. In addition to these values, we have developed a
set of service standards. These standards are set to ensure
that every tenant or possible service user is clear about the level
of service they can expect to receive from us. We review our
service standards at least every two years and we involve service
users in this process. We monitor our service standards and
report the results to YHN Performance Committee every three months
and in ‘Homes & People’, our newsletter for all tenants
and service users on a quarterly basis.
When offering our service we will treat everyone equally, no matter
what their race, disability, sex, age, sexuality, religious
beliefs, level of income or housing circumstances. The
service you receive will also be polite, confidential and
appropriate to any special need you may have.
Our Service Standards
- Where all information is available, we will send RTB2 notices
to at least 96% of customers within four weeks
- Following a RTB2 notice, we will send offer notices to at least
96% of customers:
- Within eight weeks from the date of the RTB2 if you are buying
a freehold property (normally a house or bungalow).
- Within twelve weeks from the date of the RTB2 if you are buying
a leasehold property (normally a flat or maisonette)
- We will respond to 100% of customers who have sent us an
initial notice of delay form within one calendar month
What else can you expect from the
Service standards provide an indication of how we are
performing. However, we also do more to help our customers,
- We will give you an information pack that explains the Right to
Buy process. Your pack will include your application form
RTB1, and we will give you advice about how to fill it in.
- Within four weeks of receiving your application form RTB1, we
will send you a notice, RTB2. This will tell you if you do
not have the right to buy.
- If you do not have the right to buy your home, we will tell you
why we have turned down your application. If your property is
set aside for elderly or disabled people, you may have the right to
appeal against this decision to the Residential Property Tribunal
Service. Details about how you can appeal are on the back of
- If you do have the right to buy, we will arrange a free
valuation to work out the value of your property.
- Within eight weeks from the date of the RTB2, if you are
buying a freehold property (normally a house); or
- within 12 weeks from the date of the RTB2 if you are buying
a leasehold property (normally a flat or maisonette)
- You must tell us if you want to go ahead and buy your
home. If we do not hear from you within 12 weeks from the
date of the offer notice, we will send you a reminder. You
will then have another 28 days to contact us. If you do not
contact us or return your acceptance, we will withdraw your
- If you are not happy with the price you have to pay for the
property you can appeal to the district valuer. We will
arrange this for you. To make an appeal you must write to us
within three months of receiving the offer notice. The price
the district valuer puts on a property will be the final
- Once you tell us that you want to buy your home you must return
your acceptance form. This must include the name and address
of your solicitor. Our legal services department will draw up
the legal document and send it to your solicitor. If you do
not tell us your solicitor’s name and address, we will send you the
- We will send you a warning notice 12 weeks after we have sent
you your offer notice. This will ask you to complete your
purchase within 56 days. If you do not complete your
purchase, we will send you a second 56 day notice. At the end
of this period, if you have not bought your home, we will withdraw
- You may decide you no longer want to buy your home. You
have the right to withdraw at any point, up to the sale being
completed. You must do this in writing.
- If we do not meet the timescales, you should ask us for the
form RTB6. This is an initial notice of delay form.
- We will respond within one calendar month after we receive your
initial notice of delay form.
- If you have sent us the form RTB 6 at the wrong time and we are
not holding up the sale, we will send you form RTB 7. This is
a notice which explains why the RTB 6 does not apply.
- If we do not reply to you within one calendar month you should
ask us for the form RTB 8. This is an operative notice of
delay where we have failed to meet timescales.
- If we have caused a delay, we will give you rent back from the
start of the delay until the end of the delay. We will take
the rent you have paid off the price of your home.
What is the charge for the service
Our Right to Buy service is free to eligible tenants who want to
buy their home.
The council value your home and this will be free of
charge. Either the council’s property services department or
one of their agents will carry out the valuation. Their
valuers carry personal identification with them. You should
always ask to see identification before allowing anyone into your
A lot of tenants have been contacted by companies offering
to help them buy their council homes. They may offer a
mortgage, legal services or an ‘all-in’ package that may include
improvements to your home after you buy.
Other companies do not represent the council or us. If a
person or company offers to help you buy your home, ask for
identification, check out what’s in it for them and talk to us
before signing up to any deal. You could be signing for
services that you can get for free from us.
What do you have to do
You can ask for an information pack from the right-to-buy team
by phone or email. You can also collect your pack from one of
our customer service centers.
You will need to fill in an RTB1 form to find out the valuation
and price of your home, and to get the process started.
Putting things right
We will always try to provide the best service that we
can. However, if you are not satisfied with our service,
please let us know and we will try and sort out your complaint
immediately If you are still not satisfied, please ask
for our compliments, complaints and comments leaflet which gives
you details about how to complain. A senior manager will
investigate your complaint and write to you within 10 working
Right to Buy Team
Your Homes Newcastle
Benton Park Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
Telephone 0191 278 7725
Visit the Right to buy section to
find out more
the Right to buy Service Service Standards