Right to Buy FAQ
Right to Buy FAQ
Can I buy with members of my family?
Yes. Any member of your family who is a joint tenant can buy with you. You can also share the Right to Buy with up to three other family members, as long as they have lived in the property for twelve months before you apply to buy.
Can other family members buy my home on my behalf?
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.
What will I be responsible for as a homeowner?
When you buy your home, you take on some ongoing costs and responsibilities that you might not have as a tenant. Costs such as mortgage payments and repairs and maintenance will be your responsibility. If you purchase a flat (leasehold property) you will be responsible for service charge costs, and a share of costs for repairs and maintenance at your block. It’s a good idea to work out your monthly outgoings and include all your bills and living costs, such as food, clothes etc, and factor in setting aside some money each month for maintenance and potential repairs.
How much is my home worth?
There are a number of property websites which can help you work out how much your home could be worth and you might find the Land Registry website useful. You can also talk to local estate agents or a Right to Buy adviser on 0300 123 0913.
Am I still entitled to repairs to my home?
Only emergency repairs will be provided whilst your application is being processed. No improvements or replacements will be made, including any repairs requested prior to submitting your application that are yet to be carried out. If you complete the sale then you will be responsible for any repairs needed to your home. If your application is withdrawn then you will be able to access the normal repairs service.
Do previous tenancies with other authorities and housing associations count towards my discount entitlement?
Yes. You can claim periods of time with other authorities, housing associations and the armed forces. You will need to contact your former landlords and get proof from them of the start and end date of these tenancies and give a copy of this to us.
Can I withdraw my application if I no longer wish to buy?
Yes. You can withdraw from the Right to Buy at any stage of the process, right up until the day of completion. If you wish to withdraw from the purchase you need to write to us or email us.
What happens if the sale is delayed?
Buying a home can be a long process and can take several months. Your landlord must process your Right to Buy application within certain timescales. If these timescales are not met, or delayed without reason, you could get a reduction in the sale price. Find out more about delay notices on www.righttobuy.gov.uk/apply/delays/
I currently have rent arrears - can I apply to buy my home?
Yes. You can still apply to buy your home if you have rent arrears, but your rent account must be clear on the day of completion. If your rent account is in arrears on the purchase day then your sale will not complete.
Will I lose my housing benefit if I buy my home?
If you buy your home you will not get housing benefit. Even if you are on income support you will not get any help towards the cost of mortgage repayments. If you have been receiving income support for 13 weeks you may qualify for help but only towards the interest on the mortgage.
What is the difference between freehold and leasehold?
The freeholder of a property owns it outright, including the land it’s built on. A leaseholder owns a property, but not the land it sits on.
Most flats and maisonettes are owned leasehold, so while you own your property in the building, you have no stake in the building it is in. This means that if you buy your flat we will sell you either a full 125 year lease or part of a 125 year lease. Newcastle City Council will still own your home and the land that you currently rent.
If you are a leaseholder we will charge you a yearly management fee and service charge, which may be thousands of pounds, as well as any routine repairs and major work.
Need more information?
If you have any further questions please contact us in the following ways:
0191 278 7725
Home Ownership Team, YHN House, Benton Park Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE7 7LX
Our office hours are Monday – Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm