Right to buy

If you decide home ownership is the right choice for you, the Governments "Right to Buy" could be for you.

Are you eligible for Right to Buy? 

The Government’s Right to Buy scheme helps eligible council and housing association tenants in England to buy their home with a discount of up to £77,000 (£102,700 in London).

If you were a secure tenant of Chester-le-Street District Council and transferred to Cestria Housing on 4th February 2008 you may be able to buy your home at a discounted rate through the preserved Right to Buy scheme. The following checklist can be used for guidance:

  • I was a tenant with Chester-le-Street District Council when it transferred to Cestria in 2008;
  • I became a tenant after 2005 and I have been a public sector tenant for at least 5 years either with Cestria or with another registered social landlord;
  • I do not have any County Court Judgements or notices of seeking possession filed against me and there are no anti-social behaviour orders against me or anyone else who lives in the property;
  • The property I want to buy has no restrictions and is not designated for occupation by elderly persons or persons who are physically disabled.

Check on the Government website to see if you're eligible. 

Right to aquire scheme

If you are not eligible for the preserved Right to Buy scheme, you may still buy your home at at a discounted rate through the "Right to Aquire" scheme. This scheme is not as generous with discounts as the Right to Buy scheme.

Being a Cestria tenant does not automatically give you the Right to Acquire your home. You must have been a public sector tenants for at least five years in order to qualify for the Right to Acquire.

Other eligibility criteria which may mean you can't buy your home under this scheme are things like:

  • if the property is not your only or main home;
  • if your property is not self- contained;
  • if you live in sheltered housing where services are provided;
  • if your home is one of a group of houses particularly suitable for elderly people and is let to a person aged 60 or over;
  • if your home is designed or adapted for people who are physically disabled;
  • if your home is provided as part of your job;
  • if you live in a property in certain rural parishes identified by the Government.

How to apply

If you would like to be considered to purchase your home under the Right to Buy scheme you can:

  • Download an application form from the Governments Right to Buy website;
  • Contact a member of the Cestria Right to Buy team on 0800 587 0001 who can help get you started;
  • E-mail your request to righttobuy@cestria.org and we will post a Right to Buy application pack out;
  • Pick up a Right to Buy form in person from the Cestria Hub or our main Bowes Offices at Lambton Park.

If you would like some help to complete the form you can request a member of the Right to Buy team to visit you in your home and they will assist you with any queries you might have.

Going forward with your purchase

Can I buy my bungalow?

We cannot sell any property that is designated for aged person’s use, or where it is our policy that it would normally be let to aged persons – this applies to most of our bungalows and all of our sheltered housing flats. Some bungalows were specifically built for families, but they are limited in number. If you are unsure contact us and we will advise you.

Can I buy the flat that I live in?

You can buy a flat that you live in if it is a single persons unit however you cannot buy a flat that you live in if it is part of a sheltered or communal block.

What are the stages?

  • Once you have sent in a claim form, we will acknowledge receipt of your application within five working days.
  • An assessment of your application will take place and we will let you know within four weeks whether you have the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire. If you have had numerous tenancies with other housing providers it may take slightly longer to arrive at a decision as we await confirmation of tenancy histories.
  • During these four weeks, a member of the Asset Management team will need to visit you at your property - they will ask for proof of ID and proof of address. If you do not allow the access within four weeks of making an application or do not provide proof of ID or address then your application will be denied and will not proceed.
  • If you do not have the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire we will advise you of the reason why and close your file.
  • If you do have the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire we will write to you to advise you that the next step is to have an independent valuation undertaken on the property. This will be arranged by the valuers with yourself for a suitable date and time.
  • Once we have received confirmation that you wish to proceed we will arrange for a layout plan to be drawn up and an EPC (Energy survey) to be carried out on the property before passing the file details across to our solicitors to deal with the closing stages of the sale.
  • Once we have received the valuation we will calculate any discount you may be entitled to and send out an offer notice to you detailing the price for which you can purchase the property.
  • If you are happy with the offer and you wish to take to proceed you will need to instruct a solicitor and secure a mortgage offer. We advise that you do that shortly after receiving your offer notice as it can take a number of weeks to secure a mortgage offer. You will need to forward details of your solicitor to us when you return the notice of intention form.
  • If you are not satisfied with the valuation of the property you can request a further valuation be undertaken of the property, this request needs to be made within 12 weeks of receiving your offer notice (Section 125). The re-valuation will be undertaken by the District Valuer and this valuation will be final whether it be lower or even higher than the original valuation.

Can I buy my house in joint names?

Any adult family member who has lived in the home for more than 12 months and has no other permanent address has the Right to buy the property jointly with the tenant. Family members who have not lived in the property cannot have their name included on the sale.

What are the discount rules?

Through the Right to Buy Scheme tenants may be entitled to a discount on the market value of their home. As a rule the longer you have been a tenant, the greater the discount you could get. This discount is subject to a maximum limit of 70% for a house, 70% for a flat or £77,000 whichever is lower.

The discount for the Right to Acquire is not as generous. If you are eligible for the Right to Acquire rather than the Right to Buy your discount will not be calculated as a percentage of the market value, but you will receive a flat rate discount of £9,000 in the North-East.

Does discount need to be paid back if I sell home?

If you are looking to sell your property within 5 years of buying it the following discount refunds would apply

1 year = The full discount you received must be repaid
2 years = 80%
3 years = 60%
4 years = 40%
5 years = 20%

If you are considering selling your property after 5 years or more of buying your home you do not have to pay any discount back.

I’m thinking about selling my home would I need to inform Cestria

Depending on who you purchased the property under if you bought your property from either Cestria or the Council within the last 5 years you will be required to offer the property back under the Right of First Refusal.

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