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Right to Acquire

How to buy your housing association home

Right to Acquire criteria

  • The Right to Acquire scheme started in April 1997 so this scheme is only available for homes built or which received government funding after this time
  • You must have an assured tenancy
  • You must have been a public sector tenant for at least three years
  • Your home must not be about to be demolished. If you're not sure about this, please check with you Property Manager
  • You must not be an undischarged bankrupt, have a bankruptcy petition pending against you or have obtained a debt relief order
  • You must not have any outstanding possession orders against you
  • The discount available is between £9,000 and £16,000. The amount of discount you qualify for depends on the borough in which you live

If you'd like to find out more about eligibility for the Right to Acquire scheme you can visit the government website.

If after reading through the eligibility criteria you feel that you qualify, you can request an application pack by contacting us or calling 0300 456 9996.

Some basic checks will be made before we send the application pack, but all final decisions will be made after a full application has been made.

Right to Acquire - things to consider

  • Can you afford to buy? - Once you've bought your home, you'll be responsible for both the mortgage and the general upkeep and repair costs. We strongly advise you to get some financial advice either before applying or when your sales offer is issued. This advice will help you get a better idea of what your future costs are likely to be. We have a list of financial advisors who will be able to assist
  • Family and friends sharing the right to acquire - All applicants must have a legal interest in the property and be included on the mortgage and legal documents. At least one tenant must want to purchase the home - family members (occupants) are not able to buy it on their behalf
  • Savings - You'll be expected to pay for your own solicitor's fees and any changes your mortgage provider may charge you, i.e. the arrangement fee. Before you finally decide to buy you may want to have a full structural survey carried out on your home. This is a thorough examination of the property that will highlight issues that could present a problem in the future. This survey would be at your own cost
  • What if I've made improvements to my home? - Any improvement that you want to be taken into consideration must have been previously approved by L&Q. These improvements must have been paid for by you and we would need to see proof of this. Not all improvement are considered to add value to the home, eg redecoration or general maintenance
  • What if I decide to sell? - If you sell within the first five years, you'll need to pay a percentage of the discount you were originally given. If you sell in the first ten years, you'll need to give L&Q first refusal to buy it back at the current market value

How long does the application process take?

The Right to Acquire has strict time-scales that must be met by both L&Q and the tenant. These are as follows:

  • Application received - L&Q must respond within four weeks, or eight weeks if you have a previous tenancy with a different landlord
  • Sales offer being issues - L&Q have eight to twelve weeks to gather all the information needed to go into your sales offer. This will detail the property value, discount entitlement and any future cost that you may be responsible for
  • Sales offer response - You'll have twelve weeks to respond to L&Q to let us know if you want to proceed. This time should be used to read the sales offer thoroughly and get advice on whether this is financially viable for you. When you apply to L&Q you'll need to give us the name of your chosen solicitor
  • Receipt of the sales offer response - If accepted, L&Q will then order the conveyancing plans. As soon as these are received our solicitors will be instructed. You'll now have three months to organise your mortgage and complete the purchase

Please not that after submitting your application, only essential maintenance will be carried out on your property. Once you become the homeowner, you'll be fully responsible for all repairs and maintenance to your property (other than communal/external repairs if you live in a flat, but you will still need to pay a contribution for these maintenance costs).

If you are accepted for the Right to Acquire, L&Q will need to follow anti-money laundering laws. This means we'll need you to confirm how you'll be funding the purchase.

If you're using savings to pay for this, we'll need to see evidence showing where this money came from. Your purchase may be delayed if you don't give us information when requested, or if you do not respond satisfactorily to any questions that may be raised.

We may also need to use an identity verification agency to confirm your identity.

Useful documents

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L&Q's financial consultants
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