Getting Started with the Right to Buy
The very first thing that a tenant who wishes to apply for their right to buy should do is to ask their current landlord for a RTB1 form. This must be supplied by the landlord free of charge and if your landlord is not able to produce the form, it can be obtained from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Pay careful attention to the detailed information required on this form, as it is the contents of this RTBI form that allows the landlord to calculate whether you are eligible for the right to buy scheme and, if so, what level of discount you will be entitled to as a percentage of the value of the property.
The landlord will have to send you a RTB2 response form telling you whether you have the right to buy and to what percentage discount you are entitled. If you disagree with the response, you can appeal. Within twelve weeks of you submitting your RTB1 form, your landlord will give you a Section 125 Notice. As part of this notice, you will be told:
the description of the property
the amount you should pay for the property, which is the value of the property minus the discount
details of the amount of money the landlord anticipates you will have to pay in maintenance and service charges, over the next 5 years
information on any defects of which the landlord is aware concerning the property
any terms and conditions that should be attached to the sale of the property
If you do not agree with the valuations made by the landlord as part of the Section 125 Notice, you are able to apply to the district valuer, within 3 months of the notice being served. Remember, the district valuer's decision will be final and you will be bound by this, even if it is higher than the valuation on the Section 125 Notice.
The Next Steps
Having received your Section 125 Offer Notice, you will then have 12 weeks in which to inform your landlord of what you intend to do. Failure to notify your landlord of your desire to continue with the purchase may mean that you lose your right and have to begin the process again.
When you accept the Section 125 Offer Notice, you are NOT legally obliged to purchase the property, so even if you do not have a mortgage in place at this stage, it is worth returning the acceptance anyway, as Councils usually take a while to process the applications. Whilst they are preparing their legal documentation, you can sort out your mortgage through a specialist broker, who will guide you through the process thereon.
Firstly, you will have to send form RTB1 to your landlord
you will then receive a RTB2 response and a more detailed 125 Notice which will include the valuation
if you disagree with the valuation you are able to ask a district valuer for an independent assessment
finally, you have 12 weeks in which to notify your landlord of you intention to go ahead with the right to buy