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Adur Homes - Right to Buy (RTB)
Looking to buy your council house or flat?

Adur Homes logo (145)

Who has the Right to Buy?

  • You probably have the Right to Buy if you are a secure tenant and you have at least three years public sector tenancy.
  • The qualifying period as a public sector tenant may include your current or any previous relevant tenancies. Most commonly these will be tenancies with this, or another council or a housing association. Previous tenancies do not have to have been a secure tenancy.
  • You will be a tenant if your name appears on the tenancy agreement.
  • The agreement of any joint tenant who does not wish to apply must be obtained beforehand, and their tenancy will end when the property is bought.
  • Your spouse or civil partner can share in the Right to Buy as long as the property is their only or principal home.
  • Up to three members of your family may share the Right to Buy with you if the property is their only or principal home and they have lived with you throughout the 12 months prior to the application.

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Valuations and discounts

  • Properties are valued at the current market rate at the date of your application.
  • The council covers the cost of the valuation.
  • You will receive a discount on this value. The amount will depend on your qualifying period. This is the time you have spent, in total, as a public sector tenant or in accommodation provided by the armed forces.
  • If you live in a house:
    • You get a 35% discount if you've been a public sector tenant for three years.
    • The discount remains at 35% until you have five years public sector tenancy.
    • After then, the discount goes up 1% for each additional year up to a maximum of 70% or £82,800, whichever is the lower.
  • If you live in a flat:
    • You get a 50% discount if you've been a public sector for three years.
    • The discount remains at 50% until you have five years public sector tenancy.
    • After then, the discount goes up by 2% for each additional year, up to a maximum of 70% or £82,800, whichever is the lower.
  • The maximum discount that applies to applications made on or after 6th April 2019 is £82,800

Re-determination of the value

  • There is a right to appeal to the District Valuer if you do not agree with the council's valuation.
  • The District Valuer is entirely separate from the council.
  • You must advise the council within three months of receiving your offer notice if you wish the District Valuer to re-value the property.
  • The decision of the District Valuer is final and binding on both sides, although either side can ask the District Valuer to review the valuation if it considers he has made a significant error of fact.

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Right of First Refusal

If you bought your home under the Right to Buy and you want to sell it and it's less than 10 years since you bought it, there is a legal requirement for you to give the council the opportunity to buy it back.

Although the council has no obligation to buy-back your property, you must make us an offer and you should not agree a sale on the open market until you have had our response. If you sell your property without doing this, the new owner will not be able to register their ownership at the Land Registry.

You need to write to the Leasehold Team saying whether your property is a house, flat or maisonette, the number of bedrooms, type of heating system and any improvements or structural changes made since the purchase. Please include an address where we can write to you. If you have a market valuation of your property, please include this.

We aim to let you know our decision as soon as possible, but we have 8 weeks to respond once we've received your offer. If we decide not to take up the offer or if we do not reply within this period, you are then free to sell on the open market.

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Repayment of discount

If you bought your property under the Right to Buy and you sell it within 5 years, you will have to repay a portion of the discount as follows:

  • First year: 100%
  • Second year: 80%
  • Third year: 60%
  • Fourth year: 40%
  • Fifth year: 20%

The amount of the discount repayable also depends on the value of your property at the time you sell it. For example:

  • If your property was valued at £180,000 at the time you bought it and you received a discount of £82,800, that is a discount of 46%.
  • You then sold it after 4 years for £200,000.
  • 46% of £200,000 is £92,000.
  • As you are in the 4th year you will have to repay 40% of £92,000, which is £36,800.

You or your solicitor can contact the Leasehold Team to advise if selling your property would require the repayment of any discount, and to give you an estimate of the amount.

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Privacy Notice

All data submitted in terms of the Right to Buy will be processed in accordance with the the Privacy Notice for Housing.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does it cost anything to apply for the Right to Buy?

No. The council does not make any charge for the administration of the Right to Buy. The council will cover the cost of the valuation and its own legal costs.

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Am I committed to the Right to Buy once I have accepted the offer?

No. You may withdraw from the Right to Buy at any stage up to completion without incurring any penalties. This will also not affect any future application you may wish to make. You may be liable to pay any legal or other costs you have incurred up to the point you withdraw.

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How long will my application take?

We have to tell you if you are eligible for the Right to Buy within 4 weeks of receiving your application (or within 8 weeks if you have not been our tenant for the full qualifying period). We will send you a notice with our decision. If the notice advises that you are eligible, we have to issue your offer notice, which gives the purchase price and the terms and conditions of sale, within 8 weeks for a house and 12 weeks for a flat or maisonette.

Once the offer has been issued you have 12 weeks to tell us if you want to proceed. If we haven't heard from you, we will send you a reminder which gives you 28 days. If we don't hear from you by the end of that period, your application will be withdrawn.

Once you have accepted the offer you can take the time you reasonably need to get a mortgage and take legal advice etc. If the council thinks you are delaying, you may receive a warning notice which gives you 56 days to complete. If you haven't completed by the end of that period or told us you disagree with the terms of the sale, you will get a further 56 days. If you don't complete by the end of that period, your application will be ended.

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For further information

The government has set up a dedicated website about the Right to Buy. It also tells you how you can get free impartial advice from the Government's Right to Buy Agent service :

For further information about Right to Buy, or to download the Right to Buy application form (RTB1) see:

For copies of the booklet 'Your Right to Buy Your Home' see:

You can also contact the council's Right to Buy team (see contact details right).

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