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Right to buy

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You may be able to buy your council home through the Right To Buy scheme, but first you have to find out if you are eligible.

You need to have been a Secure Tenant with a public sector landlord for three years before you can buy your home. You are a public sector tenant if you have lived in properties provided by a housing association, the armed services or a public body like an NHS trust.

If you are still an Introductory Tenant, you are not able to buy your home.

The property you intend to buy must be your main and only home.

If you have a joint tenancy, both parties must indicate if they wish to buy the property.

Other family members or co-habitants must have lived at the property for a year full time before the date of the application if they wish to join the Right To Buy application.

If you get housing benefit, you can still apply to buy your home but please be aware that this benefit will stop once you own your home.

When You Cannot Buy Your Home

There are some reasons that prevent you from buying your home which are found here.

Discounts

The right to buy scheme allows you to buy your home at a discount:

  • The minimum qualifying period is three years
  • The maximum discount allowed in Colchester is £77,900
  • If you have already received a discount under the Right to Buy scheme, this would be deducted from your new discount

Getting legal advice

Before deciding whether to buy, you should get legal advice, especially if you have any worries about taking such a big step. Click here to find a local solicitor. (Opens in a new window)  You should always find out how much a solicitor will cost before you employ them.

Mortgage Advice

We cannot offer you mortgage advice. However, you can click here for more information about the costs involved in buying your home. (Opens in a new window)

Before You Decide To Buy Your Home

Buying your own home is the biggest financial decision you will ever make. If you buy your home, you will be responsible for:

  • All the costs of maintaining your home
  • Any repairs, including major structural and routine repairs
  • Any improvements to the property

If you buy your home, it may affect any benefits you receive:

  • If you get Housing Benefit, this will stop once you own your home
  • You cannot get Housing Benefit to help pay your mortgage
  • You may be entitled to Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or Income-related Employment and Support Allowance to help with housing costs (mortgage interest), but this is not usually paid until three months after the date of your claim to benefit

We have produced a chart to help you make the decision [17kb]. (Opens in a new window)

Completing Your Purchase

If you are happy with our terms for buying your home and you have arranged to raise the money, you are ready to go ahead and buy. 

You need to tell us that you are ready and ask your solicitor for advice on the legal documents and making your payment. It may take a couple of months before you become the owner of your home.

What if you decide to sell after you have bought your home?

If you sell your home within 5 years, you will have to pay back between one fifth and the total amount of the discount.

If you want to sell within 10 years of the date you bought it, you will have to offer the property to Colchester Borough Council. The Council must be offered first refusal, however it is under no obligation to buy back your property. We will consider your request and notify you within 60 days.

How to apply

Check your eligibility for the Right To Buy scheme on the Communities and Local Government Right To Buy website by clicking here. (Opens in a new window) 

You will need to complete a form called an RTB1. Go to the Gov.uk link here and download a copy to complete and return to the address below. (Opens in a new window) 

Please read the accompanying documents about buying your home before proceeding with your enquiry. These can be found in the 'Useful Information' section below or in the Downloads section on the right hand side of this page.

If you have any questions regarding your Right To Buy application, Complete our online Right To Buy enquiry form here. (Opens in a new window) or email: RTB-leaseholders@cbhomes.org.uk.

Send your completed application to:

Office Support
Colchester Borough Homes

Rowan House
33 Sheepen Road
Colchester
CO3 3WG

What happens next?

Once you have sent in your form, we will send you a notice, called an RTB2, letting you know if you can buy home. We will send this to you within 4 weeks.

Once you have received this, you will then be sent what is called a Section 125 Notice. This will be sent out within 8 weeks of the RTB2 if your home is a house, or 12 weeks if your home is a flat. You need to write to us within 12 weeks of getting your Section 125 notice to let us know if you want to buy your home.

The Section 125 notice is very important as the details on this form could help you decide whether you want to go ahead and buy your home.

It includes:

  • A description of the property
  • The price
  • Any structural defects
  • Terms and conditions of sale

If your home is a flat, it will include an estimate of the service charges you will have to pay.

If you disagree with the value given to your home, you can appeal to the District Valuer by telling us within 12 weeks of receiving the Section 125 Notice and to request form HA5. You will need to complete this form and return it to us so that we can send this request to the District Valuer with the relevant forms.

Be aware that the District Valuer could value your home at a higher level than the S125 notice. This will be the amount you will have to pay.

Gov.uk website: Right to Buy: buying your council home - Gov.uk