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Tenants of ex-council properties that have transferred to Registered Providers such as Helena Partnerships will still have the right to buy their home (known as the 'Preserved Right to Buy'). Tenants who moved into social rented properties after the stock transferred in 2002 or of other Registered Providers have the 'Right to Acquire'.
The main differences between the two are:
If you are a tenant who is interested in buying your home, you will need to have been a tenant for five years before you can apply to buy. Some tenants can't buy e.g. those who occupy homes particularly suitable for elderly people.
You will need to get a form from your landlord to apply to buy your home. The property will then be valued and the price notified to you. You will then have to arrange for a loan to buy the property - this is known as a mortgage. You will then need to get a solicitor to act for you to complete the legal details of buying.
There are costs associated with buying e.g.
Once you have bought your home you are the owner and will be responsible for any repairs to it. Instead of paying rent you will be paying mortgage payments.
Once you have bought your home, you can sell it at any time but you will have to repay part of the discount if you sell within five years of buying it.
If you resell within 10 years, you will first have to offer it back to your landlord, who can buy it back from you if they so wish.
For more information on the Right to Buy / Right to Acquire, contact your landlord.