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VRTB Midlands Pilot

Customer Guide

Information for Customers

 To support their goal of helping as many people as possible to own their own homes, the Government are trialling the extension of the Right to Buy scheme to housing association tenants. Currently, only Local Authority (Council) or ex. Local Authority Tenants have the right to buy their properties.

This trial is taking place across the Midlands area, and Trent & Dove (T&D) is one of several Housing Associations who are helping the government to test or ‘pilot’ this idea.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When will the VRTB Pilot start?

    The pilot will begin on 17 August 2018 and last until Spring 2020.

  • Am I eligible for VRTB?

    You could be eligible for a discount under the Voluntary Right to Buy scheme if:

    • You are over the age of 18;
    • You are a UK citizen or have the legal right to live in the UK;
    • You have been a public sector tenant (usually of a council or a housing association) for at least 3 years;
    • You are not eligible for the Preserved Right to Buy scheme (if your home was owned by East Staffs Borough Council and was sold to T&D while you were living in it);
    • The property is your only home at the point of sale;
    • You do not have any current or former rent arrears;
    • Your home is not due to be demolished or disposed of;
    • You don’t have any outstanding possession orders;
    • You are not subject to bankruptcy proceedings;
    • You are not subject to an anti-social behaviour order or notice of intent to seek possession for breach of tenancy conditions;
    • You don’t live in a property contained in a wellbeing, older persons scheme or other supported housing, or that is let under the following tenancies:
      • Starter / Probationary
      • Assured Shorthold Periodic.

    Full eligibility is set out on the Government website https://midlands.righttobuy.gov.uk  

    Please note, we will check your details against all of the above criteria to make sure you are eligible

  • Is my home eligible for VRTB?

    T&D has a policy which excludes certain property types from the pilot and we are unable to sell them. These properties include:

    • Bungalows, for which there is high social housing demand and need, particularly by older or disabled customers;
    • Properties that have been specially adapted for disabled use or for use by customers with special or complex needs;
    • Properties built or acquired subject to restrictions on our ability to sell the property at a later date;
    • Homes where T&D has invested more than the open market valuation of the property;
    • Rural properties where is it is difficult to replace them;
    • Properties that have been identified in future disposal or demolition plans.
  • What happens if my property is not eligible for VRTB?

    If your property is not eligible to purchase under VRTB, we may still be able to work with you to identify another property which does qualify. This could be with T&D or another landlord in the Midlands. This process is called porting.

  • So, if me and my home are both eligible will the sale go ahead?

    Before completing an application form you must first register on the Government’s Right to Buy website https://midlands.righttobuy.gov.uk to receive a unique reference number (URN).

    There is a limited amount of funding provided by the Government for this scheme, and so the number of URN’s will be restricted and issued to people who have expressed interest using a ballot (or lottery) system. You have 1 calendar month from the 17 September 2018 to apply for your URN after which the ballot closes. The Government will issue all successful applicants with their URN once the ballot has closed.

    You need to make a note of your URN - It must be included on your application form and T&D can’t accept applications without it.

  • What is the fee?

    During the application process you will be required to pay a non-refundable admin fee of £250.00

  • What about additional applicants?

    You may apply to purchase your home with up to three family members over the age of 18. They must be a spouse, civil partner or family member as defined by Housing Act 1985, Section 186 and be able to prove that they have lived in the property for at least 12 months before submitting the application form to T&D. Family members who do not live in the property cannot be included on the application.

    Once the application has been verified and approved by T&D you cannot add or remove any applicants without cancelling the application.

    The agreement of any tenant who does not want to buy must be obtained before you apply to purchase your home. They will need to sign the application form to confirm they do not want to be party to the purchase. Their tenancy will end when you buy the property.

  • Property maintenance and repairs

    Once you make the application any improvements or repairs that are due to be carried out will be cancelled, except where the work is required by law to keep the property safe and weather-tight. The reason for this is that the valuation is based on the date the application was made and any improvements or repairs after that date would affect the valuation. Any repairs outstanding at the time the purchase is completed will become the responsibility of the purchaser(s).

  • I've been approached by a person or a company offering to help me buy my home.

    If you are considering buying your home, application forms and advice on how to complete them are available from T&D for free.

    If you need advice on any aspect of purchasing your home, contact T&D first. If you are approached by a person or a company offering to help you buy your home please talk to T&D before signing anything. Some companies have hidden charges which you will end up paying, or you may end up purchasing financial products which you did not want or need.

    You should also obtain impartial financial and legal advice. Buying your home is a big decision. It’s a good idea to find out if you can afford to purchase and maintain your home before you make an application.

    You can get free information and advice from:

    • The Governments Right to Buy website: https://righttobuy.gov.uk or helpline: 0300 123 0913
    • The Right to Buy agents – a free, impartial source of information funded by the Government. You can phone them on 0300 123 0193 or contact them via the website: https://righttobuy.gov.uk/agent-service/
    • T&D’s legal team - you can phone them on 01283 528528;
    • Your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
  • What is the process?
    1. Visit www.righttobuy.gov.uk to register for the pilot and obtain your unique reference number (URN).
    2. Once you have been issued with your URN visit www.trentanddove.org to complete our online eligibility checker.
    3. If your personal circumstances mean you are eligible, and your property is one that we are able to sell, you will be asked to complete the application form for VRTB. Remember to include your URN on this form and keep a copy of the form that you have filled in for your own records. The application form will ask you to provide evidence of certain declarations that you make.
    4. Within four weeks we will review your application form and the evidence you have provided. We may then ask for further information. Once we are satisfied with the information you have provided we will contact you confirming whether you have the Voluntary Right to Buy and whether your property is available for purchase under our Right to Buy policy.
    5. If your property is excluded by our policy but your personal circumstances mean that you are eligible, we will offer you the opportunity to port to an alternative property and we will give you more information about how you can do this.
    6. If we accept your application and your property is available to buy, we will notify you and you will then need to arrange an appointment to bring in your ID documents, pay an application fee of £250 and select a surveyor to value your property so that we can agree a purchase price. If you do not provide your ID or pay the application fee of £250 then your application will be cancelled.
    7. When you bring in your ID you will be asked to select a surveyor to undertake the valuation of your home. We have a list of participating Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) qualified surveyors for you to choose from.
    8. Upon completion of the valuation, we will send you an offer notice. This offer notice will set out:
      • The RICS qualified surveyor’s valuation of your property*, your discount and the price you’ll pay.
      • Any structural problems the landlord knows about.
      • Any terms and conditions of the purchase.
      • For leasehold properties only, your offer notice will also include an estimate of the service charges that you will need to pay over the next 5 years
    9. You will then need to decide whether you want to go ahead with VRTB and you have up to 4 weeks to accept the offer. It is during this time that you will need to arrange a mortgage or loan if you need one, get a survey, instruct a solicitor and get independent financial and legal advice if you have not already done so. It is important that you understand all costs involved before you accept the offer.        
    10. Once you are happy with our terms and have arranged payment for your home, you can complete the purchase. It is usually during this time that you pay any stamp duty if applicable and finalise and sign all paperwork. Your solicitor should advise you and help with arrangements for these final stages of the process. This conveyancing stage should be completed within 12 weeks.

    * If you are not happy with the valuation you can ask for a second valuation at your own cost from another RICS qualified surveyor from the approved list. You may want to check the costs of a second valuation before proceeding.

 

 

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