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Voluntary Right to Buy in the Midlands

What is Voluntary Right to Buy?   

If you’ve been with PA Housing for more than three years, you might be eligible for the brand new phase of the government’s Voluntary Right to Buy pilot. The scheme may make it possible for you to buy your home from us, with a discount on the market value of up to £80,900 (the longer you have been one of our customers, the higher discount you may be eligible for).

Although the original Right to Buy scheme was initiated back in 1980 and reinvigorated in 2012, the much newer Voluntary Right to Buy has made the programme more accessible. Where before (under Right to Buy), only council and ex-council properties were eligible for the discount, the Government and the National Housing Federation have proposed the Voluntary Right to Buy so that the discount is available to Housing Association residents. 

What’s more, PA Housing has been able to set some of the parameters for our participation on Voluntary Right to Buy –  these are contained in our Owning your Home Guide 

Voluntary Right to Buy – Update:

  • The ballot closed on 16th September 2018.
  • The Government will be using algorithms to randomly allocate places on the pilot.
  • Entrants will be sent email on Monday 24th September 2018 to inform them if they have been successful or unsuccessful in the ballot. 
  • The successful tenants will be divided into four batches.  These tenants will then receive their Unique Reference Numbers (URNs)  by email over a period of four weeks. 
  • The first batch of tenants will receive their URNs on the Monday of each week.  First batch will be 24th September 2018 over and the last batch issued on 15th October 2018.
  • Within 4 weeks of receipt of the URN you must apply to PA Housing with a completed application form signed by all parties and including all supporting evidence.
  • It is important to note that, even if you do receive a URN, there is no guarantee you will be able to buy your home.

Am I eligible for VRTB?

Voluntary Right to Buy was first piloted in London, and that initiative ended in January 2017. This VRTB pilot is phase two and is valid only for properties in the Midlands. Phase two will run for 2 years.  

So, if you are a customer in the Midlands, you might be eligible. It also depends on the following:

  • You must have a secure/assured tenancy
  • You must have been a PA Housing customer for three years or more
  • You must not have any arrears/debt or any outstanding notices. 

 

The government has committed to extend the Right to Buy to housing associations across England in a national scheme. We do not have specific timelines for this at this stage. Click here to read F&Q  

Please also note that shared owners are not eligible for the scheme.

Can I buy the home I’m in now?

According to the government guidelines, most tenants that are eligible for the VRTB discount will be able to use it to buy their current home. However, there might be exceptions – you can read more about them in Owning your Home guide 

If you’re eligible for the scheme but unable to purchase your current home, you might not be out of luck. The latest pilot allows for tenants to apply their discount to another eligible property.

How do I proceed? 

If you are interested in the Voluntary Right to Buy pilot and believe you might be eligible, please email VRTB@pahousing.co.uk or call 0116 204 4034

For more details on Voluntary Right to Buy, please click here

  • Owning Your Home guide

    Owning your home Your guide to buying your home under the Voluntary Right to Buy Pilot

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    Voluntary Right to Buy for housing association tenants Application Form

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  • Do’s and Don’ts guide

    Do’s and Dont’s of VRTB application process

    Do's

    ✓ DO pay any arrears owed to us before you apply. If you have any outstanding arrears your application will be refused.

    ✓ DO be aware that some properties are exempt from this scheme. This includes: properties which are built subject to Section 106 or other planning restrictions, we will be able to advise if your property is exempt.

    ✓ DO expect to pay an administration fee of £250.00. We will then refund on completion of sale or if your home does not qualify for any reason. You will lose the fee if you cancel the application or do not comply with the strict time scales, which apply to the scheme.

    ✓ DO make sure that you only make the application in the names of the household members who will be included in the final sale. Once you have submitted an application, you will not be able to add or remove applicants without cancelling the application and reregistering to request a new URN.

    ✓ DO makesure that if your application includes additional family members, they are able to prove that they have lived at the property for at least 12 months.

    ✓ DO make sure that you claim the entire discount that you are entitled to receive. We will only be able to verify any addresses that you have had with Midland Heart but if you would like to include years spent with other Housing Associations or Councils you will need to provide proof. Either a tenancy agreement, letter from the landlord or Council Tax or copies of the electoral register for the relevant years.

    ✓ DO pay attention to time scales. The key ones are: • The URN is valid for 4 weeks. • If your application is accepted, you will need to provide your documents at any scheduled appointments (it is worth getting these organised before you apply) • You will receive an offer within 12 weeks • When you receive your offer, you have 20 days to decide whether to accept and provide solicitor details. • When the matter is referred to solicitors completion should be within 12 weeks (please make your solicitor aware of this when you appoint them)

    Dont's

    X DON’T delay registering. There will be a limited amount of government funding available for this pilot, with over 80 Housing Associations taking part.

    X DON’T assume that you will definitely be able to take part in the pilot. Because there is limited funding the Government will select applicants either by a ballot, randomly selecting applicants to proceed from all the registrations, or by first come first served basis. We do not have any say on which they will choose.

    X DON’T submit an application unless you have been given a Unique Reference Number (URN) from the government website. We will refuse all applications without one.

    X DON’T worry if your property is not included on the scheme. If this happens, you make be able to move to another property that is available to buy.

     

    Download print version

  • Discount Tables guide

    Discount Tables

    These tables show the percentage discount you will be entitled to, however, the maximum discount a Tenant can receive is capped at £80,900.00

    Download Now


If you find that you are not eligible for the Voluntary Right to Buy scheme PA Housing also operate Preserved Right to Buy and Right to Acquire. 

  • Preserved Right to Buy

    Some tenants in England whose home used to be owned by a local authority, but was transferred to another landlord (e.g. a housing association) whilst they were living in it, may have the Preserved Right to Buy.

  • Right to Acquire

    Allows housing association tenants in England to buy their home at a discount if the property was bought or built by the housing association after the 31 March 1997.  Discount of between £9,000 or £16,000 are  available depending on the local authority.


If you are interested in finding out if  you might be eligible, please email VRTB@pahousing.co.uk or
call 0116 204 4034

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