Can I buy the home I rent?

Eligibility for the Right to Buy (RTB)

Statutory RTB was introduced in the 1980 Housing Act. The legal rules that apply to the RTB are now included in Part V of the 1985 Housing Act (as amended).

The fundamental eligibility criterion is that the tenant(s) who apply for the RTB have to be a SECURE TENANT in their current home. IT MATTERS NOT THAT THEY MAY HAVE BEEN A SECURE TENANT AT SOME POINT IN THE PAST; ALL THAT MATTERS IS THAT THEY CURRENTLY HAVE A SECURE TENANCY.

The tenant should also have spent at least 3 years as a public sector tenant (as amended on 26 May 2015). This does not have to necessarily have been with emh homes.

The house or flat must be their principal and main home and be self-contained (not shared with others).

Tenants can exercise the RTB jointly with other members of their family providing they can evidence that they have lived there for over 12 months.

The tenant CANNOT exercise the RTB if they are an undischarged bankrupt, have a bankruptcy petition pending against them, or have made an arrangement with creditors who they still owe money to.

The tenant CANNOT also exercise the RTB if a court makes a possession order which says they must leave their home.

We do not give the RTB to secure tenants living in Sheltered Schemes or Cat 1 schemes where properties have been designated for the elderly.

Eligibility for the Preserved Right to Buy (PRTB)

The PRTB was introduced by Section 171 of the 1985 Housing Act.

An assured tenant of a housing association (under normal circumstances) does NOT have the RTB. However, if they were previously a secure tenant of a local authority and became an assured tenant because their home was transferred to a housing association under stock transfer, they may have the PRTB. They have to have been living in their home at the date on which the property was transferred or if they have transferred to another property owned by the new landlord.

The PRTB only applies to former tenants of Erewash Borough Council who transferred over to Three Valleys Housing on 25 March 2002 or Blaby District Council who transferred over to Three Oaks Homes on 3 November 2008. Three Valleys Housing and Three Oaks Homes are now part of emh homes.

Lastly, the PRTB operates in a similar way to that of the normal RTB.

Eligibility for the Right to Acquire (RTA)

The RTA was introduced in the 1996 Housing Act.

An assured (non-shorthold) tenant can apply to buy their home IF their home was built or purchased using public funds or transferred (e.g. through stock transfer) by a local authority on or after 1st April 1997.

Some properties are excluded from the RTA. These are properties provided specifically for the elderly, sheltered housing properties, and properties held by emh homes for non-housing or employment purposes.

Properties under certain rural areas containing settlements where the population is 3000 or fewer are also excluded. This applies specifically (but not exclusively) to properties managed by Midlands Rural Housing.

To avoid providing poor or incorrect advice, all initial enquiries should be directed to the Leasehold & Home Ownership Officers who will provide informal advice and send out the relevant application pack.

For more information you can download a leaflet from the government website.

You can also download an application form.

Voluntary Right to Buy (VRTB)

In its 2015 manifesto, the Government made a commitment to extend the Right to Buy (RTB) to housing association tenants. In September 2015, the National Housing Federation (NHF), on behalf of the housing association sector, made an offer to the government to extend the RTB level discounts to eligible tenants through a voluntary rather than statutory approach.

The Autumn 2017 Budget confirmed the Government’s intention to proceed with a large-scale regional pilot of the Voluntary Right to Buy (VRTB) scheme in the Midlands.

emh homes is committed to the provision of affordable homes across a range of tenures. We will be part of the regional pilot.The Voluntary Right to Buy will allow all eligible tenants of emh homes the right to buy a property at a discount.

We do not yet know the date that this pilot will commence. Once we have more information on the plans for the scheme we will provide further information to you.

Please contact us if you would like to find out your eligibility for the Right to Buy your home.

We will update our website when we receive additional information including details of when the pilot will launch, which housing associations will be included in the pilot and what the eligibility criteria will be.

The National Housing Federation has also produced some questions and answers that may be of use to you.

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