Right to Buy

You can apply to buy your home under the Right to Buy scheme if:

  • it’s your only or main home
  • it’s self-contained
  • you’re a secure tenant
  • you’ve had a public sector tenancy for 3 years - it does not have to be 3 years in a row

You do not have to buy the property on your own. If you’re eligible, you may be able to buy your home with:

  • someone who shares your tenancy
  • your spouse or civil partner
  • up to 3 family members who’ve lived with you for the past 12 months - they do not have to be on your tenancy agreement but it must be their main home

For more information on eligibility, you can look at the Right to Buy website

Discounts

Houses

You get a 35% discount if you’ve been a Harlow Council tenant for between 3 and 5 years.

After 5 years, the discount goes up by 1% for every extra year you’ve been a tenant, up to a maximum of 70% – or £84,600 whichever is lower.

Flats

You get a 50% discount if you’ve been a Harlow Council tenant for between 3 and 5 years.

After 5 years, the discount goes up by 2% for every extra year you’ve been a tenant, up to a maximum of 70% – or £84,600 whichever is lower.

Apply

To apply for the Right to Buy you need to:

Documentation

When you send your RTB1 form to us, you also need to include:

  • a list of where you have lived from the age of 18 for each applicant – you are asked for your previous tenancies on pages 5 and 6 of the RTB1 form, but we need a list of all addresses each applicant has lived at since the age of 18, so you will need to add these on a separate sheet if necessary. You will need to include:
    • the tenancy type (for example, living with parent’s, local authority tenancy, private sector tenancy, owned property)
    • dates the applicant lived at the address
  • 1 copy of proof of ID from the following list, for each applicant:
    • full UK or EU photo driving licence
    • UK or EU valid passport with photograph
    • EU identity card
    • UK identity card for foreign nationals or residence permit issued by the Home Office
    • UK certificate of naturalization
  • 2 different copies of proof of residency from the following list, for each applicant*
    • Council Tax bill
    • utility bill
    • bank or credit card statement
    • payslip (which includes your home address)
    • benefit or pension claim letter

*For a tenant, husband or wife, the proof of residency must be dated within 3 months of your application date. For family members, the proof of residency needs to cover the last 12 months. So for example, you can provide 12 bank statements and 12 pay slips, covering each month of the past year. Alternatively, you could use your Council Tax bill (current and previous year) and 12 bank statements.

You can also pick up copies of the forms from the Civic Centre.

If you need any help in completing the forms contact the Home Ownership Team on 01279 446424

Right to Buy agents also offer a free service to help guide you through the Right to Buy process.

Selling your home

You can sell your home after buying it through Right to Buy.

If you sell it within 5 years of buying it, you’ll have to pay back some or all of the discount.

You’ll have to pay back all of the discount if you sell within the first year. After that, the total amount you pay back reduces to:

  • 80% of the discount in the second year
  • 60% of the discount in the third year
  • 40% of the discount in the fourth year
  • 20% of the discount in the fifth year

The amount you pay back depends on the value of your home when you sell it.

If you sell your home within 10 years you have to first offer it to either:

  • your old landlord
  • another social landlord in the area

To offer your property to us, you need to complete our online form.

Your solicitors or legal representatives will need a copy of the certificate issued by the council.

We (the landlord) have to agree the market value of the house with you. If we cannot agree on a price, the district valuer will make an independent valuation of the house.

If your offer has not been accepted within 8 weeks, you will be free to sell the property on the open market.

Advice

For more information, you can read our Right to Buy booklet (pdf)

You can get general advice on Right to Buy from:

You can find a solicitor using The Law Society website

You can find a surveyor using the RICS website

You can get information on stamp duty on GOV.UK

Contact information

Office
Home Ownership Team
Harlow Council
Civic Centre
The Water Gardens
College Square
Harlow CM20 1WG