If you are currently renting your home through us then you may qualify to buy your home at a discounted price through the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire Government schemes.
Do you qualify for Right to Buy or Right to Acquire?
If you have been renting your home since before 1999, and you were a tenant when Worthing Borough Council transferred its housing stock to Worthing Homes, you may have a ‘Right to Buy’ your home, known as a ‘Preserved Right to Buy’ (PRTB), if you meet the eligibility criteria and are occupying a qualifying property. For more information please go to our ‘Preserved Right to Buy’ page.
If you became a Worthing Homes tenant after the 1999 stock transfer, then you may have the Right to Acquire. This scheme gives eligible tenants of Registered Providers the opportunity to buy the home they rent. You may be eligible if you have spent a total of 3 years as a public sector tenant, if you meet the eligibility criteria and are occupying a qualifying property. For more information please go to our ‘Right to Acquire’ page.
Things to consider before buying your home and where to start?
Buying your home is a huge decision and a major financial commitment. Whilst home-ownership may give you more freedom and may be an asset to you, it is important to give careful consideration to the costs and responsibilities that comes with being a homeowner, so it is always best to seek professional financial and legal advice before making any decisions.
If you believe that you are eligible to buy your home through Right to Buy or Right to Acquire, as a starting point you may wish to compare property prices of similar property types in your area, looking at local estate agent and property websites, to get a rough idea of the market value. By looking at the discount you may be eligible for, it may give you a starting block to see what funds you may need to raise to be able to buy your home.
There are one-off costs to purchasing a home such as legal, survey, land registry and mortgage fees. You may need a loan or mortgage to be able to purchase the property, and you will become responsible for all costs in looking after your home, as well as expenses such as contents, buildings, and life insurance.
There is a useful table on this website https://righttobuy.gov.uk/can-i-afford-it/comparing-costs/ where you can work out and compare the financial differences between renting and home-ownership.
It is important to be aware, if you fail to keep up with your loan or mortgage repayments you could be at risk of losing your home.
Buying a flat?
If you are buying a flat, it will be the purchase of a long term lease. You will become a leaseholder and will pay service charges. When major repairs and maintenance are needed for your block or surrounding areas you’ll have to pay a proportion of the costs. You will be given a 5 year estimate of service charges, and you will be protected from unexpected costs in the first 5 years, as increase to charges can only be made to take into account inflation during this period. After the 5 years, the service charge costs, the amount you pay, will reflect the actual expenditure incurred. There is a risk of legal action if you breach the terms of your lease (for example non-payment of service charges), which could ultimately lead to forfeiture. For more information about leasehold and service charges please see our Leasehold Services section. You can get independent advice and information from the Leasehold Advisory Service.
How to apply to buy your home?
If you think you are eligible and are in a position to buy your home, you can submit an application to us to buy your home. You can download and print the application form from the relevant Government website:
For Right to Buy – the form you need is called an RTB1 Form.
For Right to Acquire – the form you need is called an RTA1 Form.
You can hand deliver the form into our office or send it to us by recorded delivery. Don’t forget to keep a copy of your completed form.
On receipt of the RTB1 or RTA1 form, we will check your application, eligibility, and carry out a bankruptcy search. We will let you know if you qualify within 4 weeks from the date we receive your application and we will visit you to discuss your application.
Once you submit a claim, we will only carry out emergency and limited repair work on the property. We will repair heating breakdowns, plumbing leaks, keep the property weather/water tight, and make sure gas and electrics are safe. The property will be removed from any of our planned improvement or maintenance programmes.
We will ask you to supply photograph ID and proof of residency at the premises, in order to carry out the necessary checks. We will require ID and residency evidence for all applicants who are claiming. Where any concerns of fraud are identified Worthing Homes will refer the claim for fraud investigation.
If you claim is admitted, we will then arrange for an RICS Valuer to carry out a market valuation of your home. From the date of admitting your claim, we have 8 weeks (12 weeks if you are buying a flat) to send you an offer notice, setting out the terms of the sale, including the discount and purchase price.
Further information about time frames, responding to the offer, challenging the valuation if you do not agree, and going forward with the purchase can be found on both the Government Right to Buy and Right to Acquire websites