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The Right to Buy and Right to Acquire are two statutory home purchase schemes available to some tenants of Housing Associations and each has its own eligibility criteria.
The Right to Buy scheme.
This purchase scheme is mainly for secure tenants of local authorities. However, if you were previously a secure tenant of a local authority and became an assured tenant because your home was transferred to a Housing Association, you may have what is know as the Preserved Right to Buy.
If you have been a Gateway tenant for more than five years you may be able to buy your home at a discount through the Preserved Right to Buy scheme and the process for buying through this scheme is very similar to that of the Right to Acquire scheme.The maximum discount is £100,000 in London and £75,000 in the rest of England.
For houses you get a 35% discount if you’ve been a public sector tenant for 5 years. For every extra year you’ve been a public sector tenant, the discount goes up by 1%, up to a maximum of 60% – or £75,000 across England and £100,000 in London boroughs (whichever is lower).
For flats you get a 50% discount if you’ve been a public sector tenant for 5 years. For every extra year you’ve been a public sector tenant, the discount goes up by 2%, up to a maximum of 70% – or £75,000 across England and £100,000 in London boroughs (whichever is lower).
If you sell within five years of buying, you will need to pay back some or the entire discount. There are different discount levels for houses and flats.
The Right to Acquire scheme.
The Right to Acquire is a scheme giving eligible secure and assured tenants of Gateway Housing Association the right to buy the home they currently rent.
Buying your home.
If you want to go ahead with the purchase you must tell us within 12 weeks whether you wish to pursue your claim or withdraw your application.
You are expected to complete the purchase within three months of receiving your offer notice.
If you decide to proceed you must then appoint a legal representative and arrange a mortgage with an approved lender. Gateway will provide you with a list of Banks and Building Societies who are classified as approved lenders for the purpose of the Right to Acquire.
You may also wish to consider arranging a survey of the property to assess its condition and whether there are likely to be any major repairs in the future.
The costs of buying your own home.
It is important to understand that buying a home is an expensive business.
There will be initial costs at purchase. You will need at least £5000 in up-front costs to cover expenses such as stamp duty, legal and survey fees, valuation fees, and mortgage administration fees.
You should also consider the long term financial commitment involved in home ownership. Once you have committed yourself and bought your property, you will have to pay the mortgage as well as insurance, council tax, water and sewage charges and utility bills. Also there will be the costs of keeping your property in good repair
If you are buying a flat or maisonette Gateway will continue to be responsible for the repair and maintenance of the building and the provision of services such as lighting in communal areas. The cost of these services will be recovered from you by way of a service charge.
If you are buying a house, all the costs of maintenance are your responsibility.