This page gives you information about the Government’s Right to Buy scheme, which is available to some SLH tenants. It also gives you information about the Right to Acquire scheme and the Voluntary Right to Buy scheme which is being piloted in some areas across the country.
What is Right to Buy?
Right to Buy means that you can buy your home at a lower price than the full market value. The discount you receive is based on the length you have been a tenant. The longer you have been a tenant, the more discount you will receive.
Am I eligible to buy my home?
You have the Right to Buy your home if you were a secure tenant of Liverpool City Council before your home was transferred to South Liverpool Homes (SLH) and have had no breaks in your tenancy. At the moment, you do not have the Right to Buy your home if you became a tenant of SLH after 4 October 1999 (the date your home was transferred to SLH). However, you may have the Right to Acquire your home.
What is Right to Acquire and am I eligible?
Some tenants will have the Right to Acquire their home. This means that you can buy your home at a discounted price although this is a smaller discount than the Right to Buy scheme. You may have the Right to Acquire if you have been an Assured Tenant of SLH for at least three years and your home was funded through a social housing grant.
What should I consider before deciding to buy my home?
Buying your home is a big decision. Your home can be an asset for you and your family in future years and home ownership can you give you more flexibility. However, it also brings some added responsibility for example, it is likely that you will need to get a mortgage or loan and you will also need to factor in costs for maintaining your home which are usual landlord responsibilities covered by SLH.
If your circumstances change after you have bought your home and you are unable to keep up the mortgage payments you could be at risk of losing your home. Currently, as a housing association tenant, you may be entitled to additional benefits such as Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to help you with your rent if your circumstances change. You cannot claim these to help you with your mortgage.
Will I still have some ties with SLH if I buy my home?
Once you buy your home, you will no longer receive the services you get now from SLH such as our 24 hour repairs service, 24-hour contact centre and annual gas safety checks. You will be responsible for all the costs of maintaining your home; including routine repairs and improvements such as kitchen replacements.
How do I apply to buy or acquire my home?
We can help you. Just get in touch and ask for a Right to Buy or Right to Acquire form. Fill the form in and hand it back into the office or return the form by recorded delivery to ensure we receive it. We recommend that you keep a copy of the form too. A decision will then be made if you have the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire.
I’ve heard about a Voluntary Right to Buy Scheme. What is this?
The Government is currently looking at ways to offer the Right to Buy to all tenants and are running pilot schemes across the country. South Liverpool Homes is not taking part in this pilot scheme. If the pilot scheme is extended, we will communicate this to you as and when it happens.
Important information about eligibility
It is a criminal offence to buy or acquire your home if you know that you are not eligible. This is known as fraud. We will check all applications thoroughly and will investigate anything that looks suspicious. False applications can result in eviction and prosecution.
Where can I get advice?
It’s worth seeking independent advice before you borrow money to buy your home. The Money Advice Service is a free, impartial service to help people make decisions about their finances. Visit www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk or call them on 0300 500 5000.