Housing & Planning Bill Reaches House Of Lords

March 29, 2016

On the 17th November 2015 the Housing and Planning Bill 2015-16 (‘the Bill’) reached the committee stage of the House of Lords. The Committee’s report is to be published by 10th December 2015.

The Bill will revolutionise the Right to Buy legislation by extending the right to purchase their home at a discounted price to housing association tenants under a new Right to Acquire scheme. The new Right to Acquire Scheme will follow the same procedure as the Right to Buy scheme brought in by the Housing Act 1985. A Landlord will confirm the discount available upon application. The amount of the discount depends upon where you live, for example, in Leicester it could be £9000.00/£10,000.00 and in Cambridge £16,000.00.

The Bill is likely to open up home ownership to 1.3 million more families. This will extend home ownership to all.

Although the finite details of the Bill have yet to be finalised it is likely that a housing association tenant will have the Right to Acquire his/her home if the property is eligible. The property must have been bought by a housing association after 31st March 1997 or transferred from a local council to a housing association after this date, be self-contained and be the main home for the tenant. The Landlord must be registered with the government agency. Up to 3 family members who have lived with the tenant for the past 12 months can also jointly purchase with the tenant.

The Landlord must be a public sector Landlord (housing associations, the armed forces, NHS trusts and foundation trusts) and the tenant must have had a public sector Landlord for three years. There are the usual restrictions that a tenant cannot proceed with a Right to Acquire application if he/she is bankrupt, has been ordered to leave their home by a Court, or are a Council tenant or already have a preserved right to buy.

As with the Right to Buy legislation there are similar rights in respect of paying back the discount if you sell the property within five years. The amount of discount you pay back depends on the value of the property when you sell.

If you wish to know more then please contact us on 0116 289 7000.


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