Right to Part Buy (Voluntary Scheme)

Frequently asked questions

What is Right to Part Buy (Voluntary Scheme)? 

Right to Part Buy (RTPB) is a new voluntary shared ownership scheme offered by Wandsworth Council to eligible tenants as an affordable alternative to the Right to Buy (RTB) from 9 January 2017.

It is open to tenants who qualify for RTB and pass the eligibility criteria below. It will enable tenants who cannot afford the full purchase price to acquire a minimum share of 25 per cent whilst paying a low rent on the remaining share. Tenants would be sold a shared ownership lease of 25 to 100 per cent of their property whilst benefiting from a proportionate discount available under RTB.

What are the eligibility criteria for Right to Part Buy (Voluntary Scheme)?

Tenants must:
  • be a secure council tenant and
  • have spent at least 3 years as a public sector tenant
  • not have received Housing Benefit for 12 months prior to application
  • pass an affordability test 

Eligibility also includes having no legal issues with debt or any outstanding possession orders. Some properties are also exempt from RTPB (Voluntary Scheme) but eligibility will be confirmed as part of the application process.

Can I make a joint application?

A joint application can be made but only certain people are allowed to join an application such as:
  • someone who is already on the tenancy agreement with you
  • your spouse or civil partner
  • up to three family members, who have been living in your home for the 12 months prior to making the application. They don’t have to be on the tenancy agreement but it must be their main home.

How is the percentage of share being bought calculated?  

Tenants applying for RTPB (Voluntary Scheme) would be asked to come into the council for a financial appraisal which would identify their financial capacity. 

Can I purchase additional shares? 

Tenants will have the right to purchase additional shares in a minimum of ten per cent tranches but cannot go above 50 per cent within the first two years of ownership. 

What is my discount entitlement? 

The RTPB discount offered is the same as under the RTB terms but apportioned to the share purchased (for example, discount calculated is £100,000; share bought is 25 per cent so discount awarded is £25,000). When another share is purchased, tenants may receive further discount up to the maximum discount level at that point in time.

Is a deposit required?

Many lenders will take the discount as a deposit, although some will not. You might want to talk to a mortgage lender / broker or an Independent Financial Adviser to find a mortgage that best suits your needs – always check costs before you appoint anyone.

If I decide to sell will I need to repay the discount? 

You are able to sell your home at any time, but if sold, the property within the first ten years of ownership will be subject to the Right of First Refusal to the Council and if you sell your home within the first five years, you will also be asked for repayment of all or part of the discount. After five years, you can sell the property without repaying any of the discount you received. The amount you pay back also depends on the value of your home when you sell it.

Purchase year you sell within Proportion to be repaid
First year The whole discount will have to be repaid.
Second year Four fifths must be repaid
Third year Three fifths must be repaid
Fourth year Two fifths must be repaid
Fifth year One fifth must be repaid

Who is responsible for repairs?

If you own a shared ownership lease for a house you will be responsible for all repairs to the interior and exterior of the property. If you own a shared ownership lease for a flat you will be responsible for internal repairs, including replacement of fixtures and fittings. The Council will still be responsible for the upkeep and repair of the buildings structure, exterior and communal parts and services. Major works and Service Charge costs would be apportioned to the owned share.

Please note, tenants who go on to purchase under this scheme will lose their Right to Buy. 

(Scheme is subject to eligibility; change; terms and conditions)

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