The Right to Buy is ending for all tenants of social housing in Scotland on 1 August 2016. This is part of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 and is not affected by the recent government proposals contained within the Queen’s Speech which refer to England and Wales only.
Tenants who currently have the Right to Buy now have just over one year to apply to buy their homes before the right is abolished in 2016.
The Right to Buy was brought in across the UK by the government in 1980, The Right to Buy rules can be difficult to understand. Some tenants do not have the Right to Buy at all. Only just over 300 of the Associations tenants currently have the Right to Buy as a result of the Association’s charitable status. These tenants are those who have transferred from Inverclyde Council or Scottish Homes as a result of stock transfers, if you are unsure if you have the Right to Buy please contact your Housing Officer.
Right to Buy has driven-up home ownership in Scotland. But it has also contributed to an acute shortage of social housing and that is why the Scottish government said it wanted to end this right.
The time you will have to buy your home before Right to Buy ends is called the notice period. The notice period ends on 31 July 2016. If you are able to exercise your Right to Buy, you can apply to do so up to 31 July 2016. Any application made after that date will not be accepted as there will no longer be a Right to Buy. As long as your application is submitted by the end of the notice period, it will be considered in the usual way.
If you are considering applying close to the end of the notice period you may wish to take your application form personally to our offices to make sure that we receive it on time. Your application has to be valid, so make sure that all the details on the form are correct. It would make sense not to leave your application to the end of the notice period so that there is time to resolve any problems that may arise. If you have arrears of rent or council tax when you apply to buy your home, the Association can refuse to sell it to you. You should therefore check that all your payments are up to date in case this causes a problem.
If you would like more information about the Right to Buy or are unsure whether you have this right please contact your Housing Officer at the office or visit www.gov.scot and search for Right to Buy.