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Selling a property bought through Right to Buy

Repaying the Right to Buy Discount

If you brought your property within the past 5 years you will be required to pay back a portion of the discount you received. You will need to contact Alyson Lewis in our Legal Department to arrange this. You can contact Alyson on 01206 282 258 or alyson.lewis@colchester.gov.uk   

Right of First Refusal (buy back)

All properties (freehold and leasehold) sold under Right To Buy since 18 January 2005 contain a covenant which compels the owner to offer the property back to the council if they want to sell the property within ten years of purchasing the property under Right to Buy. This is known as the Right of First Refusal and was introduced by the Housing Act 2004. The Housing (Right of First Refusal) (England) Regulations 2005 set out the procedures for owners to follow in offering their properties back to the Council. The Council must also observe these procedures when accepting such offers.

Whilst the owner must offer the council the Right of First Refusal, there is nothing that compels the Council to buy back properties offered in this way. However the Council will always consider whether or not to buy back a property, looking at the following criteria;

  • Whether capital funds are available
  • If there is an established housing need and demand for the type of property being offered and the area where the property is located
  • If any additional costs for refurbishment are minimal, i.e. to bring the property up to Decent Homes Standards
  • The purchase represents value for money
  • If the property is landlocked

The Council may also consult with other social landlords to see if any of them have an interest in purchasing the property.

To comply with the regulations, you will need to supply the following information to Colchester Borough Council in writing:

  • A statement from the owner or trustee saying that they wish to dispose of the property
  • The full postal address of the property being offered
  • A statement to say there is a covenant regarding buy-back under Right To Buy legislation
  • Information about the type of property, the number of bedrooms and details of the heating system
  • Details of any improvements or structural changes made since purchasing from the council
  • An address where correspondence can be sent

Please send this information to Colchester Borough Homes, 1st Floor, Rowan House, 33 Sheepen Road, Colchester CO3 3WG. If you have any further queries please contact the Housing Customer Insight Team on 01206 282 391.