Home purchase policy

In September 2017, the Housing & New Homes Committee agreed to introduce a Home Purchase Policy (PDF 141KB). This policy allows the council to buy back properties previously sold under the Right to Buy. The scheme is being trialled for one year from 1 November 2017 and initially will be used to purchase properties where the council has the right of first refusal. Since 2005, any tenant who has bought their council home has to give the council first refusal to buy it back if they sell it within 10 years. However, until now the council has not exercised this right to buy back.

Why has the council introduced this policy now?

The council has introduced the policy in order to maximise the supply of affordable homes in the city. The policy has a budget of £2 million in the first year and supports the purchase of homes up to a value of £250,000.

Can any leaseholders or freeholder owners of ex-council owned homes approach the council?

No. During the pilot we will be considering offer notices from leaseholders or freeholders with a duty to offer first refusal to the council. These will affect properties sold after 10 August 2005 under the right to buy scheme and there will be a covenant in place confirming this. Once we review this pilot we can consider whether the council wishes to extend this to sales of other ex council owned homes. 

How do I notify the council?

You can submit an offer notice or your legal advisors will be able to do this on your behalf. An offer notice with required information should be emailed to the council’s legal services at legal.services@brighton-hove.gov.uk.

When can I expect an answer on whether the council wishes to buy my property?

The timescale laid out in the regulations for the right of first refusal is eight weeks. The council will consider whether to buy the property against a set of criteria as outlined in the policy.  Wherever possible, we will try to make a decision sooner than this.  

How will the sale proceed?

It will follow a usual conveyancing process with valuation and surveys completed.  Searches and all legal processes will need to followed.  

What if I disagree with the valuation?

The council will ask its nominated valuer to value each property they are considering to buy back. The value must then be agreed between both parties. If no agreement can be made the value will be determined by the District Valuer. 

What happens at the end of the pilot year?

A review on the scheme will be carried out and the results reported back to the Housing & New Homes Committee.