If you are a Scottish secure tenant of Clackmannanshire Council you may have the legal right to buy your home at a discounted price.
The information below gives you advice on buying your home, but it is not a complete and authoritative statement of law. If you have any particular questions about your own case, the House Sales Section can give you more information. The House Sales Section contact details are shown at the bottom of this page.
The Scottish Government also publishes an online booklet detailing Your Right to Buy Your Home which is available to view and download from this page.
If you want to know about your rights, you can ask our local Citizen's Advice Bureauor a solicitor. A number of firms offer mortgages and other services to tenants who want to buy their homes.
You are free to make whatever financial arrangements you think fit in order to buy your home, but you should take legal advice before entering into any agreement with a third party. You should remember that it is your choice.
Buying your home is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. You should get as much advice and information as you can first so you make the right decisions.
If you are buying a flat and your block contains other Council tenants, your home will become factored by the Council when your sale is complete. This requirement took effect from 1 October 2012.
The property you rent must be occupied by you as our only or main home. You need not have lived in the same property or had the same landlord all the time.
Tenancy started before 30 September 2002
If your present tenancy commenced before 30 September 2002 you must have been a tenant for at least two years prior to the date of application.
Tenancy started on or after 30 September 2002
If your present tenancy commenced on or after 30 September 2002 you must have been a tenant for at least five years prior to the date of application.
A sole tenant or joint tenants may apply to buy. If you are joint tenants but only one of you wishes to purchase then you must indicate this on the application form or alternatively ask your solicitor to inform us formally when you receive the Council's offer of sale.
A member of your family is considered as being your husband, wife or other family member who is not a tenant. A person living with you as your husband or wife, but not married to you, is a family member.
Such family members must be at least 18 years of age and must have lived with you as their only or principal home for at least six months immediately preceding the date you apply to buy. Housing Services must also be aware that the family member is living with you and consented to it.
The District Valuer will value your home. They will provide an independent valuation reflecting your home type, position in the estate, general amenity and condition as at the date of valuation. The valuation is the price the property could be expected to fetch if it were sold on the open market.
Improvements you have made will be ignored when calculating the market value.
The District Valuer will contact you direct to arrange a convenient time to value your home.
If you are unhappy with your valuation then you can appeal in writing to the House Sales Section, Lime Tree House, Alloa. A copy of your letter will be passed to the District Valuer. The District Valuer will then look at the matter again for you. You will thereafter be advised of his comments.
If you remain unhappy with the valuation unfortunately there is no other right of appeal through the Council. Should you wish to take the issue further then you may wish to contact the Lands Tribunal for Scotland where an appeal may lie if you are unhappy with any of the conditions of your offer. However, the Lands Tribunal would be unable to consider an appeal based on a difference of opinion in terms of valuation unless some factual inaccuracy in the methodology of the valuation was an issue. The address and telephone number for the Lands Tribunal is shown below.
The Lands Tribunal for Scotland
1 Grosvenor Crescent
Tel: 0131 225 7996
The discount to which you are entitled is based on the length of your qualifying tenancy or tenancies as indicated by you in your application form and as verified by the Council's Housing Services. The maximum discount you are entitled to receive is 60% for a house or 70% for a flat.
The discount entitlement is now also dependent on when your present tenancy commenced. The information below shows the discount you are entitled to if your tenancy commenced either before 30 September 2002 or on or after 30 September 2002.
30% plus 1% for every year you have been a tenant. The maximum discount you are entitled to is 60%. The table below is a useful guide to assist you in calculating your discount entitlement.
|Number of years as a tenant|
|*This includes the minimum 2 years tenancy|
40% plus 2% for every year you have been a tenant. The maximum discount you are entitled to receive is 70%.
|Number of years as a tenant|
|*This includes the minimum 2 years tenancy|
All properties: House or Flat
15% plus 1% for every year you have been a tenant. The maximum discount you are entitled to is 35% or £15,000, which ever is lower.
|Number of years as a tenant|
|*This includes the minimum 5 years tenancy|
If you or a joint purchaser has previously purchased a property in terms of the Right to Buy Scheme, this will be deducted from the discount you receive in any future purchases.
If you conclude a contract to sell your home within 3 years of buying then you will be required to repay the Council all or part of the discount you obtained. This is detailed in the table below.
It is important that you speak to a solicitor before you market your home in order that the discount position may be confirmed.
|When||Amount of discount to be repaid|
|Within first year of purchasing your home||Full amount (100%)|
|Within second year of purchasing your home||Two thirds (66%)|
|Within third year of purchasing your home||One third (33%|
Unfortunately, if you wish to know the market value of your property the Council is unable to confirm this without instructing a survey. A survey will only be instructed by the Council if you are purchasing your property. For indication of the house prices in your area you may wish to check the local press or local estate agents.
Cost Floor Rules
Where a house was acquired or built fairly recently or where the Council has incurred substantial expenditure on improvement and repairs on a property that is subject to a Right to Buy application, the 'cost floor' rules apply.
The house must have been acquired or built or the works must have been carried out within the preceding 10 years and the selling price must not be less than the eligible costs.
Eligible costs include
Total eligible expenditure of less than 5,000 is ignored.
Unfortunately, since the introduction of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001, you can no longer obtain a loan from the Council to buy your home.
If you apply for a mortgage from a building society, bank or other financial institution you will probably require a survey. You may, in addition, wish to arrange for a surveyor to carry out a full structural survey before you decide to buy.
A full structural survey will ensure that you have expert advice on the condition of the property before you buy. You would be best advised, however, to consult your solicitor or lender for more details of the likely costs.
Until your purchase is completed the Council will keep in good repair the structure and exterior of your home and keep in good repair and proper working order the installations for the supply of water, gas, electricity and for sanitation.
However, after your application to buy is received, the Council will not carry out any improvement works. When you become the owner of your home you will, of course, be responsible for all repairs and maintenance.
Your solicitor will advise you on your responsibilities. Please note that you may require to obtain the consent of the Council and any neighbouring proprietors if you can carry out alterations or additions to your home.
Before your application form is processed
Before your application form is processed a check is carried out to ensure you have no Council Tax or rent arrears.
If you have Council Tax, rent arrears, recharges or legal expenses your application will be refused. If you repay all sums due then you may re-apply immediately. However, the Council recommends you check the payment has been processed before you submit another application to avoid disappointment as your application will not be processed if there is a balance on your account.
If you do not have Council Tax or rent arrears you will receive a letter of acknowledgement advising you when you will receive an offer of sale. If you do not receive a letter acknowledgement within seven days of the date of applying then contact the House Sales Unit immediately as this may mean your application has not been received.
When you receive the offer of sale the Council strongly recommends you seek independent legal advice from a solicitor. The Council is unable to give you any such legal advice. You have one month from the date of the offer of sale to make any changes to the terms of it. You have a period of two months from the date of the offer of sale to accept it if you do not want to change the terms.
When the offer of sale has been accepted the title deeds of your home will be prepared and sent to your solicitor. Your solicitor will discuss the terms of the title deeds and the plan of your property with you.
When the title deeds have been prepared your solicitor will also arrange for you to sign all the necessary documentation.
When the documentation has been signed your solicitor will arrange to pay Clackmannanshire Council the purchase price in exchange for the title deeds. The Council Will not contact you to advise this has happened so it is important to stay in contact with your solicitor to ensure you cease making your rent payments when the purchase price has been paid. You must continue to pay your rent until the purchase price has been paid as you are still a tenant.
Housing Investment Team
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000