Right to buy

The following information applies to former tenants of Wycombe District Council (now Buckinghamshire Council) whose homes were transferred to us (Red Kite) on 12th December 2011. If you were one of those tenants, you have a preserved right to buy your home from us.

We provide a service for our tenants who are considering buying their homes under the current Right to Buy legislation.

Qualification

To qualify for Right to Buy you need to have been a public sector tenant for three years or more. Spouses and other family members who are not tenants may be included in a Right to Buy application, subject to certain conditions (for example, if they have been living permanently in the home for the last 12 months).

Exceptions

You may not always have the right to buy if you live in sheltered or temporary accommodation. Other exceptions sometimes apply to ground floor flats and to bungalows. If you are not sure if the right to buy applies to you, or wish to check your tenancy qualifying period, please contact us.

Costs

We provide the Right to Buy service at no cost to tenants. If you decide to purchase your home, you will have to pay the usual costs and fees involved with any house purchase. These will include solicitors' fees, stamp duty, survey fees, removal charges, and any costs levied by your mortgage provider.

Discount available

You can get a discount on the market value of your home when you buy it if you qualify for Right to Buy.

The maximum discount for applications after April 2022 is £96,000. It will increase each year in April in line with the consumer price index (CPI).

The discount is based on:

  • how long you’ve been a tenant with a public sector landlord
  • the type of property you’re buying - a flat or house
  • the value of your home

Taking the above into account you may not qualify for the full maximum discount.

You will have to repay some or all of your discount if you sell your home within five years. If you’ve purchased before under the Right to Buy this may affect the current discount you are entitled to.

There are different discount levels for houses and flats.

Houses

You get a 35% discount if you’ve been a public sector tenant for between 3 and 5 years.

After 5 years, the discount goes up by 1% for every extra year you’ve been a public sector tenant, up to a maximum of £96,000.

Flats

You get a 50% discount if you’ve been a public sector tenant for between 3 and 5 years.

After 5 years, the discount goes up by 2% for every extra year you’ve been a public sector tenant, up to a maximum of £96,000.

Mortgages

We do not provide mortgages. You will need to obtain your mortgage from a reputable mortgage lender.

During 2023 valuations on homes in High Wycombe for Right to Buy applications ranged from £175,000 for a one-bed flat to £375,000 for a three-bed house.

The price paid is the valuation minus the discount which may be different for each customer.

Valuations can vary by the location of the property. For example, a property in East Wycombe may demand a higher price than the West of Wycombe and vice versa. These examples of prices can give you an idea of property prices but cannot be relied on until a valuation has been conducted on your home by Red Kite.

If you don't have the cash to buy your home, it is likely that you will have to take out a mortgage to complete your purchase. A typical mortgage may be over 25 years with monthly repayments of capital and interest.

At a mortgage rate of 4%, repayments are likely to be:

Mortgage Amount Monthly Repayment
£70,000 £370
£80,000 £422
£90,000 £475
£100,000 £528
£110,000 £580
£120,000 £633
£130,000 £686
£140,000 £739
£150,000 £792
£160,000 £845
£170,000 £897
£180,000 £950
£190,000 £1,002
£200,000 £1,055
£250,000 £1,319
£300,000 £1,583

These costs do not include mortgage lending fees which range from £99 to £2,000 depending on your lender. You will also have to pay for survey and legal fees, building and life insurance and, possibly, stamp duty land tax.

You will also have to incur expenditure to keep your property maintained and in good repair. Improvements will become your responsibility.

If you are buying the lease on a flat, this expenditure will include charges in respect of services provided, building insurance, our management charges, and provision for repairs and major works to the building. You will be responsible for maintaining your own home internally.

If you are in receipt of Housing Benefit, this will stop when you have completed the purchase of your home. Housing Benefit is to assist with the payment of your rent but is not available to help with mortgage payments.

Before submitting your Right to Buy application, please consider carefully the costs of borrowing (shown above) and the other costs involved in the purchase and ongoing ownership of your home.

It is particularly important to compare the costs of borrowing with the amount of rent you are paying at present. If your proposed mortgage payment is higher than your current rent payment, you should think about how you can afford the extra cost month by month over a period of many years and be confident that you can do so.

Please remember that your home is at risk if you cannot keep up your mortgage payments or any other loan repayments where your home acts as security for the borrowing that you have taken out.

If you have any queries or concerns about the information provided, please contact our Home Ownership Advisor – Right to Buy and Leasehold.

You may also find it helpful to speak to the mortgage advisor at your own bank or building society, or to an independent mortgage adviser. They should be able to give you an idea of the amount of mortgage available to you and the monthly repayment costs involved.

It is important that you obtain independent advice as we can’t provide this.

How to apply for Right to Buy

As well as the Right to Buy application form we've included some supporting documents containing information about the Right to Buy process - there are lots of these but it's important to read them through so you are clear on what going through Right to Buy means for you as a tenant.

If you would like more information about buying your home then please contact the government's Right to Buy Agent service.

Right to Buy information pack

This is a list of some of the solicitors in the Wycombe area. Although we are not able to
recommend the services of any particular solicitor we are aware that our tenants have
used some of the solicitors below.

Allan Janes
21 Easton Street
High Wycombe
HP11 1NT
01494 521301

Clarke & Son
90 Easton Street
High Wycombe
HP11 1NG
01494 527391

Kidd Rapinet
The Old Registry
20 Amersham Hill
High Wycombe
HP13 6NZ
01494 450494

Davies Simmons
25 High Street
High Wycombe
HP11 2AE
01494 754250

Gabbitas Robins
The Old House
West Street
Marlow
SL7 2LX
01628 472600

Fendom Dawson

6 Easton Street
High Wycombe
HP11 1NJ
01494 450361

Old Bank Chambers
330 Amersham Road
Hazlemere
High Wycombe
HP15 7PU
01494 716911

George & George
Dial House
14 Crendon Street
High Wycombe
HP13 6LW
01494 528716

Rawlings & Co
2 Castle Street
High Wycombe
HP13 6RZ
01494 521021

Baily & Gibson
30 High Street
High Wycombe
01494 442661

Gordons
Winterhill House
Station Approach
Marlow
SL7 1NT
01628 487487

Robert Kyle & Co
15 South Place
Marlow
SL7 1PY
01628 528555

Bailey Gibson
5 Station Parade
Beaconsfield
HP9 2PG
01494 672661

Wise
The Old Star
Church Street
Princes Risborough
HP27 9AA
01844 274000

  1. Application form RTB1 is completed by applicant(s).
  2. Red Kite sends a written decision, Form RTB2, within four weeks of the application date, or eight weeks if enquiries have to be made of a previous landlord.
  3. If the Right to Buy is denied, your application will be cancelled at this stage.
  4. If the Right to Buy is accepted, Red Kite will instruct a professional valuer to inspect your home by appointment. The valuer will send a valuation report to Red Kite.
  5. The Notice of Purchase Price (Section 125 Notice), which is your formal sale offer, will be sent within eight weeks, or 12 weeks if a flat, of the RTB2 date.
  6. Response:
    • If you disagree with the valuation, contact Red Kite within three months and request a determination of value by the District Valuer. Red Kite will make all the arrangements and send a revised Section 125 Notice within four weeks of receiving the determination of value from the District Valuer
    • Otherwise, return your decision form to Red Kite within 12 weeks
    • After 12 weeks, Red Kite sends a reminder that you should respond within a further 28 days
    • Your application is cancelled if you do not return your decision form
  7. Decision:
    • Either proceed with your application – you will need to arrange a mortgage or other funding and appoint a solicitor at this stage, or
    • Withdraw – Red Kite will cancel your application. You may cancel your application at any time before you complete your purchase
  8. If you are proceeding, you will need to provide evidence of a firm mortgage offer or other funding. When received, Red Kite will order the plans of your home and instruct its solicitors to prepare the necessary legal papers. These will be sent direct to your nominated solicitor.
  9. If you do not buy your home within three months after returning your decision form, Red Kite will send you a Preliminary Notice to Complete. This gives you 56 days to complete your purchase.
  10. If you do not buy your home within the 56 day period, Red Kite will send you a Final Notice to Complete. This gives you a further 56 days to complete your purchase. Red Kite will cancel your application if you do not complete your purchase within this period.
  11. Completion of purchase – you pay the full purchase price for your home and complete your purchase on a day agreed between you, your solicitor and Red Kite.

When you receive your Notice of Purchase Price you will be informed what known defects have been taken into account within the price.

However, you may find that you have other repairs to report after you have made your Right to Buy application but before you have purchased your home.

You can still report any repairs in the normal way to us. We will conduct repairs to your home but will not do any improvement works while your Right to Buy application is open.

Examples of emergency repairs may include making your home wind and weatherproof, failure of your heating and hot water systems, electrical failure and serious plumbing leaks.

Any work which would improve the property will not be carried out once a Right to Buy application is received. Red Kite’s Repairs and Maintenance Team will be informed of your application and your property will then be deleted from any improvement programmes.

Examples of such programmes are:

  1. Renewal of windows
  2. Installation of central heating
  3. Rewiring
  4. Modernisation
  5. Re-roofing
  6. External decorating including pre-painting repairs

If you have applied to buy a flat the same conditions as above will apply for the inside of your property.

However, Red Kite will still be responsible for the external structure of the flat even when you have purchased the property.

For example, Red Kite will still maintain:

  1. External brickwork, including garage brickwork
  2. The roof, including garage roofs
  3. External doors and communal windows, but not garage doors/windows
  4. Gutters
  5. Damp-proof courses
  6. Communal facilities – staircases, balconies, walkways and refuse areas
  7. Cold water tanks in the loft that serve more than one flat

In return for maintaining the building, Red Kite will send you an annual bill or service charge for your proportion of the costs. This charge will be estimated and notified to you on your Notice of Purchase Price. Once notified, the repairs charge (plus an inflation allowance) will be capped for five years.

If you are buying the lease of a flat or the freehold of a house, your costs of home ownership will include ground rent (flats only) and charges for services provided. These may include provision for repairs, major works and improvements to the building and/or the estate where you live, plus a contribution towards buildings insurance and Red Kite’s management costs.

It is important to remember that these ongoing charges may be for freehold purchases as well as leasehold.

The list of service charges is not exhaustive, but will include such items as:

  • Door entry system servicing
  • Fire alarm servicing
  • Communal TV aerial servicing
  • Communal energy cost
  • Cleaning contract
  • Estate management
  • Grounds maintenance
  • Buildings insurance
  • Management fee

We are committed to an ongoing programme of maintenance and repair to our homes, including to our blocks of flats. Examples of the type of repair we will be carrying out include:

  • External decoration
  • Internal redecoration of communal areas
  • Resurfacing of external pathways, roads and yards
  • Renewal of boundary structures – fences, walls etc.
  • Renewal of roofs with existing type - flat with flat, pitched with pitched etc.
  • Rewiring and renewal of fittings: domestic and communal
  • Replacement of communal heating systems
  • Replacement lifts

One of the promises made before Stock Transfer was to bring our homes up to the Red Kite Standard. This has led us to develop an extensive programme of investment, which is being rolled out. Examples of the sort of things we will be doing follow, but again this list is not exclusive:

  • Flat to pitched roof conversions, including upgrading of roof insulation
  • New lift installations
  • Renewal of staircases
  • Disability Discrimination Act compliance in communal areas
  • Communal satellite dishes / cable TV feed / digital TV aerials
  • Single to double-glazed windows and / or external doors
  • Porches & balconies
  • Installation of communal electrical or heating facilities
  • Installation of fire / smoke alarms, fire fighting equipment etc. Installation of door entry systems, CCTV etc.
  • Insulation - cavity wall, loft, internal / external cladding to walls etc.
  • Provision of additional or re-siting of existing garages / stores / sheds
  • Traffic calming on designated access roads

We have a planned programme of works, which we update regularly.

Before submitting your Preserved Right to Buy application, please consider carefully the costs involved in the ongoing ownership of your home.

The annual service charges and repairs bill that we will ask you to pay can run to several hundred pounds, with some flats subject to a bill in excess of £1,000. This represents a sizeable commitment on a regular basis.

The contribution towards investment that we will ask you to pay, when they are carried out, may be a significant amount running into several thousand pounds.

You need to be confident that you will be able to meet these costs as and when they arise.

It is particularly important to compare the costs of owning your home with the amount of rent you are paying at present. If your proposed mortgage payment and service charges bill combined is higher than your current rent payment, you should think about how you can afford the extra cost month by month over a period of many years and be confident that you can do so.

If you fall into arrears with your service charges payments, we will try to obtain the money owed by way of an agreed payment plan. If this fails, we will obtain a County Court Judgement for the outstanding amount. This will make it difficult for you to obtain credit in the future. Eventually, we will seek to obtain payment of the arrears from your mortgage lender. This will increase the balance of your mortgage and may mean an increase in the overall term of your mortgage and / or higher monthly mortgage repayments.

Please remember that your home is at risk if you cannot keep up your mortgage payments or any other loan repayments where your home acts as security for the borrowing that you have taken out.

If you have any queries or concerns about the information provided, please contact Red Kite’s Home Ownership Advisor - Right to Buy & Leasehold.

It is important that you obtain independent advice as Red Kite cannot provide this.

Right to Acquire

This scheme is for people who became new tenants of Red Kite on or after 12th December 2011 and who were not tenants of Wycombe District Council (now Buckinghamshire Council) immediately prior to this date.

The information shown above relating to qualification, exceptions and costs is the same for the right to acquire as for the right to buy, apart from the discount arrangements which are different. The government has published set levels of discount for the right to acquire scheme: the discount amount for the Aylesbury Vale and Wycombe districts is £13,500, and for the Chiltern and South Buckinghamshire districts it's £16,000.