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Right to Buy - Updated October 2014

It should be noted that the Scottish Government's intention to end the right to buy entitlements was included in The Housing (Scotland) Bill which was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 25 June 2014 and received Royal Ascent on 1 August 2014.  This means that the right to buy will end for all council and housing association tenants in Scotland.  Tenants with a  right to buy, that they are allowed to use, will have two years to do so.  This two-year window is now underway and Clydebank Housing Association is now alerting its tenants that Right to Buy in Scotland will come to an end on 1 August 2016.

Some tenants of housing associations (registered social landlords) such as Clydebank Housing Association (Clydebank HA) have the right to purchase their homes at a discounted price. There are various qualifications, conditions and exceptions to this, depending on when the tenancy began, the type of property or whether the tenancy transferred from another landlord, to name just a few.

 

Background

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 introduced the Scottish Secure Tenancy which provided a single, common tenancy for nearly all tenants of local authorities and housing associations in Scotland. Substantial changes were made to the Right to Buy scheme (RTB) which came into force on 30 September 2002.

The most important changes were to the terms and conditions attached to the Right to Buy, including changes to the initial qualifying period and to the way in which the entitlement to discount is calculated. There were also changes to the types of houses which cannot be purchased through the Right to Buy and to the procedures involved.  These changes are known as the “Modernised Right to Buy”.

From 30 September 2002, tenants who had no Right to Buy entitlement were able to start accruing discount entitlement where they had built up five years’ continuous tenancy with one or more housing association(s). However, the 2001 Act exempted all of our stock from the Modernised Right to Buy for the 10 years to 30 September 2012 and gave the right to apply to extend this suspension beyond 2012.

With exception, most Clydebank HA tenants who had the Right to Buy entitlement before 30 September 2002 are able to exercise it at any time and are not affected by the changes (“Preserved” Right to Buy status).

 

Further changes – Housing (Scotland) Act 2010

From 01 March 2011, The Housing (Scotland) Act 2010 introduced further reforms to the Right to Buy provisions.

 

The main changes are that the RTB is removed from:

 

New-build and new-supply housing;

People who take up a tenancy with a RSL for the first time; and

With some exceptions – tenants who return to the social rented sector after a break.

 

Although some aspects of the RTB were changed by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010, it did not change any existing rights or entitlements.

 

Recent Changes

In June 2012, Clydebank HA successfully applied for a further extension to suspend the modernised RTB for another period of 10 years until 30 September 2022 following the submission of detailed information (financial and otherwise) to the Scottish Ministers.

 

In granting the exemption the Government looked at the implications of the RTB on the number, quality and management of our housing stock.  We successfully demonstrated that the RTB could have significant implications on both our housing stock and our tenants through potential reduced income and in turn services such as repairs and maintenance.  Selling houses also inhibits our ability to provide low cost rented housing, this being the reason that the Association was originally formed. 

 

The extension ensures our continued ability to provide good quality and properly managed rented housing for the people of Clydebank.  It also ensures that we can continue to provide all our tenants with a wide range of Maintenance, Management and wider role services with no compromise on the levels of service. 

 

This is a complex issue and the above information is intended as a guideline only. Please contact Joe Farrell, Housing Manager, or Lynette Lees, Finance Manager, at the office for a talk about individual Right to Buy entitlements. Our policy is available from the table below. 

 

The Scottish Government has issued a document called Your Right to Buy Your Home: A guide for Scottish Secure Tenants. This is available in PDF format here.

 

 

Right to Buy
Description File Size
Right to Buy Policy 2015 Adobe PDF Document 228 Kb