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Stuart J
Stuart J, Property Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 22928
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I’ve been refused the right to buy my council house, Just

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I’ve been refused the right to buy my council house
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: Just the application form to buy
JA: Where is the house located?
Customer: Dy149tq
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: they state refused upon grounds of rural area but have recently sold a house next door to the tenant
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I’m very annoyed that they have said I cannot buy my house due to it being in a rural area but have sold two other properties within the last 12 months I feel I have been discriminated against
Hello,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Please if you can as iv done a lot of searching and cannot see my area on this list of exemptions plus also as they have recently sold a social house to the tenant

I have been asked to look at this for you. I apologise if I am delayed getting back to you over the weekend because I am only online and off-line sporadically at weekends. Nonetheless, I am online at some time every day.

 

I need some more information from you please.

Are you able to let me have a copy of the refusal please?

So they are just treating you differently than the person next door but for no reason? Because obviously, if your house is in a rural area, then next door is in a rural area?

Is that it? Thank you.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Hi yes I’ll upload the denial response for you now
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
I have added the response
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
I did telephone the housing team and spoke to one of the team she was very snooty and didn’t seem to care regarding my reason for asking them why she did say my tenancy witch is assured means I can’t buy my home but this wasn’t mentioned on the refusal notice

Thank you.

The property being in the Rural area is indeed one of the reasons which the property may be exempt from certain conditions but please read on:

this is the statute:

https://righttobuy.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Your-Right-to-Buy-Your-Home-A-Guide-April-2017.pdf

In this latter document, you can see that in a rural you may only only be able to sell to a person who lives or works locally (see pages 24/ 25).

There is however no restriction in that document on the initial purchase.

Also, the government webpages also referred to restrictions on reselling:

https://www.gov.uk/right-to-buy-buying-your-council-home/selling-your-home

and this guideline says the same:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/your-right-to-buy-your-home-summary--2/right-to-buy-summary-booklet

 

To be honest, I cannot find anything which prevents a tenant buying the property under the right to buy. The only restriction I can find is on reselling and I have to tell you this stage because of the restriction on reselling, you may struggle to get a mortgage unless you are buying cash.

 

Don’t try to deal with this on the telephone. Put it in writing and I would refer them government publications which only referred to reselling and notwithstanding the statutory provision they have given you, can they please give you the statutory provision which prevents you buying because they have only given you the statutory provision which makes the area a rural area and you can’t find anything from the government which says that you are exempt from purchasing.

 

You need to also say that as the property next door was subject to a right to buy, they please explain why it didn’t apply to next door although it does apply to you.

Depending on when door was purchased, the legislation may have changed between then and now but do ask.

If they don’t give you a satisfactory response, then make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman and also the Housing Ombudsman.

 

If I have answered your question for you, at the top of the page, you should see a rating facility. Can you please rate my reply 3 stars or more because that really helps me? Please note you are not rating whether it’s favourable, because sometimes you may not get the answer you want, but basically my knowledge and way of dealing.

The thread does not close and I am happy to answer any questions you may have arising from this.

Kind regards

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Hi yes iv found most of this when iv been researching I do know it was brought within the last 12 months I have filed complaints with the housing and also contacted the ombudsman regarding this as if the exemption applies to houses in a rural location that has been implemented since 1997 I find this ludicrous as they have sold several council houses past this time and now refused to let me purchase mine is like they have discriminated me I have lived in the are for 25 years and got my own house in 2005 so have been a tenant for 14 years now

In which case, you have the comfort of knowing that 2 people have the same opinion.

I can find loads of discussion in Parliament at preventing this but nothing which ended up in statute.

Have you yet heard back from either ombudsman?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
No not yet it states response time of 5 days so I’m hoping I’ll get one soon it is very disheartening to me as this has been my home for 14 years I have inputted so much time and energy into making it the best it can be and to be told my right to acquire is refused on the grounds it’s within a rural area but knowing that two other tenants have brought there’s feels like a punch to the stomach so to speak

Thank you. Let’s see what happens. The thread stays open.

You do have the knowledge that you have a secured tenancy and therefore, provided you keep paying the rent, you will get the benefits of all the improvements.

As I said earlier, I could only see restrictions on resale, no restriction on acquisition. None of the government booklets or website mentions restriction on acquisition.

Further, it seems absolutely bizarre but 2 of the tenants have purchased their own property adjacent to yours and for some reason you are now being disallowed.

I would still write a letter to the local authority in the terms which I have mentioned.

If you could help me, in the way that I have helped you, I would be obliged if you could please use the rating service because that gives payment for my time and expertise it today.

If anything else crops up, we can still exchange notes.

Kind regards.

Stuart J, Property Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 22928
Experience: Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
Stuart J and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
I have an assured tenancy witch thought meant I had a permanent home and the right to purchase it in the future but I will draft up a letter complaining to the council as a follow up to my email initiating my complaint we pay rent on time and rarely have any repairs done as we tend to do them ourselves due to the time scale the council take
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Do you have any suggestions or a template of how I should word my letter to my council as I’d like to get all the included information regarding the rural area legislation restrictions as correct as possible I will include sections from the right to acquire criteria as quotation for my arguments I will also point out that they have sold one of there properties to the tenant who moved into the property at the same time I moved into mine so my query would be why if they were given a different tenancy agreement to myself and regardless of that fact if there refusal to allow me to purchase my property due to the rural area aspect why they let that tenant buy there’s ?? Thank you

The effect of an assured tenancy is the longer should comply with the terms of the tenancy agreement and keep paying the rent, they cannot get you out in the same way that a landlord who has given you a Assured Shorthold tenancy can you have security of tenure

You only have the right to buy in certain circumstances if you have a property from the local authority, housing association or certain other government departments such as MOD. Like you, I cannot see why you do not have it particularly in view of the fact that neighbours have already taken up the offer and have done so recently.

The payment of rent on time and not having repairs done, is actually not relevant but annoying.

I would be happy to word the letter for you although as you know all the facts and figures, it would be better if you did the letter and I edited it for you. There is an extra cost for wording letters so I will submit a premium services proposal for you which is an optional extra.

Incidentally, we cannot send the letter for your letterhead, we would only be giving you the wording for you to send. If you wanted it to come from a solicitor, you would have to engage a local firm.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Ok thank you I have sent in a letter of complaint with lots of reference to the right to acquire guides and rural legislation also included that they have sold two properties but have excluded me hopefully I’ll get a response I have contacted my local mp for his help and he has said that he will contact me once the election has been done on dec 12th

I am pleased to help. Please stay in touch and let me know how you get on. I hope you get it sorted satisfactorily. Kind regards

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
I hope it a successful there denials based on rural area is compromised if they have indeed sold the two other properties I’ll keep in touch

Thank you

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Hi a quick update iv had confirmation from the housing that they have received my complaint and will get a response to me ASAP
In my letter to them I mentioned regarding buying my house as if they have sold the ones next door but if they have not and those tenants have been spinning the yarn so to speak iv asked if the housing group would consider a part buy part rent scheme as there is one property on my street that they have done this with it will be a step on the ladder for us and something we would be happy for if not being allowed to buy outright
Thanks
Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Hi not heard anything yet from my housing iv been in touch with the housing ombudsman they said I need to wait Upto 8 weeks before they can step in and assist me
My argument still stands with the housing group on the grounds they will not sell my home to me due to it being in an exemption rural area but have been happy to sell to my neighbors will the ombudsman be able to get direct answers from the housing group and if it applies grant the right to acquire if they have sold the houses but refuse to sell me mine??thanks

Thank you for the update. It’s normal, rather frustrating, that before a cup will step in, you have to wait 8 weeks. It is the same across all the ombudsman services.

 

I can’t think for one moment why next-door would lie about having purchased the house.

You can easily find out by getting the title deeds from the land registry. Only cost three quid.

 

You can get the title deed and the plan quickly and easily by using this link:

 

https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/www/wps/portal/!ut/p/b1/04_SjzS0tDQwMTIxMjLXj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOKNjSxMDA1NjDwsjM3MDTxN3dyNDUNMjQ1MjPWDU_P0c6McFQH3SLFU/

 

and you will have to pay 3 pounds for the title deed and 3 pounds for the plan. You don’t need to plan.

 

You will then have them in minutes if not seconds.

 

The only proviso is that the solicitor that did the purchase has completed the registration because very often, solicitors are extremely slow at doing so. Nonetheless, worth booking to see who is the owner in section B.

 

If they sold next-door 12 months ago but now, for whatever reason, will not sell you yours, I cannot see how the ombudsman can possibly rule in their favour. It remains to be seen because until then, all we can do is speculate.

Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Hi well I have established that the housing did sell to one of my neighbours at the end of 2017
But they didn’t sell to my amediate neighbour
Does the fact that they did sell to the other neighbour help me with my argument in them refusing my right to purchase my home??

I think it certainly does help you PROVIDED that it wasn’t made into aurora area after the neighbours bought the their house got their offer which could have been mid 2017.

If your letter has already gone off to the local authority asking them to explain this, is no reason why you couldn’t send a follow-up with a copy of this deed asking to explain how it could have happened with this labour if it cant happen to you.

Customer: replied 2 day ago.
Iv looked into it further and the rural area clause was instated in 2014 so I’m still unsure as to how they can sell a house whilst that restriction is in place iv spoken to some locals and they seem to think it was a case of the council off loading a much needed property as it’s a 4 bedroom house and rather them keeping it on the list they sell it but this is all speculation
Iv sent another follow up email included the land registration for the house they sold
Iv asked that they look into it further and that if they decided to sell another house that they consider selling me mine I am a local iv lived in the area much longer than most of the people who reside here hopefully I’ll get some truthful answers from them

If that’s the reason, then it’s irrelevant. They cannot pick and choose..

 

The potential problem for them is that they may have screwed up by selling that one because the line that they are taking with you may be the correct line and somebody may have dropped one in selling the other property.

 

At the moment we can only speculate until they come back to you.

Customer: replied 20 hours ago.
It just seems like they are discriminating us for wanting to buy our home but refuse on this rural area clause but they have sold one after the area was exempted
Iv also noticed they are listing a lot of properties in other rural areas on the market to sell either outright or on a shared ownership
It appears they are nit picking

 

I must admit it does seem rather illogical and irrational, what they are doing.

Customer: replied 19 hours ago.
Agreed I’ll let you know once I receive a response as I may need some further advice on this matter

excellent. Thank you.