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Buying your Council house

Important update - Extension to Pressured Area Status

On 15th March 2016 South Ayrshire Council approved the extension of Pressured Area Status from 24th June 2016 until 1st August 2016 when the Right to Buy ends for all social housing tenants in Scotland.

There are 29 letting neighbourhoods in South Ayrshire designated as ‘pressured’ areas. This means that the Right to Buy is currently suspended for tenants living in these areas whose tenancy began on or after 30th September 2002 and before 1st March 2011.

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 ends the Right to Buy for all social housing tenants in Scotland on the 1st August 2016.

If you would like more information, please visit www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/council-housing/pressured-area-status.aspx where you will find a list of frequently a sked questions. Alternatively you can telephone 01292 612968.

Buying a Council house under the Right to Buy scheme.

Please note: The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 gave Scottish Ministers the power to grant any part of a Local Authority area as pressured. This means that the right to buy is suspended in these areas for new tenants for 5 years.

In South Ayrshire pressured area status was granted for a period of 5 years from 24th June 2011. This affects 29 letting areas in South Ayrshire.

View the pressured area status letting areas.

The modernised right to buy scheme

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 changed the terms of right to buy for new council tenants under the new Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreement. These changes came into force on 30th September 2002. This included existing tenants who transfer to another council tenancy after 30th September 2002. This also includes new tenancies created by transfer, mutual exchanges or assignation and succession (except successions by joint tenants, spouses, co-habitees). Existing tenants, who remain in their current property after 30th September 2002, will retain the old right to buy provision.

Right to Buy changes - Housing (Scotland) Act 2010

On the 1st March 2011, the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010 introduced further changes to the right to buy. The main changes are that the right to buy is removed from:

  • new-build and new-supply social housing;
  • people who take up a tenancy with a social landlord for the first time; and
  • with some exceptions – tenants who return to the social rented sector after a break.

This means that if you take up a tenancy for the first time after the 1st March 2011, you will not have the right to buy.

Also if you return to social housing after 1 March 2011, after a voluntary break, you will not normally have the right to buy.

Qualifying period and discount levels

The main difference between the old right to buy and the new modernised right to buy in terms of qualifying periods and discount levels are detailed below.

Years spent as a tenant Tenancy began before
30 Sept 2002
Tenancy began on or after
30 Sept 2002
Tenancy of new-supply house began on or after 1 March 2011 or
if the tenant is a 'new tenant' after 1 March 2011
Houses Flats All properties All properties
0 to 2 Cannot buy Cannot buy Cannot buy Cannot buy
2 to 4 32% - 34% 44% - 48% Cannot buy Cannot buy
5 to 9 35% - 39% 50% - 58% 20% - 24% Cannot buy
10 to 14 40% - 44% 60% - 68% 25% - 29% Cannot buy
15 to 19 45% - 49% 70% 30% - 34% Cannot buy
20 to 24 50% - 54% 70% 35% or £15000 Cannot buy
25 to 29 55% - 59% 70% 35% or £15000 Cannot buy
30 and over 60% 70% 35% or £15000 Cannot buy

Right to Buy may be suspended where a tenant has outstanding rent / council tax arrears or is currently facing legal action because of alleged anti-social behaviour.

We have put together some frequently asked questions about pressured area status

Prospective right to buy applicants can obtain an application form from staff at their local housing office or from the House Sales Section at the County Buildings.

The completed form should then be returned to:

South Ayrshire Council
The House Sales Department
Office Services
Development, Safety and Regulation
County Buildings
Wellington Square
Ayr KA8 1DR

Or to the local area housing office, who can pass it on to house sales.

Once the form has been received by the House Sales Department, a District Valuer will survey the property in order to place a valuation. Followed by a House Sales Officer, who will draft a survey of the garden area and confirm access rights to the property.

The tenant's appropriate discount level is then calculated and a price for the property is given.

The paperwork is then sent to legal services and a formal letter is sent out. It is very important at this stage that the applicant has employed the services of a solicitor to help them complete the legal transaction properly.

The whole right to buy transaction from the date of application to the point of legal completion of the purchase takes around 26 weeks on average.

If you are considering applying to buy your Council House you may find it helpful to view our Customer Charter for Council House Sales

The Scottish Government has also produced a booklet explaining the right to buy for secure tenants.

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