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Right to Buy FAQ


Contact Us

Home Ownership Team
Gateshead Council
Civic Centre
Regent Street
Phone: 0191 433 3550

Opening Hours:
Monday to Thursday: 9am - 5pm
Friday: 9am - 4.35pm


When can I apply to buy my home?

  • You can apply to buy your home if you are a secure tenant and the property is your only home
  • If your tenancy started before the 18 January 2005 you must have spent 2 years as a tenant in the public sector to have the right to buy
  • If your tenancy started after 18 January 2005 you must have spent 5 years as a tenant in the public sector to have the right to buy

Can the Council refuse my Right to Buy?

Yes, in some situations:

  • If you have been served with a Postponed Possession Order and the terms of that order have been breached
  • If your home is scheduled for demolition and an Initial Demolition Order has been served
  • If you or anyone residing in your home has been served with an injuction order, an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO), possession order (for anti social behaviour) or a demotion order is in force or pending against your tenancy
  • If a court has made a possession order which says that you must leave your home. This means that you have been taken to court because of a breach of your tenancy and the court order is still valid
  • If you are an undischarged bankrupt, have a bankruptcy petition pending against you, or have made arrangements with creditors (people you owe money to) and you still owe them money.

Are all Council properties available to purchase?

Some properties are exempt from The Right to Buy. These include properties occupied in connection with a tenant's employment and housing specially provided for older people and (in certain cases) people with disabilities.

How do I apply to buy my home from the Council?

You need to complete the RTB1 application form this is available to download from the documents section at the bottom of this page. Return the application form to the Home Ownership Team address shown on the right of this page. Further details of the stages and timescales involved are on The Right to Buy Process page.

How do I find out how much my home will cost?

When we have established that you have qualified for the Right to Buy a Council valuer will call out and carry out a valuation of the property. The valuation is based on the market value of your home on the date you applied to buy minus any improvements you have made to the property. It is not possible to give a valuation until you have submitted an application form and we have determined that you qualify to buy.

Can a family member buy my home for me?

If a member of your family (aged 18 or over) such as your son, daughter or partner lives in the property with you and has done so continually for the last 12 months they may be able to share in your Right to Buy application. This would make them joint owners of the property with yourself should the sale of the property complete.

If the family member does not live with you or they have not resided at the property for at least the last 12 months they can not share in your Right to Buy. However they may be able to fund the purchase of the property. If this were to occur you as the tenant would be the sole owner of the property following completion of the sale. Should the family member not keep up the repayments on any mortgage secured on the property you could lose your home. In addition should you sign the property over or will the property to the family member this could result in the discount you were awarded having to be repaid.

How do I get a mortgage?

Gateshead Council can not provide you with a mortgage or mortgage advice, however if you require a list of mortgage lenders approved by the Government the Home Ownership Team can provide a copy to you. You do not need to arrange a mortgage until you have received your offer of sale notice (section 125 notice) which contains the price you will have to pay to purchase your property.

Will I have to pay Stamp Duty when I buy my home?

You may be required to pay a percentage of stamp duty depending upon the purchase price of your home. A guide is:

  • If your home is purchased for up to £125,000 you are not required to pay Stamp Duty.
  • If your home is purchased for between £125,000 to £250 000 you will be required to pay 1% Stamp Duty

Unless you live in an area designated by the Government as being a disadvantaged area then the threshold for payment of stamp duty is £150,000. Or if you are a first time buyer the threshold for payment of stamp duty is £250,000.

As most council properties bought under the Right to Buy scheme are purchased for less than £125,000 it is unlikely you would have to pay stamp duty.

Can I borrow extra money when I buy the property?

If you wish to borrow extra money on top of your mortgage, your lender must apply in writing to Gateshead Council Legal and Corporate Services for a Deed of Postponement for which a fee will be payable.

Please Note: Any extra money borrowed must be for home improvements only.

How do I get certificates for work carried out to my home?

Your mortgage lender may ask you for copies of guarantees and or safety certificates for any works such as cavity wall insulation or replacement windows carried out to your home by Gateshead Council. Documents are held by Gateshead Council Local Environmental Services or The Gateshead Housing Company.

For further information on accessing these documents please contact Local Environmental Services on 0191 433 7383 or The Gateshead Housing Company on 0191 433 5353

Please Note: There may be a charge for supplying documents.

I want to sell my home will I have to repay any discount?

If you applied to buy your home on or after the 18 January 2005 and you intend to sell or dispose of your property within 5 years of the date of your purchase you will be required to pay back discount.

If you sell in the First Year of ownership the whole discount will have to be repaid. Four fifths (80%) of the discount must be repaid if you sell within the Second Year, three fifths (60%) in the Third Year, two fifths (40%) in the Fourth Year and one fifth (20%) in the Fifth Year. After 5 years you can sell without repaying any discount. In addition, the amount of discount to be repaid if you sell within the first 5 years of ownership will be a percentage of the resale value of the property, disregarding the value of any improvements you have carried out.

Will the Council buy my home back off me?

If you purchased your home after 18 January 2005 and decide to sell within 10 years, the Council have right of first refusal to buy back your property. This means you must send a letter offering Gateshead Council the chance to buy back your property before you can sell it on the open market. The Council do not have the right of first refusal on properties sold before 18 January 2005. At present Gateshead Council do not buy back properties sold under the Right to Buy.

If you purchased your home under the Right to Buy before 18th January 2005 you will no longer be liable to repay any discount to Gateshead Council or offer us the right of first refusal should you decide to sell your home.