Right to Buy
Right To Buy Your Council House
Under the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 as amended by the Housing (Scotland ) Acts 2001 and 2010, if you are a Scottish Secure Tenant of West Lothian Council you may have the right to buy your home at a discount.
The amount of discount depends on how long you have been a tenant. The level of discount has been reduced for those tenants who gained the right to buy after 30 September 2002. Those who became tenants after 1 March 2011 will not have the right to buy.
You can obtain advice and guidance (including frequently asked questions leaflets and explanatory leaflets about the right to buy scheme) and an application form from your local Housing Office or Customer Service Centre.
You can also obtain an application form by downloading one from the Scottish Government website http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2011/02/25123547/0 (new window)
There is also a leaflet published by the Scottish Government which contains useful advice http://scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2011/02/02164100/0 (new window).
Frequently Asked Questions
Click a question to see the answer.
If the tenancy began prior to 30th September 2002, an application to purchase can be made after having held a tenancy (in the current house or in any number of properties with relevant landlords) for a period of two years immediately prior to submitting the application. If the tenancy began after 30th September 2002 (including transfers), this qualifying period increases to 5 years. Those who became tenants after 1 March 2011 will not have the right to buy. Tenants can apply jointly with one or more members of their family, provided that they are at least 18 years of age and have lived at the address for a continuous period of 6 months immediately prior to the application. Updated: 27/09/11
If you have more than 4 weeks arrears of rent and/or Council Tax we will refuse your Right to Buy application. Updated: 27/09/11
No, only the tenant can buy their Council house. However, other members of the family can join in the purchase if they are 18 or over and have lived with you (but not contrary to the terms of your tenancy agreement) for at least 6 months before your application to purchase is served. If the Council agrees however, then the 6 months requirement need not apply. Sharing the cost of buying with your family under the Right to Buy means, for example, that if your grown-up children live with you, you could buy your home jointly with them and their income could be counted towards the money you borrow. Updated: 27/09/11
The Council will arrange to have your house or flat valued. This will be done by the District Valuer. You do not pay for this. The valuation is the price the property could be expected to fetch if it were sold on the open market without a sitting tenant and excludes any improvements which you have made. Your discount entitlement will then be deducted from this figure. Updated: 27/09/11
There are a number of exclusions from the right to buy which include tied housing, sheltered housing, special needs housing, student housing and temporary housing.
Although the Council makes no charge to tenants who apply to purchase, there are other costs associated with buying a Council house. For example, solicitor's fees, your mortgage, references, (a lender may ask the Council to provide a mortgage reference. The Council makes a charge for this and the lender may pass on this charge), insurance, repairs and maintenance, discount repayment (if the property is sold at any time within 3 years, a proportional amount of the discount must be repaid). Updated:27/09/11
On receipt of your completed application form your home will be valued by the District Valuer at no cost to you. Your discount will be calculated based on your tenancy records and the necessary administration procedures will be carried out prior to issuing an offer to you within 2 months. We aim to complete a council house sale with 26 weeks from receipt of the completed application form. If complications arise settlement may take longer. Updated: 28/09/11
Until your purchase is completed the Council must keep in good repair the structure and exterior of your home and keep in good repair and proper working order the installations in the house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation. It may also have other responsibilities to you and you can find out more by reading your tenancy agreement. Updated: 27/09/11