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Discounted market sale

What is the eligibility criteria? 

  • You must be unable to afford to buy a suitably sized, appropriate market property which meets your needs in the same area as the discounted market sale affordable home you are interested in.
  • Your total household gross income (including your partner, if applicable) must be less than £80,000.  
  • You must not have more than 65% of the discounted price in equity/savings/gifted deposit, unless you have a life limiting condition which causes difficulty in accessing suitable accommodation in the borough.
  • If you are over 55 years old, you can make a 100% cash purchase (using savings or equity), but you will be required to show you are unable to purchase the open market value of the discounted market sale home or a suitably sized market property in the same area as the affordable property.  
  • Many discounted market sale affordable homes are also covered by specific local connection criteria. You must be able to provide evidence of a strong local connection either by residence, employment or immediate family connections to the area where the discounted market sale affordable home is located. For rural properties this is usually a connection to the parish and for urban areas the ward. Please note, attendance of household members at a local school is not considered as a local connection. 
  • Eligibility for some discounted market sale homes is also restricted to households who are in housing need. This includes people who:  
    • are forming an emerging or separate new household 
    • are living in overcrowded, unsafe or poor housing conditions 
    • need to move to be nearer employment or support networks or to care for a close family member 
    • have at least two spare bedrooms, or  
    • are first time buyers. 

The developer or agent marketing the discounted market sale property will be able to supply you with details of the specific local connection or housing need criteria that apply. Alternatively you can contact the affordable housing team: 

What is the application process? 

  • Complete the affordable housing eligibility form online.
  • The affordable housing team will check the form and assess your eligibility for the property you are applying for. 
  • You will receive written confirmation of the decision within five working days once you have supplied all the information requested. Please note: you may have to provide copies of payslips, savings accounts, mortgage details, benefits and proof of local connection or housing need. 
  • If you are eligible, you then need to contact the sales office for new homes, or estate agent for re-sale properties, and provide them with a copy of your eligibility letter. 
  • If you are not eligible for the scheme you have applied for, your application will be held for six months and we will inform you of alternative options you may be interested in. 
  • If you are successful and go ahead and buy the discounted market sale property, please notify the affordable housing team so we can take you off our mailing list. 

Selling your property 

You may sell the property at any time but you must notify us in writing of your intention to sell your affordable home, before putting it on the market. The property must be sold with the same discount percentage that you received when purchasing the property. 

You will need to obtain and provide us with three written valuations for the full open market value of the property from different reputable local estate agents. The valuations should be scanned/photographed and emailed to the affordable housing team. We calculate the sales value by taking the average of these three valuations and applying the purchase discount. This is then the maximum sales value which you can sell at through your chosen estate agency. 

The estate agents also need to provide information on how they intend to market your property, together with how they monitor sales progress and the actions taken if a property does not sell as anticipated. Once the affordable housing team have confirmed it meets our requirements, you can choose your estate agent. As well as advertising your property through your chosen estate agents, we will also include it on the available homes page and send the property details to our affordable housing mailing list. 

Prospective buyers must be assessed by us to determine if they are eligible for affordable housing and will need to complete an application form. Once you have chosen your estate agency, we will provide the agent with application forms for prospective buyers to complete and return to us for assessment or potential purchasers can complete our online eligibility form.

Please note: no offers should be taken on the property until the potential purchaser has been assessed by the affordable housing team. Please ask to see their eligibility letter or contact the affordable housing team for authorisation to proceed.  

What happens if I cannot find a buyer for my property and I need to move urgently? 

We place considerable importance on the continued provision of affordable housing for those who are unable to buy a market home. However temporary subletting is permitted on a few discounted market sale homes whilst you are trying to sell, to help owners move on quickly. 

To request permission to sub-let, owners of affordable properties must complete an application form and demonstrate that they are unable to reside at the property due to financial hardship or other extenuating circumstances which have arisen since the purchase, for example job relocation or overcrowding due to additional family members. Alternatively, that they have been unable to secure a sale despite actively marketing the property for 12 months, offered at a reasonable price agreed by our affordable housing team or less. You will need to provide a report from your estate agent showing where and how the property has been marketed, any price or photo revisions and interest shown on search engines such as Rightmove or Zoopla. 

Once a valid application has been made you will receive a decision within 10 working days. If your application is successful, we will relax the restriction for a temporary period, usually 12 months, until you achieve a sale or move back in. Please do not arrange to rent out your property until you have received written confirmation from us.  

Please note that most discounted sale homes are covered by specific restrictions that prohibit letting. If you rent out your affordable home you may be in breach of planning legislation and we can take formal enforcement action against you. If you are struggling to sell or need to move away temporarily, please contact the affordable housing team to make an application.

Apply to sub-let your affordable home

In extenuating circumstances, you can apply to have your discounted market sale home changed into a market home or the eligibility criteria amended by varying the planning permission that was granted before it was built.  

In addition to demonstrating that there is no demand for your discounted market sale through active marketing for 12 months at the agreed price, you must be able to evidence market failure and that this problem is affecting multiple owners on the development or that there are other extenuating circumstances which require the restrictions to be amended just for your home.  

Once you have submitted a valid form you will receive a decision within 10 working days. If your request is supported, the affordable housing team will refer your case to the planning department and you will be asked to make a formal application to vary the planning permission covering your property.  

Please be aware that whilst there is no charge to make a formal planning variation application, should you be successful, you will be required to pay legal costs to cover the amendment to the legal documents. In addition, if you are applying to have all affordable housing restrictions lifted so your property becomes a market home, when you sell the property you will be required to pay back the discount you received, based on its current open market value.  

Please complete an online application to vary the legal documents covering your discounted market sale home.

Affordable housing variation request

Further information

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