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Right to Buy Scheme

Volume 459: debated on Friday 20 April 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what powers housing associations and trusts have to impose a two-year moratorium on the selling of houses under right-to-buy legislation. (130610)

Social landlords have no general power to suspend the right-to-buy. However, the availability of the right-to-buy may be affected either by demolition plans or by the tenant’s own behaviour.

Where there are plans to demolish the property, service on the tenant of an initial demolition notice suspends the right-to-buy by preventing the tenant from forcing the landlord to complete the sale. Once a final demolition notice has been served, the right-to-buy no longer arises. An initial demolition notice can last up to five years. The final demolition notice must specify, demolition within 24 months (but may be extended by direction of the Secretary of State).

A landlord may also seek an order from the court suspending the right-to-buy for a specified period on the grounds of antisocial behaviour by the tenant. A tenant may not compel a landlord to complete a right-to-buy sale if an application for a demotion order, or for a suspension order or possession order on the grounds of antisocial behaviour is pending against him or her. In addition, where a tenant is in arrears of rent the landlord cannot be forced to complete the sale so long as payment of the arrears remains outstanding.