Monday, 21 April 2014

Exceptions to the Right to Buy - adapted properties

Posted in: Need to Know | Ask the Experts

28/02/2011 12:03 pm

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Anonymous

Anonymous

28/02/2011 1:19 pm

What is your exact problem? Have you been denied a right to buy?

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Sidney Webb

Sidney Webb

Location: South East England
Posts: 224

28/02/2011 3:17 pm

Shame there is not an Oscar for the most appropriately named avatar.

The understanding is that it applies to the property, and the property does not need to be communal. The designation will often be at time of development grant being applied, but that does not preclude later adaptation causing designation.

Simply put, if its not general needs then its not general needs.

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Miserable Sod

Miserable Sod

Posts: 12

28/02/2011 5:36 pm

Cheers for the replies. It's not about any RTB application in particular, I'm just wondering because at my local authority, they will sell adapted properties under the right to buy based on the fact that they are not in a 'group', that is they have taken the legislation to mean that there is no provision to refuse an application to buy an adapted property unless it is in a development of properties solely for disabled people. It didn't sound right to me, but having searched around a bit I couldn't find any definite answer one way or the other.

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Anonymous

Anonymous

01/03/2011 3:42 pm

Eh??

Do your LA not understand the simple concept of a "group" - in this instance it is probabbally easier to refer to it as a "class" i.e. it is of a type or style of property that is allocated to someone who needs an adaptation!

You dont happen to live in a tory contralled area do you......?

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Miserable Sod

Miserable Sod

Posts: 12

01/03/2011 5:38 pm

Nope, all the councillors are Labour. Your reaction is exactly the same as mine was - my problem is finding some definitive proof that they shouldn't be doing it.

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Eddie E

Eddie E

Posts: 8

02/03/2011 8:51 am

I think your local authority is right because of part b) of the clause which refers to services being provided in "close proximity to the group" which implies that the group would have to be fairly close together in order to be in close proximity to the service.

Even if you could define the group as all of a landlord's adapted stock you would still fail to meet this exemption because of part b) unless all your adapted stock was in the same locality and receiving a service specific to those properties.

As I remember it there used to be a separate exemption for single properties that had been specifically adapted but this was repealed years ago (by the Housing Act 1988 I think).

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Nigel Rogers

Nigel Rogers

Posts: 17

02/03/2011 10:00 pm

In the absence of caselaw any answer I can attempt must be at least partly speculative. But the wording of the act seems fairly clearly designed to prevent units in schemes such as sheltered housing and the like from being subject to RTB.

In particular, I think what matters is not so much the physical grouping of schemes - lots of supported or sheltered housing now runs on a dispersed basis, so they don't necessarily have to be physcially close - as the ' social service or special facilities ....provided in close proximity'. In other words, it is the provision of associated care and support tied to the particular location or unit which I read as the decisive factor.

I'd welcome legal views on this interpretation.

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Eddie E

Eddie E

Posts: 8

03/03/2011 4:50 pm

The schedule has different exemptions for sheltered housing and housing for older people (paragraphs 10 and 11). Paragraph 7 is specifically about housing for the physically disabled.

I note what you say Nigel but I still think that if the service has to be in "close proximity" to the group then the group needs to be fairly close together.

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Jonathon Rushton

Jonathon Rushton

Location: London
Posts: 1

03/03/2011 7:19 pm

You will find your answer when you read Para. 7, Sh.5 to the Housing Act 1985 in conjunction with 'Your Right to Buy Your Home: A guide for tenants of councils, new towns and registered social landlords'.

Read together it is clear that the test to be applied is whether the property in question contains features substantially different to the ordinary dwelling house (by virtue of its adaptation); AND is part of a group; AND has special facilities nearby.

Whether any sinigle property falls within this exception to the right to buy has to be a question of degree in terms of the level of adaptation, grouping and services provided.  

Should you disagree with the decision taken (that you cannot exercise the right to buy) you can always appeal that decision to the Residential Property Tribunal.

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Abimbola  Badejo

Abimbola Badejo

Posts: 120

14/03/2011 3:22 pm

It is clear that all the three matters must be considered together.  It is possible for an isolated dwelling to fall within the exception if the other requirements are satisfied. For instance you could have a ground floor flat that has been specially adapted for use of a disabled tenant.

That flat will be part of a group of flats which the landlord lets to disabled persons. Therefore provided that facilities are provided in close proximity to that flat then I think the exception will apply. As has been pointed out that will be a question of fact in each case.

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