Five steps to complete an application

There are five steps in the Right to Buy process. You can withdraw your application at any time up to the completion of purchase, but if you withdraw at a late stage you will incur the cost of your solicitor and survey fees.

Step one - Complete an application form

The first thing to do is complete the 'Notice claiming the Right To Buy' application form, known as an RTB1 form. You can also request us to send you a form in the post.

RTB1 form (Gov.UK)

Send the completed form to the Home Ownership Service:

Home Ownership Service
Fourth floor, The Woolwich Centre
35 Wellington Street
London SE18 6HQ

Make sure you fill in the form correctly or your application may be delayed.

Please note - you may be charged with fraud if you make false claims.

Step two - Get acceptance or refusal of your application

When we've received and checked your form, we'll send you a 'Landlord's notice in response to tenant's right to claim' telling you if we accept your application or not.

If we don't accept your application, we'll give you the reason why on the reverse side of the form.

We'll send you this form within four weeks if you've been our tenant for three years or more, or within eight weeks otherwise.

Step three - Have your property valued and get a formal offer

A valuer from your landlord (the Royal Borough of Greenwich or housing association) will visit your home to inspect and calculate the value of your property.

A surveyor will also visit your home to assess how energy-efficient your home is. You'll get an Energy Performance Certificate as part of your Right to Buy offer.

We'll then:

  • calculate the discount you're entitled to
  • determine the final purchase price
  • send you a formal offer.

This offer is called the Landlord's Offer Notice, also known as the Section 125 notice.

Get a formal offer

You'll get the offer notice within eight weeks if you're buying a house, or within 12 weeks if you're buying a flat or maisonette.

If you decide to go ahead, you should:

  • begin to make arrangements for a mortgage
  • have a full structural survey carried out - your mortgage lender may be able to arrange this for you
  • choose a solicitor to act for you in the legal process.

If you disagree with the price quoted

You can make an appeal to the district valuer if you're not happy with the quoted price. They'll make an independent valuation. You'll have to accept the decision of the district valuer even if it's higher than the original offer.

Step four - Refuse or accept our offer

You must write to us within 12 weeks of getting your Section 125 notice to tell us what you're going to do.

If you still don't write to us within a further 28 days, we'll withdraw your application.

In some circumstances we may allow you more time if you ask us.

Arranging a mortgage

Mortgage approvals usually last up to three months.

You should start to arrange your mortgage when you've got the offer and decided to go ahead and buy your home. It's at this point you'll start to become responsible for survey and legal costs. You may have to restart if you make arrangements before you get the offer.

Step five - Go through the conveyancing process

Once you've told us that you're going to buy your home, we'll tell our solicitors to deal direct with your solicitor. This is known as conveyancing.

If the transaction isn't completed within four months of the date of the offer notice, we'll send you two notices telling you to complete the sale.

If you don't answer within eight weeks of these notices, we'll withdraw your application.

Get a leaseholder information pack

Once you've bought your property, you'll get a leaseholder information pack. It'll help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a leaseholder and your relationship with the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

The pack contains:

  • a copy of the current buildings insurance certificate
  • a summary of your rights and obligations as a leaseholder
  • a guide to subletting your home
  • contact details of your property accounts officer
  • Direct Debit mandate for payment of your service charges
  • a copy of our customer charter.

As a new home owner, you'll also be offered the chance to have a meeting with a member of staff to ask questions about service charges, major works or other aspects of being a leaseholder.