Three weeks until House Sales Scheme ends
On 28 August 2022 the statutory House Sales Scheme for Apex tenants will permanently and completely close. This scheme enables eligible tenants to purchase their social home.
From this date, no new applications can be made to the House Sales Scheme. To be clear, applications to the Sales Scheme must be made before midnight on 27 August 2022. No applications can be accepted after that time. As long as an application is made before midnight on 27 August 2022, the application may be processed and the sale may complete after that date.
The closure of the House Sales Scheme on 28 August 2022 reflects legislation passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly on 30 June 2020 and given Royal Assent on 28 August 2020.
Are you eligible?
In order to be entitled to apply to purchase your home, you or a joint purchaser must meet a range of qualifying criteria before the application will be accepted:
You must be currently holding a secure tenancy. Introductory tenants are not eligible to purchase until they have completed one year’s tenancy and they have been granted secure tenancy status.
5 years tenancy
You must have served a minimum of five year’s secure tenancy, either with Apex or a qualifying landlord. This may be achieved by a combination of different tenancies with various landlords, written evidence of which will be required.
You are not eligible if:
- you are a squatter
- due to anti-social behaviour, Apex is either investigating a case or is actively considering taking legal action for possession of your dwelling
- Apex has served or is considering serving a Statutory Notice Seeking Possession in the past or forthcoming 3 months.
Properties excluded from sale
Most Apex dwellings are available for sale, with the exception of:
- Sheltered and supported housing units
- all one or two bedroom bungalows
(Note that three, four and five bedroom bungalows are available for sale under the rules of the Statutory House Sales Scheme)
If you are in rent arrears, your application will not be rejected on those grounds. However, no sale can complete until all arrears, whether for rent or any other payment due (e.g. court costs), have been cleared.
There is a discount ceiling of £24,000 on all dwellings sold under the Statutory House Sales Scheme, regardless of the number of years served as a secure tenant.
A secure tenant of a house who meets the five-year tenancy qualifying criteria shall be granted a discount of 20%, with an increase of 2% for each additional completed year of tenancy up to a maximum of 60%, subject to the Historic Cost proviso below and the discount ceiling of £24,000.
Historic Cost proviso
Should the date your home was acquired by Apex fall within the current financial year plus the previous 10 financial years, then the total cost to provide that dwelling may impact on your discount entitlement.
For instance, should it have cost more to provide the dwelling than it is currently valued at on the open market, then no discount will be granted in your purchase.
Note: All purchasers who receive discount from Apex must repay to the Association the full discount received if they resell their property within five years of the date of purchase (subject to conditions).
If you are interested in purchasing your social home and would like further information, please contact:
Emer McElhinney (Allocations Officer)
Tel: 028 7130 4800