House sales scheme
Apex offers tenants wishing to purchase their home the option to purchase the property outright or in part via equity sharing, under the rules of the Statutory House Sales Scheme.
Closure of House Sales Scheme
On 28 August 2022 the statutory House Sales Scheme for Apex tenants will close. From this date, no new applications can be made to the scheme. 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 reflects legislation passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly on 30 June 2020 and given Royal Assent on 28 August 2020.
Download: Fact Sheet – End of House Sales Scheme
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:
- Secure tenant
The purchaser(s) 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 or a joint purchaser 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 will not eligible if:
- you are a squatter
- due to anti-social behavior, Apex is either investigating a case or are actively considering taking legal action for possession of your dwelling
- Apex have served or are considering serving a Statutory Notice Seeking Possession in the past or forthcoming 3 months.
Applications to purchase made by tenants who are in rent arrears 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.
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)
Sale of flats and maisonettes
Tenants of flats and maisonettes have similar rights to purchase as those living in houses. Flats and maisonettes are sold by way of a lease.
An annual service charge may be payable in addition to the normal purchase price. This service charge will be estimated to cover the costs incurred by Apex each year in connection with improvements, repairs, maintenance and administration costs for the premises within which the flat is located. The service charge is reviewed annually.
A maximum of 3 additional purchasers including the secure tenant(s) is permitted. A person wishing to become a joint purchaser must be:
- either the spouse of the secure tenant
- or someone who has been resident with the secure tenant for 12 months prior to the date of an application to purchase. (Two items of proof are required)
Your property’s current market value will be determined by an independent professional surveyor. Tenants’ improvements will not be included in the valuation, although major improvements carried out by Apex will be taken into account.
If you are unhappy with the Valuer’s assessment of market value, you may request to have the property revalued by the Land & Property Services. It should be noted that on re-determination the valuation placed on a property can go up as well as down. Land & Property Services’ final assessment is binding on both the Association and the purchaser(s). There is no further Right of Appeal.
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 and the discount ceiling of £24,000
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).
Discount entitlement (Equity sharing)
Under the equity sharing option, each share has a fixed percentage of the total discount apportioned to it, as determined by the Department for Social Development. These discount percentages remain subject to the discount ceiling.
Discount will be payable each time equity is purchased. A more generous discount rate will apply to the first 50% of the property purchased.
Equity sharing discount weightings
|Percentage of house bought||Percentage of total discount offered|
How to apply and next steps
For further information on the Statutory House Sales policy and procedure, please contact the Allocations Officer at Apex.
Office hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.