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a bit long so apologies, just looking for some advice.

 

I applied to buy my house in september 2020 (hand delivered after office hours on 2nd sept, so received by them on 3rd sept). a few days later they contacted me to ask for copies of ID and to arrange a meeting via zoom to go over the proces

 

on 6th October i served a rtb6 as i had not received confirmation of my right to buy - in response they stated that the rtb process didnt start until the day they had the zoom process as this is how they deal with things

 

, i responded and advised they would need to counter with a rtb7 and pointed out that the law is clear the process starts when they receive the application - they provided confirmation of my rtb later that day - they never served any rtb7

 

4th (i think) december i served another rtb6 as i had not received the offer - shortly after they sent me the offer which seemed high so i asked how it was worked out - they did not send any comparisons used or calculations, just a list of rooms which was incorrect as their list stated that the downstairs of the house has 2 reception rooms (it has one)

 

- i emailed to advise them of their error - they never responded - i appealed to the DV

July 2021 the DV provides their valuation which is more what i had expected it to be from the start - the council did not send my new offer until september - i accepted and instructed a conveyancer and got my mortgage sorted

 

October get a plan sent to me from my conveyencer - it has the boundary incorrectly marked - they return to the council and later they advise me to make a formal complaint as they are very slow.

 

23rd november i make a formal complaint - the complaint procedure states they need to respond within 10 working days - they ignore my complaint and i chase several times

 

- on 29th December i serve another rtb6 because of their delays and also serve rtb8s for the october/december 2020 rtb6s as they never sent a counter notice.They finally respond to my complaint in january, but they ignore most of what i have raised so i made a second stage complaint

 

on 29th january i served another rtb8 as they had still not dealt with the incorrect boundary plan and had not served any rtb7, they were late responding to my 2nd stage complaint and i am not happy with it,

 

they are stating that all of my rtb8s are invalid - the last one because they were investigating the boundary and the other two because they eventually sent the confirmation and offers - i have now made a 3rd stage complaint and intend on going to the ombudsman but hoping someone on here can help clear some things up.

 

I have looked at the legislation and cannot see anything that would suggest my rtb8s would be invalid as the law is clear that the council would need to have served a rtb7,

so even if they sent the confirmation of right to buy, without the rtb7, my rtb8 would stand?

 

is this correct or am i misunderstood?

 

Also the latest rtb8 surely them still investigating the boundary would not be reason to invalidate the rtb8 - they finally corrected their boundary plan last wee, but this has not even been sent to my conveyencer yet, so it is not a case of they had finished looking at the boundary.

 

Would their initial offer be valid if it was based on a property with an extra room - note that despite raising with this with the council at the time and in my complaints, the council have not even acknowledged that they included this extra room and say that as they counted the correct number of bedrooms their figures are correct.

 

There has been other issues during the process including them making a false declaration about there being asbestos in the property twice (they did an asbestos survey during my tenancy so they should be aware that there is asbestos, yet they declared none on the first valuation, i pointed this out in my appeal and they ignored this and again declared no asbestos on the second offer)

 

I will add that i have responded either the same day or within 2 days to every correspondence, so the only reason it has taken over 17 months so far is because the council have made various errors and just been slow, it is not because i have been dragging things out.

 

I have written to my MP too but they seem to just forward letters between parties rather than actually do anything 

Edited by dx100uk
Added a few blank lines only -dx
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Hi

 

Now before I respond further from the dates in your post (I am in no way defending the Councils Actions) you need to bear in mind that we were all dealing with the COVID-19 Restrictions in place at the time and even the Councils would have been affected by this with employees working from home so the process could take longer.

 

So RTB Application Hand Delivered 2nd Sept 2020 received by Council 3rd Sept 2020 them asked for ID (why if you have lived in that property for numerous years they know who you are) and to arrange zoom meeting (why need zoom meeting)

 

The RTB process started when they acknowledged receipt of your RTB Application Form which they did on 3rd Sept 2020 (not there supposed zoom call) and they then had 4 weeks to either state Yes or NO and if they say No they must give a reason why. 
(note: the process is 8 weeks if the Council have only been your current Landlord for less that 3 years)

 

July 2021 you appealed to the District Valuer from HMRC who provides a valuation which is in line with what you expected. Since the District Valuer from HMRC that you appealed to has set this new valuation you then have 12 weeks in which to accept this new valuation offer

 

a) What date did you get the response from the District Valuer from HMRC of their New Valuation of the Property?
b) Did the District Valuer from HMRC with the New Valuation of the Property enclose the process for accepting this new Valuation? (bear in mind the process of 12 weeks to accept the New Valuation offer from them)
c) Are the Council Disputing the District Valuer from HMRC New Valuation of the Property?

 

Government link:

WWW.GOV.UK

Your right to buy your council home - including how to apply, who is eligible, discounts available and where to get help and advice.

 

 

Right to Buy: Forms and Guidance link:

WWW.GOV.UK

Forms and guidance for council and housing association tenants in England who want to buy their home.

 

 

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I got the new valuation from the DV on 9th July, however they messed up and didn’t send it to my council but rather they sent it to a different council by mistake, I noticed this and let the dv know, they sent it to the correct council on 29th July.

 

DV didn’t say how to accept the new offer, I contacted the council a number of times asking if I could just accept it or if they had to send me a new offer. After a few weeks of no response, I finally managed to talk to someone on the phone and they confirmed they need to send me a new offer. This was sent in September 

 

the council have not disputed the DV valuation and made their second offer for this lower amount. However they still maintain their original higher offer was also correct and refuse to acknowledge that it was based on a property with an extra room, even though their own documents show this.

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In their recent response to me, they also state that their valuation would have used comparables, I have requested evidence of the compatibles used as their valuation does not match up to my own comparables used in my appeal or the DV comparables - my comparables and the value I expected to get works out the same as the DV. I’m not a surveyor but a simple look about on right move etc is enough to give snyone an idea.

 

the councils valuation was higher than for sale at the time houses with same number of bedrooms but in much better condition and with extra things like a garage- their valuer actually commented that my list of improvements was the biggest they had seen (3 pages long) as I have done a lot over the years and the house inside was essentially Dilapidated and I have re plastered walls and ceilings as they were in such poor condition, all doors have been replaced as they were all odd and in poor condition, I fully landscaped both front and rear gardens etc… I don’t see how they had come to their valuation and have taken my improvements into account and they have not provided evidence to support their valuation other than a document with an incorrect number of rooms on it.  

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Hi

 

I can understand and see where you are coming from in disputing how the council initially reached there initial valuation even with the improvements to the property you mention. As for the improvements you would have needed the councils permission to carry these out and any issue after these would be at your cost to repair not the councils.

 

Something you also need to bear in mind is irrespective of these improvements the Property belongs to the Council not you even if the Council gave permission for these improvement these were at your cost and any issues the repair cost would be down to you and the Council would benefit from these improvements as you have found out due to the Valuation.

 

Even if you didn't use the RTB and for some reason had to move from the property and a new tenant moved into the property the Council have benefited from these improvements at no cost to them except any issue/repairs needed the council would need to carry out for the new tenant.

 

Basically whatever improvements you carry out to the Property with the Councils permission they benefit as it is ultimately there Property even with a Valuation as you are only a Tenant you are not the Landlord

 

The Council have accepted the District Valuer from HMRC revised Valuation of your property which is a lower Valuation but more in line with what you expected and the Council have sent you that New Offer although they still think there initial offer was correct.

 

Is there any reason not to accept this New Offer from the Council which is the District Valuer from HMRC Valuation and you need to bear in mind the time limit for accepting that offer

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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I do not need permission to decorate or replace doors etc, a council tenancy is not like a private tenancy snd my contract actually states I am responsible for all decoration and garden landscaping. The council have in the past refused to carry out certain works I have requested of them because it is my responsibility under the tenancy contract, they would only maintain things like the boiler or fix the roof, they wouldn’t come and do cosmetic works to make the house nice to live in (or even address safety issues in some instances), the council have never suggested they aren’t disregarding my improvements because I didn’t get written permission.

 

The rtb rules also state that any improvements must be disregarded in the valuation (so they should value it as of it was in the condition supplied, the rtb application form asks about your improvements for this reason) this has not been disputed by the council, it just seems as if they have not actually done it. The DV did take into account the improvements too.

 

see the rtb guide on the gov website - point 8e confirms your improvements are disregarded 

 

 

I was hoping someone on here would help, but unfortunately I think you do not have the correct knowledge to assist based on your answer

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Also I have accepted the new offer based on the devs valuation back in September, since then I have been desperately trying to get the council to get the boundary plan correct and have been following their complaints procedure which they have completely not followed as per their own policies and have messed me around. They have now corrected the boundary plan as of last week, but still not sent it to my conveyancer 

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Full details of boundary issue- they sent the incorrect boundary plan in October, my conveyancer went to them to let them know it was wrong, they then returned to say they had sold part of my garden to the neighbour in error (this was in November when the conveyancer suggested I make a formal complaint to try and speed up the process snd to get things resolved). I made my complaint on November 23rd, did not hear anything snd I chased several times and contacted my Mp, finally managed to speak to someone in the department on December 29th and was told they would look into things and get back to me within a week, I then had a response from the Mp saying they had dealt with my complaint in full on December 29th (they were saying that answering my call and letting me know they will get back to me was the same as dealing with the complaint itself). In early January they sent a surveyor to look at the property who measured the boundary and took photos, he agreed in person their plan was wrong, they then contact my conveyancer and say that their original plan was correct and no part of my garden has been sold, so they aren’t changing it. I contact them again to request copies of the measurements and photos taken by their surveyor, I also send them a video showing the boundary. Last week they send out the surveyor again who again agrees their plan is wrong and takes measurements and photos, I get sent a copy of the updated plan from the surveyor but their legal team have not yet sent to my conveyancer.

 

they are saying my most recent rtb8 is invalid because they started to look at the boundary issue after I issued the rtb6 - they did not send any rtb7 and they did not even resolve the issue before I submitted my rtb8 (still actually not resolved because they have not sent the new plan to my conveyancer)

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Hi Farmlama

 

I am afraid you are incorrect about a Council Tenancy as I was not referring to the Private Sector at all and yes these improvement you have carried out irrespective you would have needed permission from the Council Housing to do so.

 

Decorating your property is painting or putting up wallpaper NOT changing the Internal Doors that is not decorating but a change to the property which you would need the Councils permission to do so.

 

As for Garden Landscaping it is you maintaining the Garden in its present state you signed the Tenancy and say you wished to put decking down that is then a change which requires permission from the Council.

 

You are reading what it states in your Tenancy Agreement wrong and need to be careful.

 

You mention the RTB state improvement should not be taken into account but again I must refer to above as you should have asked permission for these improvements which you did not therefore the Council were unaware of these improvements

 

Anyway the issue now seems to be the Boundary which the council has corrected but failed to send to your conveyancer.

 

Make another Formal Complaint to the Council about the Boundary issue and there failure to send the corrected version to your conveyancer as it is a matter of urgency.

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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Again, the council are not in any way claiming that they aren’t disregarding improvements because I didn’t have written permission and in the past the council have told me i do not need permission to do these things and I have free reign as a council tenant as they don’t want to have to waste time giving green lights to tenants over every small thing. I don’t see why you are focusing on this when it has nothing to do with what I have asked for help with. 
 

my questions relate to the validity of my rtb8 forms as the council have not issued and rtb7 and if their initial offer would be valid if it was based on a property with an extra room.

 

I would appreciate if anyone has knowledge of these things to advise rather than try to make accusations at me for things that are non issues and do not have any relevance 

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Hi farmlama

 

Let me firstly correct you as I have made no accusations towards you in any of my posts but have pointed out facts of where you have been incorrect that is not an accusation.

 

As you point out the improvement are nothing to do with your present RTB issue actually the way the council are acting at present it could very well be an issue.

 

Do you actually have it in writing from the council to have a free for all with any improvement you want to do to the Property? 

(if not your word against the councils and they could if they wish use that against you during this RTB process by simply stating they were unaware of these improvement until RTB Process and as permission was not given this is a breach of tenancy) this would put an instant stop to your RTB.

 

So yes the above is relevant as you need to be aware of this

 

As for the start of the RTB Time Limit this process only start once the council has accepted or refused your application basically sent you the RTB2

 

So the Time Limit starts when you got the councils response RTB2. (what date did you get the councils RTB2?)

 

As for the RTB8 situation the only way you are going to get to the bottom of it is making a Formal Complaint to the Council asking them exactly why they state the RTB8s are Invalid and to be provided with clarification of which Legislation/Policy they are referring to and the exact sections and to be provided with copies of these.

 

Why was this process exasperated by a Boundary issue which the Council should have been aware of the Boundaries of it's own Properties since they have a Planning Department except you the council initially provided incorrect boundary information which I had to challenge for the Council to acknowledge it's own error/maladministration.

 

I now also require the Following:

1. Copy of your Customer Care Charter/Policy (not the leaflet)
2. Copy of your Complaints Policy (not the leaflet)
3. Copy of your Right to Buy Policy (not the leaflet)


Note: you want their own Policies to see if they are actually following there own policy and procedures during this RTB and if not then you challenge them using there own policies and procedures against them.

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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Sorry but I think you are wrong and giving bad advice. The time limits do not start when the council provide the rtb2. The law clearly states the time limits start when the council receive the application and they then have 4 weeks (or 8 weeks depending on type of property, but it is 4 weeks for my property) to confirm you have the right to buy. 

 

the council have not at all suggested they valued the property too high because I did not have written permission for improvements, and they did not dispute the DVs valuation - the dv did take into account my improvements. So I’m not going to waste my time discussing this point with you anymore, it is just distracting from what I have asked.

 

I have already made formal complaints, they have a 3 stage process. 1st stage you should get a response in 10 working days, they took about 6 weeks to respond and didn’t even respond in full to every thing I had raised. 2nd stage is meant to be 15 working days, they were about a week late in responding and again didn’t address everything I had raised and didn’t provide a legal reason for their response. The third stage is meant to be a 20 working day response, I have already started this and asked what legislation they rely to make my rtb8 forms invalid, I have pointed out the wording in the law relevant that suggests they are valid (housing act 1985 s 153a & b), I have also again asked them for comparisons used when valuing the property and why an extra room shows on their document - I have been asking about this in every complaint and initially raised this in December 2020, but they have never addressed this. 
 

the council are not following their own policies and they even lied to the MP about having answered my 1st stage complaint (when all they had done is finally answer my call and say ‘I will look at your complaint and get back to you next week’ - they did not get back to me when they said they would either). 

 

i can only make an educated guess as to why the boundary issue exists. They did not send out a surveyor to check the boundary at any point prior to me making the formal complaint about the incorrect plan. My neighbours property was sold via the rtb process a few years ago and I assume they did not send a surveyor to check the location of their boundary either. Neither mine or my neighbours gardens are square, my garden has an irregular extra area that eats into what you would expect to have been the neighbours garden - a bit like a puzzle in a way, but it is that their back corner is missing and that land is in my boundary. Their plans had both gardens showing as square. 
 

not relevant to my rtb, but I have had dealings with their legal team in the past and they do not know what they are doing. I was working for them under an apprentice agreement, I was a green book employee on a 2 year temporary contract which they later extended. They then flat out refused to follow their redundancy process despite me being employed over 2 years, they also continued to pay apprentice wage after the apprenticeship was completed and did not assess the role when they assessed all other green book employees roles despite this being in my contract. They alleged apprentices are not employees and they can get rid of them with no warning or reason. I started the employment tribunal process and they settled before it reached tribunal. But just an example of how poor their legal team are. In a grievance I sat in a meeting with their legal team and I had printed off pages about redundancy and apprentices and they still refused to listen to what I was saying and they had a “computer says no” type attitude despite not being able to back up what they were saying with anything. They just make up their own rules and seem to think they are above the law.

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Ah found what I have been looking for to assist you with the Council in the RTB Process

 

This is the link to 'Right to Buy a Guide for Local Authorities: (Note: this is an automatic PDF Download)

 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/976242/Right_to_Buy_A_Guide_for_Local_Authorities_April_2021.pdf

 

Very interesting read on the process the Council should be following and will assist you in challenging them as this is what they should be following to process RTB and also interesting is the council get out clause for not accepting your RTB8s seems conflicting to what this document states so use it against them as they are probably hoping you don't know about this document.

 

In fact here is the PDF of it:

 

Right_to_Buy_A_Guide_for_Local_Authorities_April_2021.pdfRight_to_Buy_A_Guide_for_Local_Authorities_April_2021.pdf

 

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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Thank you for your help. I have already seen this document and referred to it in my complaints. As I say the council simply disregard any facts you present them and just make a decision that suits them without backing it up or they just skip over certain issues and only give a partial response.

 

the guide says (page 22) they should be providing comparisons on how valuation was determined if requested (I have been asking for over a year). It is also is clear (page 33) that they must still serve a rtb7 even if they have done the thing that was causing a delay. They simply have not acknowledged that they should do these things and have made up their own rules.

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Hi

 

okay you have read that and understand it and in that case the Council are playing game to prolong this process but are not admitting to it which is typical Council.

 

The difficulty is before proceeding to the Housing Ombudsman (which the council will be aware of) you need to exhaust there complaints procedure.  

 

Council Housing is treat by the Regulator in the exact same way as a Housing Association as both are classed as Social Housing as for there Complaints Process have a wee look at this Government Link:

 

WWW.GOV.UK

What to do if you want to complain about a service delivered by the Regulator of Social Housing.

 

Any way IMO you need to write to the Council insisting that you now require a 'Letter of Deadlock to your Formal Complaint about the RTB Process and there failures as this complaint should have been dealt with by now in your Stage 3 Process.

 

You want the above so you can then proceed to the Housing Ombudsman.

 

Here is the Housing Ombudsman link:

WWW.HOUSING-OMBUDSMAN.ORG.UK

Improving residents' lives and landlords' services through housing complaints

 

Here is the Housing Ombudsman Link on Right to Buy Decision which will be of interest to you: (have a wee look through them)

 

This Link may also be of interest to you:

WWW.GOV.UK

Information about RSH's regulatory standards, how we regulate registered providers, our information requirements and other guidance

 

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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