Eligibility

Please note the Voluntary Right to Buy Midlands Pilot is now CLOSED to new applicants.

The gateway for registering your interest and getting a unique reference number (URN) was open from 16 August to 16 September.  The Government will decide when/if to reopen this.  Keep checking the Government’s VRTB website https://righttobuy.gov.uk/ for the latest updates. You cannot contact us to go any further with the purchase if you have not been allocated a URN

It is important to note that your URN will only last for four weeks from date of receipt. After this it will no longer work. You therefore need to make sure you contact us straight away if you have been allocated a URN by the Government in order to start the process of buying your home


Some tenants are not able to apply for the VRTB Midlands Pilot. The Government’s VRTB website www.midlands.righttobuy.gov.uk provides full guidance about the rules around eligibility.  Our Voluntary Right to Buy (VRTB) Sales Policy sets out further details on who is eligible to take part.

Some basic checks will include:

  • Do you live in an area included in the Midlands pilot?

Only properties in one of the areas listed on our Areas for VRTB page will be included.

  • Do you live in a general needs property?

The VRTB Midlands pilot is only open to tenants living in a general needs property.  This applies to general family housing and dwellings for singles and couples and which is not part of an Independent Living Scheme or an Extra Care Housing complex.

  • Do you already have the Right to Buy or Preserved Right to Buy?

You will not be eligible for the Midlands VRTB pilot if you already have the Preserved Right to Buy or Statutory Right to Buy.  This is likely to be the case if you were a secure council tenant and you were living in your home when it was transferred from the Council to us.  It could also be applicable if you then moved to another home owned by us.  If you are not sure whether you have the Preserved Right to Buy please get in touch with us on 0345 600 6055.

  • Have you held a social or affordable housing tenancy for at least three years?

This need not have been with the same landlord, or continuous.

  • Is the property your main home?

You must prove that the property is your main home and that you have lived in it for at least the last 12 months. If you are eligible, you can make an application for the VRTB Regional Pilot.  This can be made as an individual or jointly with up to three family members who have lived with you for the past 12 months.  Applicants that apply to purchase the home with you don’t need to be on your tenancy agreement, but it must be their main home.  You will need to provide proof that that they have lived in the property for at least 12 months and that they do not own an interest in any other property.

Please remember that there are a number of other checks that we will need to carry out to check whether you meet the Government’s requirements for this Midlands pilot.   We will confirm if you are eligible once you apply.

Whilst you may be eligible to purchase your property, there will be certain properties that we will not be able to sell.  Where this is the case, we will let you know why, and where appropriate, will look to work with you to “port your discount” (See: "What happens if I am eligible for the VRTB pilot but my home isn't?" below). Our Portable Discount Policy sets out further details about how this works.

How do I know if my property can be purchased under the VRTB pilot?

The Government has decided that the VRTB Midlands pilot will only apply to general needs properties, this applies to general family housing and dwellings for singles and couples and which is not part of an Independent Living Scheme or an Extra Care Housing complex.  Under the voluntary agreement, the presumption is that housing associations will offer to sell eligible tenants the property they are living in.  However, there may be occasions where a housing association is unable to sell tenants their current homes.

It is therefore important to note that whilst you may be eligible to purchase your property based on eligibility checks, there may be other reasons why we cannot sell you your property.  Our VRTB Sales Policy provides full details about the list of properties that will be exempt from purchase under the pilot.  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Homes where there is a legal agreement/planning restriction in place which means we cannot sell your property. We will be able to explain this to you on a case-by-case basis.
  • Homes in an excluded rural areas where there is a restriction on purchasing properties.
  • Homes in high rise apartments, including tower blocks where there are potential future large scale improvements, which provide possible complex management arrangements and potential expense.
  • Leasehold houses as the Government has said that these cannot be sold under the pilot.
  • Homes where the sale would result in the Group not being able to cover the cost of the property, and would lead to a financial loss to the Group if sold.

Please note that this list is not exhaustive and so please register your interest to be given confirmation that your property could be eligible.  If your property is exempt from the VRTB Pilot due to one of the reasons set out in our policy, and you are eligible for the pilot, we will let you know.  We will also work with you to offer you the opportunity to “port”/use your discount to purchase another suitable property in your area.  Please see our Portable Discount Policy for full details about how this works.

What happens if I am eligible, but my property is excluded from the VRTB pilot?

If you are eligible, but we tell you that your property is exempt, you should be able to “port” your discount to purchase another suitable property in your area.  This may be one of our properties or a property belonging to another housing association.  Please note that there are time restrictions associated with the portable discount – these are explained in our Portable Discount policy and flowchart.  There are a number of factors that will determine what alternative properties will be available to you.  We will look to find suitable properties based on your need and you will also be responsible for identifying suitable alternatives via Homes Direct and other Choice Based Lettings (CBL) systems.  Registering on Homes Direct/CBL will mean that you may be able to look at porting your discount to properties available from other housing providers.  Please see our Portable Discount Policy and flowchart for full details about how this works.

What happens if I move into another property using the portable discount, but do not complete my sale?

As stated in our Portable Discount Policy, if you find another Waterloo/Fortis property that you want to port your discount to, you will need to move into that property on a two year fixed term tenancy.  This may be a different tenure that you have with us at the moment, and may therefore give you less rights and security than your current tenancy.   During this time you will be expected to complete the sale of the property.  Should the sale not proceed where the Group is the landlord, then we will look to give appropriate security of your tenure with us.  Where the property is owned by another landlord, the ‘porting landlord’ will be responsible for handling the rest of the process.

I currently have a shared ownership property, can I purchase my home under the new pilot?

If you are a shared owner, you will not be eligible for the VRTB, but please visit the Waterloo Homes website if you would like to buy a further share in your home.

VRTB News 2 - 17/09/2018

It is important to note that your URN will only last for four weeks from date of receipt. After this it will no longer work. You therefore need to make sure you contact us straight away once you have been allocated a URN by the Government in order to start the process of buying your home. Please see our Apply for VRTB page if you have already been allocated a Unique Reference Number by the Government. 

VRTB News 1 - 17/9/18

The Government gateway (website) for registering your interest into the ballot to receive a unique reference number (URN) was open from 16 August to midnight on 16 September and is therefore now closed. The Government will decide when/if to re-open the ballot entry on their online gateway.  You can keep up to date with the latest developments by looking on the Government’s Voluntary Right to Buy website