Here is a summary of the pertinent facts relating to Community Rights to Buy:
- A community right to buy gives the community the time to decide whether to purchase an asset at market value.
- The community right to buy does not force the sale, but only comes into play when an owner decides to sell his or her property.
- A right to buy petition does not commit the community to the purchase: it only seeks to establish the right to buy. 10% of the community must support the application for it to be valid.
- The property is valued by a government appointed surveyor, who is entirely independent, and values property at market rates. This guarantees the owner gets a fair price.
- If the community body decides to activate its right to buy it must carry out a ballot of the community to establish whether the majority of the community wish to go ahead with the purchase.
- Like the Stronafian Forest vote, only those on the electoral roll are eligible to vote, and 50% of the eligible voters must vote to make the ballot valid. Of that 50% over 50% have to vote in favour for the purchase to go ahead.
- Even if the ministers grant the community a right to buy on a property the community may decide it is not in its interest to activate that right, and can simply allow the sale of the property to go ahead normally with another party.
- Often, once a right to buy is established the community and the property owner arrange the sale between themselves without resort to the legislation. This can make the process much shorter.
- The Community Right to Buy itself lasts for 5 years. If after that period the property hasn’t been put on the market, the community can reapply to have the right extended for a further 5 years. The trust might also decide to let the right lapse and not reapply.
At present the Development Trust is awaiting the minister’s determination on our application to acquire the right to buy on the Glendaruel Hotel. If we are granted a right to buy, and if we decide to move onto the next stage, there will be a thorough and transparent consultation process.
If you have any questions, or are unclear on any points, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we’ll be delighted to hear from you.