Wednesday 8 July 2009 12.38pm
That doesn't seem right to me. As I understand it, the homeowner is liable to pay back in full the discount they got at the time of purchase if they sell within a certain period. Another requirement with some RTB schemes is that you have to offer the local authority/housing association first refusal (right of pre-emption) on any sale before placing on the open market.
However, if she has lived there for over ten years as you say, then she is not likely to be subject to this.
Also, when she bought the property, she should have been given a notice setting out details of any planned works which the local authority intends to undertake, thereby giving an idea of how much it is likely to cost.
Assuming it is Southwark Council
, having checked their website and RTB guidance, it certainly doesn't say anything about buying back at half the price; in fact it clearly says that if they take up the right of pre-emption they will pay full open market value.
In conclusion, therefore, I think the person whom she spoke to has misunderstood. I would certainly get it in writing. That said, however, if she owes the council £33,000 for unpaid works, it is likely that they will have taken her to court to get what is known as judgment (a CCJ) against her. In those circumstances, there might be a 'charge' recorded on the property at the Land Registry and that can in some circumstances attract interest. In addition, if she wanted to sell the property, she would have to pay those off as the 'charge' would need to be removed. In practice, however, this would be paid from the proceeds of sale before your frend got any money from the sale. It might be for this reason that the person she spoke to has said she will only get half...
The home ownership unit at Southwark can be contacted on 020 7525 1400
Hope that's of some help.