The Derbyshire Clause
The Derbyshire Clause refers to restrictions placed on the deeds of properties situated within the Peak District National Park. The clause applies to former council owned properties that have passed into private ownership through ‘right to buy’, discounted properties and other schemes under Section 37 of the Housing Act 1985.
Under the Housing Act 1985, the effect of these restrictions mean that the purchaser must meet certain criteria to be allowed to buy the property. This can also affect the selling of the property as fewer people may meet the criteria and be able to buy it. Buyers will also need a letter from the District Council stating that they either meet the specified criteria or that they have been granted permission to purchase the property.
The Derbyshire Clause is permanent and stays with the property on any subsequent sale. Therefore, any future purchasers must also satisfy the same criteria or obtain permission from the District Council.
There are currently 863 properties within the Derbyshire Dales District which contain the Derbyshire Clause that are former District Council properties within the Peak District National Park boundary.
Buying a property with a Derbyshire Clause
The District Council will automatically give consent to buy a property with a Derbyshire Clause where:
- The buyer has had their only or principal home in Derbyshire or the Peak District National Park for a continuous period of three years immediately before completion of the sale.
- The buyer has had their place of work in Derbyshire or the Peak District National Park for a continuous period of three years immediately before completion of the sale.
- The buyer has a local connection to Derbyshire or the Peak District and is returning to the area to care for another relative or to be cared for by a relative.
- The buyer is a member of the armed forces with a local connection to Derbyshire or the Peak District who is returning to live in the area.
- The buyer is a registered social housing provider whose stated aim is to provide housing for those satisfying the qualifying criteria.
Having a local connection means that you have lived in Derbyshire or the Peak District for three out of the past ten years or that you have immediate family who have lived in the area continuously for the past three years. All other cases will be referred to the Director of Housing for the exercise of their discretion. When applying for consent the proposed purchaser should supply sufficient evidence to support their request. Examples include Council Tax or utilities bills, bank or credit card statements and signed contracts of employment.
Selling a property with a Derbyshire Clause
Sellers of properties are responsible for:
- Making their Estate Agent aware of the Derbyshire Clause.
- Notifying the Solicitors acting in the sale of the Derbyshire Clause restrictions at an early stage.
- Notifying purchasers that if they intend to rent the property now or in the future that they must obtain a letter of Consent and that prospective tenants must meet the same criteria as required if purchasing the property.
Applying for a Letter of Consent
The prospective purchaser should only apply to Derbyshire Dales District Council for a Letter of Consent once they have identified a prospective property.
The District Council does not charge a fee for a letter of Consent where the applicant meets the criteria.
The request should be sent either by post addressed to:
Derbyshire Clause Application FAO: Director of Housing Derbyshire Dales District Council Town Hall Bank Road Matlock DE3 4NN
Or by email to email@example.com. Please write ‘Derbyshire Clause Application’ in the subject heading.
The application should contain the following information:
- Applicant’s contact details, including telephone and email address. - Full names of everyone purchasing or leasing the property. - Details of the property and details of the seller, including the estate agents details. - Full reasoning as to why you are applying for the Letter of Consent and any documents to support the application.
The District Council will aim to make a decision and if acceptable, will issue a Letter of Consent within 10 working days from receiving all of the required information and documentation, and the fee if applicable.
Failure to obtain such Letter of Consent means any purchase (or lease) of the property is void.
For further information and guidance on the Derbyshire Clause, please go to the Derbyshire Clause Policy.
For further information on discounted properties, please go to the Affordable home ownership page on the Derbyshire Dales District Council website.