The Community Right to Bid does not give the right of first refusal to community organisations to buy an asset that they successfully nominate for inclusion on the local authority’s list. What it does do is give time for them to put together the funding necessary to bid to buy the asset on the open market. If an owner wants to sell property/land that is on the list, they must tell the local authority. If the nominating body is keen to develop a bid, they can then call for the local authority to trigger a moratorium period, during which time the owner cannot proceed to sell the asset.
There are two moratorium periods. Both start from the date the owner of the asset tells the local authority of their intention to sell. The first is the interim moratorium period, which is six weeks, during which time a community organisation can decide if they want to be considered as a potential bidder. The other is a full moratorium period, which is six months, during which a community organisation can develop a proposal and raise the money required to bid to buy the asset. The regulations list some situations where the Moratorium will not be applied, even when it is an Asset of Community Value on the list. These include:
- If the disposal is a gift
- If the disposal is made between members of the same family
- If the land or building being disposed of is part of a bigger estate
- If the disposal is of a building or piece of land on which going-concern business is operating, provided that the sale is to a new owner to continue the same business (for example if an owner of a pub wants to sell the pub to a new owner, to continue running it as a pub).
During a moratorium, the owner of the asset cannot conclude the sale.