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Apply for property assistance schemes

How to apply for assistance if your home is affected by HS2.

Property Assistance schemes

This page contains information about: Express Purchase Scheme, the Need to Sell Scheme, the Cash Offer Voluntary Purchase Scheme, the Need to Sell Scheme and the Homeowner Payment Scheme (Phase 1)

Overview

You may be able to sell your property to the Government at its market (‘unblighted’) value or receive a lump-sum payment if it’s near the proposed High Speed Two (HS2) route.

The property scheme you’re eligible for depends on the location of your property and which phase of HS2 affects you.

Some links on this page will take users to the HS2 section of GOV.UK.

Check your location

You’ll need to find out if your property is:

  • in the safeguarded area
  • in the rural support zone
  • in the homeowner payment zone
  • outside the zones

Check the route in the document collections for HS2 Phase 1, HS2 Phase 2a, or HS2 Phase 2b to see if your property is in one of these zones.

If you’re in a safeguarded area

You can apply through one of the following:

If you’re in a rural support zone

You can apply through one of the following:

If you’re in a homeowner payment zone (Phase 1)

If you can’t sell your property because of HS2

You can apply for the Need to Sell Scheme if your property is affected, but:

  • it’s outside the zones and safeguarded area
  • it isn’t covered by a scheme

Rent back

You can apply to rent and continue living in the property if you sell it to the Government under one of these schemes.

Contact HS2

Contact HS2 if you have any questions, for example about what scheme you should apply to or the application process.

HS2 Help Desk

HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk 

Telephone: 08081434434
Minicom: 08081456472
24-hour service

Find out about all call charges

Express Purchase Scheme

You can sell your property to the Government through the Express Purchase Scheme if either:

  • your house or 25% of the total area of your property is inside the area marked ‘surface safeguarding’ on the safeguarding maps 
  • your property was in the safeguarding area (called the ‘Extended Homeowner Protection Zone’) but has since been removed – check with HS2 whether you qualify

You can still apply to the sell your property with a ‘blight notice’ if you don’t qualify for Express Purchase – but the Government will only buy your property if it’s needed for the construction of HS2.

Who can apply

You must be the owner occupier of a residential, agricultural or commercial property, or their ‘personal representative’ if they’ve died, for example the executor of their will.

Mortgage lenders (for example banks and building societies) in vacant possession of a qualifying property can apply.

Your commercial property won’t qualify for Express Purchase or under a blight notice if it has a rateable value of £36,000 or more (£44,200 inside Greater London).

An owner occupier must:

  • be the freeholder or a leaseholder with at least 3 years left on the lease
  • be living in or running a business from the property or have done so for at least 6 months in the last 18 months if the property’s currently empty

You can get advice from a chartered surveyor about your eligibility.

What you’ll get

If you qualify the Government will:

  • buy your property at is open market value as if HS2 wasn’t going to be built (known as its ‘unblighted’ value)
  • give you a ‘home loss’ payment equal to 10% of the property’s open market value (up to £58,000)
  • pay reasonable expenses, for example stamp duty, surveyors’ and legal fees, and removal costs

Apply

You must complete the correct blight notice to apply for Express Purchase.

You must include original or certified copies of:

  • proof of ownership, for example Land Registry Title
  • proof the property was occupied for 6 months of the last 18 months, for example utility bills covering at least 6 months
  • business rates bills, if you’re applying for a commercial property
  • plans of the property, for example Land Registry plans showing the property boundaries
  • proof of representation, if applicable, for example power of attorney

If you’re sending a blight notice but don’t qualify for Express Purchase, include a description of what you’ve done to sell the property, for example copies of correspondence with estate agents.

Email your completed application to HS2 with your supporting documents.

HS2 compensation applicationsblightnotice@hs2.org.uk

You can also send your notice and supporting evidence by registered post.

Secretary of State for Transport
c/o High Speed Two (HS2) Limited
Land and Property Team
Two Snowhill
Birmingham
B4 6GA

What happens next

You’ll get a decision on your application within 2 months.

You’ll have up to 3 years to accept the offer if your offer is accepted.

Complaints

Follow HS2’s complaints procedure if you want to complain about the service you received, for example how long it took to reach a decision on your application or the result.

Exceptional Hardship Scheme (Phase 2b)

The Exceptional Hardship Scheme has now closed.

If you’ve already applied

If you haven’t received a decision, your application will automatically be transferred to the Need to Sell Scheme.

If you’ve received a decision and were successful, the purchase of your property won’t be affected by the closure of the scheme.

If you were unsuccessful, you may now be eligible for one of the. other compensation schemes.

Need to sell scheme

You may be able to sell your property to the Government through the Need to Sell Scheme if you have a compelling reason to sell but can’t as direct result of the announcement of the HS2 route.

Compelling reasons include unemployment, relocation for a new job or ill health – but each application is judged on its merits. View our series of videos to find out more about applying for the Need to sell scheme.

Before you apply

Check if you’re eligible to ask the Government to buy your property through:

Who can apply

You must be one of the following

  • the owner occupier of a residential, agricultural or commercial property
  • the ‘personal representative’ of the owner occupier if they’ve died, for example the executor of their will
  • a ‘reluctant landlord’ (renting out your property because you can’t sell it)

Mortgage lenders (such as banks and building societies) in vacant possession of a qualifying property can apply.

Your commercial property won’t qualify for the Need to Sell Scheme if it has a rateable value of £36,000 or more (£44,200 inside Greater London).

An owner occupier must:

  • be the freeholder or a leaseholder with at least 3 years left on the lease
  • be living in or running a business from the property or have done so for at least 6 months in the last 18 months if the property’s currently empty

Read full guidance on eligibility

You’ll need to submit evidence that you meet all 5 criteria:

  • property type
  • location
  • effort to sell
  • no prior knowledge
  • compelling reason to sell

Property type

You’ll need to show that the property is owner occupied, you’re the personal representative, or you’re acting as a ‘reluctant landlord’ who has had to rent out the property as a result of HS2.

Location

You’ll need to show that your property is close enough to the route that it’s likely to be substantially affected by HS2’s construction or operation. There is no fixed distance.

Effort to sell

You’ve tried to sell the property without success for at least 3 months.

No prior knowledge

You must either:

  • have bought or signed a lease before the publication of the HS2 route section closest to your property
  • show why you couldn’t have known about the initial proposed route, for example if the searches relating to the purchase were done before the route was announced, but the purchase was completed after

Compelling reason to sell

You must give evidence of a compelling reason to sell your property now, or that you would be placed under an unreasonable burden if you were unable to sell your property in the next 3 years.

What you’ll get

The Government will agree to buy your property for 100% of the unblighted open market value if your application is successful.

The Government will not cover additional costs, such as legal fees or removal costs.

Apply

Download the guidance and fill in the application form.

Send it to the address on the form, along with your supporting evidence.

If you’re not happy with the result

You can reapply if your application is rejected, giving extra information to explain why you think the decision was wrong.

Complaints

Follow HS2’s complaints procedure if you want to complain about the service you received, for example how long it took to reach a decision on your application or the result.

Cash offer or Voluntary Purchase Scheme

You may be able to apply for a Cash Offer is you don’t want to sell your home and it’s in a rural support zone.

Alternatively, you can ask the government to purchase your property for its full open market value (known as ‘unblighted’ value) under the Voluntary Purchase Scheme.

Cash Offer and the Voluntary Purchase Scheme only apply to properties in rural support zones. Check the Phase 1 or Phase 2 maps to see if your property is in a rural support zone.

Who can apply

Your house or 25% of the total area of your property must be in the rural support zone (generally 60 to 120 meters from the route).

You must be the owner occupier of a residential, agricultural, or commercial property.

Mortgage lenders (for example banks and building societies) can also apply for the Voluntary Purchase Scheme.

Your commercial property won’t qualify for Cash Offer or the Voluntary Purchase Scheme if it has a rateable value of £36,000 or more (£44,200 inside Greater London).

An owner occupier must:

  • be the freeholder or a leaseholder with at least 3 years left on the lease
  • be living in or running a business from the property or have done so for at least 6 months in the last 18 months if the property’s currently empty
  • have bought or entered into a lease of the property before the initial preferred routes of Phases 1, 2a or 2b were announced – or show why they could have known about it, for example if the searches relating to the purchase were undertaken before this date, but the purchase itself was completed afterwards

Read the full guidance on eligibility.

What you’ll get

Cash offer

The cash offer is a lump-sum payment of 10% of the unblighted open market value of your property (from a minimum of £30,000 to a maximum of £100,000).

The government will cover your legal fees up to £500 (plus VAT) if your application is successful.

Voluntary purchase

If you qualify, the government will pay 100% of the unblighted open market value, as assessed by 2 independent valuers.

The government will not cover additional costs, for example legal fees or removal costs.

Apply

Download the guidance and fill in the application form.

Send it to the address on the form, along with your supporting evidence.

Complaints

Follow HS2’s complaints procedure if you want to complain about the service you received, for example about how long it took to reach a decision on your application or the result.

Homeowner Payment Scheme (Phase 1)

You may be eligible for a payment if you live in the homeowner payment zone.

Check the Phase 1 Maps to found out.

Phase 2a homes will become eligible once this phase is authorised by Parliament.

Who can apply

Your house or 25% of the total area of your property must be in the homeowner payment zone.

You must be the owner occupier of a residential, agricultural or commercial property.

An owner occupier must:

  • be the freeholder or a leaseholder with at least 3 years left on the lease
  • be living in or running a business from the property or have done so for at least 6 months in the last 18 months if the property’s currently empty
  • have bought the property before 9th April 2014 for Phase 1 and before 30th November 2015 for Phase 2a when the proposals for the homeowner payment were announced

Your commercial property won’t qualify for homeowner payments if it has a rateable value of £36,000 or more (£44,200 inside Greater London).

What you’ll get

You can claim £7,500 to £22,500 depending on which homeowner payment band you’re in.

Insert homeowner band table here

You’ll be eligible for the band in which your residential dwelling sits if your land is covered by more than one homeowner payment band.

You may be eligible for £7,500 band if your dwelling is outside the bands but your land is within them.

You’ll be eligible for the higher payment if the dwelling itself is in more than one band.

Most people who receive money under the homeowner payment scheme would not have to pay tax on it.

You can accept payment and still be eligible for the Need to Sell Scheme – the value of the payment (plus statutory interest) will be deducted from the purchase price.

Apply

Fill in the form and follow the instructions to apply.

Rent Back

If you’re selling your property to the government under one of the schemes you can apply to rent it back and continue living in it.

Apply

Ask your HS2 case officer to explain the options for renting the property back from the government after it’s sold.

What happens next

The government will assess your property to decide whether to rent it out, based on both:

  • the cost of any repairs needed to make it suitable for renting
  • whether the work is a good use of taxpayers’ money

They will contact you to let you know if you’ll be able to rent it.

If you decide to rent the property, you’ll pay an open market rent and get a tenancy agreement for an initial term of 6 months.

The guidance has more information about Rent Back.

Download file for ‘Your Guide to Rent Back’ document

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