When an owner of an ACV wants to sell the property, they are required to notify the Council of their intention.
This triggers the first of three moratorium periods, the ’initial’ period, lasting 6 weeks to allow for a community group to register its interest to be treated as a potential bidder. If a community group comes forward in this time, the moratorium period is extended to six months (known as the ‘full’ moratorium) to allow for the group to raise the funds and submit a bid to the owner. During both the ‘initial’ and the ‘full’ moratorium period the owner is not permitted to sell to anyone other than the community group, although they are under no obligation to accept a bid from the community group.
At the end of the ‘initial’ period, if no community group has come forward or, on completion of the ‘protected’ period a community group has not made a successful bid, the final ‘protected’ moratorium period is activated extending the time to 18 months. During this time the owner can sell the property on the open market.
If at the end of the 18 month period no sale has taken place and the owner still wishes to dispose of the property then he must again inform the Council which triggers a fresh round of the moratorium periods.
The moratorium procedure is found here:
Here are the rules on what qualifies as a community group: