Right to Buy
The Right to Buy scheme helps council and housing association tenants in England that are eligible, to buy their home with a discount of up to £112,300.
You can apply to buy your council home if:
- it’s your only or main home
- it’s self-contained
- you’re a secure tenant
- you’ve had a public sector landlord (for example, a council, housing association or NHS trust) for 3 years - it does not have to be 3 years in a row
You can also make a joint application with someone who shares your tenancy, or up to three family members who've lived with you for the past 12 months (even if they don't share your tenancy).
What's the discount?
The amount of discount you get if you go through the Right to Buy scheme depends on whether you live in a house or a flat:
If you live in a house...
You get a 35% discount if you've been a tenant for between three and five years.
After five years, the discount goes up by 1% for every extra year you've been a tenant, up to a maximum of 70% – or £84,200 across England and £112,300 in London boroughs (whichever is lower).
If you live in a flat...
You get a 50% discount if you’ve been a tenant for between three and five years.
After five years, the discount goes up by 2% for every extra year you’ve been a tenant, up to a maximum of 70% – or £84,200 across England and £112,300 in London boroughs (whichever is lower).
If you do decide to buy, it means you'll have to go through the same process of applying for a mortgage as anyone else buying a property without the Right to Buy scheme.
What if I want to sell the property?
Selling the property will come with some caveats. You will have agreed to these in the paperwork you signed when you originally bought the property.
If you sell the property within the first 10 years of buying it through Right to Buy scheme, then you first have to either offer it to your old landlord / housing association or another social landlord in the area. The property should be sold at the full market price agreed between you and the landlord. If you can't agree, a district valuer will say how much your home is worth and set the price.
If you sell the property within the first five years, you'll also have to pay back some, or all, of the discount. After that, you don't have to pay anything back.
You'll have to pay back all of the discount if you sell within the first year. After that, the total amount you pay back reduces to:
80% of the discount in the second year.
60% of the discount in the third year.
40% of the discount in the fourth year.
20% of the discount in the fifth year.
Find out more about the Right to Buy Scheme
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend upon your circumstances. The fee is up to 1%, but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.