Right to Buy- Thinking of buying your council home?
Under the Housing Act 1985 council tenants are eligible to buy their council home at a discount. This is known as the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme.
Council tenants can buy their council home under the Right to Buy scheme if:
- It is their only or main home;
- it is self-contained;
- They are a secure tenant; and
- They have a public sector landlord (eg a council, housing association or NHS trust).
- They have lived in the property for more than 3 years (from May 2015, the eligibility criteria was reduced from five years public sector tenancy to three).
If you qualify under the Right to Buy scheme you can get a discount on the market value of your home when you buy.
The maximum discount is £77,900 across England, except in London boroughs where it’s £103,900. It will increase each year in April in line with the consumer price index (CPI).
The discount is based on:
- how long you’ve been a tenant with a public sector landlord;
- the type of property you’re buying – a flat or house; and
- the value of your home.
You get a 35% discount if you’ve been a public sector tenant for between 3 and 5 years.
After 5 years, the discount goes up by 1% for every extra year you’ve been a public sector tenant, up to a maximum of 70% – or £77,900 across England and £103,900 in London boroughs (whichever is lower).
You get a 50% discount if you’ve been a public sector tenant for between 3 and 5 years.
After 5 years, the discount goes up by 2% for every extra year you’ve been a public sector tenant, up to a maximum of 70% – or £77,900 across England and £103,900 in London boroughs (whichever is lower).
How do I apply?
- Fill in the Right to Buy application form (RTB1 notice).
- Send it to your landlord.
- Your landlord must say yes or no within 4 weeks of getting your application (8 weeks if they’ve been your landlord for less than 3 years). If your landlord says no, they must say why.
- If your landlord agrees to sell, they’ll send you an offer. They must do this within 8 weeks of saying yes if you’re buying a freehold property, or 12 weeks if you’re buying a leasehold property.
Selling your council home?
If you sell your home within 10 years of buying it through Right to Buy, you must first offer it to either:
- your old landlord
- another social landlord in the area
The property should be sold at the full market price agreed between you and the landlord.
You can sell your home to anyone if the landlord doesn’t agree to buy it within 8 weeks.
You’ll have to pay back some or all of the discount you got if you sell your Right to Buy home, 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
If you are thinking of buying your council home and need advice contact us on 020 8318 4345 alternatively email email@example.com