What is Right to Buy?

Right to Buy was introduced originally by Margaret Thatcher in the Housing Act 1980 allowing qualifying council tenants to buy their council property at a discounted price to the full market value as the length of time you have spent as a tenant entitles you to a discount.

You can apply to buy your council home if you meet the below qualifying rules:

  • It’s your only, or main home.
  • It’s self-contained, i.e. you don’t share any rooms (including kitchen, bathroom and toilet) with people outside your household.
  • You’re a secure tenant (there’s a legal contract between you and the landlord).
  • You’ve had a public sector landlord (e.g. a council, housing association or NHS trust) for three years (it doesn’t have to be three years in a row).
  • You have no legal issues with debt

Joint Applications

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).

Ex Council Homes

If your home used to be owned by the council, but they sold it to another landlord (like a housing association) while you were living in it, you may have the Right to Buy. This is called ‘Preserved Right to Buy’.

Ask your landlord if this applies to you.

Other Ways to Buy Your Home

If you were not living in your home when it was sold by the council you may still be able to buy it through the Voluntary Right to Buy pilot.

Is this scheme available throughout the UK?

The full scheme is only available in England.

If you live in Scotland, the Right to Buy scheme has been abolished completely, while Right to Buy was also phased out in Wales in January 2019.

In Northern Ireland, secure Housing Executive and housing association tenants still have a Right to Buy – the maximum discount you can receive is £24,000. The amount of discount you get depends on how long you’ve lived in the property and how much of the property you’re buying.

What is Right to Aquire?

Right to Acquire allows most housing association tenants to buy their home at a discount. You apply using the Right to Acquire application form.

You can apply to buy your housing association home if you’ve had a public sector landlord for 3 years. These landlords include:

  • housing associations
  • councils
  • the armed services
  • NHS trusts and foundation trusts

Eligible Properties

Your property must either have been:

  • built or bought by a housing association after 31 March 1997 (and funded through a social housing grant provided by the Housing Corporation or local council)
  • transferred from a local council to a housing association after 31 March 1997

Your landlord must be registered with the Regulator of Social Housing.

The home you want to buy must also be:

  • a self-contained property
  • your only or main home

Joint Applications

You can make a joint application with:

  • someone who shares your tenancy
  • up to 3 family members who’ve lived with you for the past 12 months (even if they don’t share your tenancy)

Who Doesn't Qualify

You can’t use Right to Acquire if:

High-Quality Mortgage Advice

Book a Free Initial Consultation

If you are looking for a mortgage, book a free consultation with one of our advisers.

We offer advice on a wide range of mortgage products and can help you get the right deal to suit your individual needs.

The Financial Conduct Authority do not regulate buy to let mortgages.

× Live Chat