General information about Right to Buy

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Right to Buy (RTB) is a government scheme which gives qualifying council tenants a chance to buy their homes. 

To qualify:

  • you must be a secure tenant in the property you wish to buy
  • you must have spent at least three years as a public sector tenant
  • the property must be your only or main home
  • you must not have breached your suspended possession order
  • your home must not be due for demolition (a notice would have been served on you)
  • More information on qualifying for the Right to Buy scheme

Discount cap

Your discount entitlement is based on how many years you have been a secure tenant.

  • Three to five years as a secure tenant gives you a 50% discount if your property is a flat or maisonette and 35% when your property is a house.
  • Six years or more as a secure tenant gives you an extra 2% discount per full year for flats or maisonettes and an extra 1% discount per full year for houses.

The discount is capped at 70% or the maximum cash discount - whichever is lower.

The current maximum discount for London is £108,000 and £80,900 for the rest of the country for Right to Buy applications received on or after 6 April 2018.

This new maximum discount will not apply to applications received before 6 April 2018.

Use the Right to Buy Discount Calculator to find out how much discount you qualify for.

Buying with family members

You can buy your home with family members or a spouse/civil partner, even if they are not joint tenants, as long as:

  • it is their only or principal home
  • they have lived there for a minimum of 12 months before applying. Family members cannot apply for the Right to Buy or buy the property without the main tenant(s).

Joint tenants

In a joint tenancy usually both tenants must apply to buy.

If you do not want to apply, you must agree to the sale by filling in the appropriate part of the application form.

You should also consider getting legal advice, as when you end your tenancy you will lose rights to the property.

Find out how much your property is worth

It is a good idea to find out how much your home might be worth before you buy so you can plan ahead.

You don’t need to apply to the Right to Buy scheme just to get your property valued. You can:

  • get a free online valuation from the Right to Buy website
  • ask a local high street estate agent to value your property.

Can You Afford It?

Before you think about buying your property it is a good idea to think about the costs involved. There are other one-off costs besides paying for the value of your property, including:

  • Stamp Duty
  • Surveys
  • Solicitors Fees.

Leaseholders

If you are buying a flat or maisonette you are likely to become a leaseholder. Your lease will usually be 125 years and can be renewed.

As a leaseholder you will be responsible for paying:

  • Service Charges
  • Ground Rent
  • Repairs and Maintenance
  • Water Charges

You must also consider major works. These are repairs and improvements that we make to your building that you may need to pay towards.

Freeholders

If you are buying a house, it is likely that you will become the freeholder. This means that you are responsible for paying for all repairs and maintenance work.