Buying your council home
The Right to Buy scheme gives long-term council tenants the right to buy the home they are renting at a discount.
You can find out if you are eligible for the Right to Buy at GOV.UK.
The purchase price of your home will be the price it would sell for on the open market, minus the discount you are entitled to.
You can find out what discount you could get at GOV.UK.
You can share the Right to Buy with up to three family members who have been living with you at the property as their permanent home for at least 12 months before you apply. Family members can be your husband, wife, civil partner, partner, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece.
You need to inform us on how you will pay for the property, such as with cash or a mortgage. Some lenders will consider the discount you receive as a deposit for a mortgage, but you will need to discuss this with them.
Leaseholders must pay a yearly service charge fee towards the cost of major works to blocks of flats. Details of any costs we're aware of such as service charges, repairs, maintenance and major works will be included in your offer notice.
How to apply
To apply for the Right to Buy, you will need to complete the Right to Buy application form at GOV.UK.
If you need help completing your application or want an appointment to see us, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact the Right to Buy Advisory helpline on 0300 123 0913.
We will let you know if your application has been accepted within four weeks. If you're accepted, we will send you an offer notice within 12 weeks. You've got 12 weeks to let us know if you want to go ahead with the purchase. If you accept, it will take a few months for the sale to complete.
Checks we make
All applications will be checked by our Counter Fraud Investigation Team. If you apply and give false or misleading information, or withhold information, you may be prosecuted under the Fraud Act 2006, with a maximum sentence of 10 years or an unlimited fine or both.
We check information against other records, such as Housing Benefits, other government departments, agencies and fraud detection providers. If information from a Right to Buy application identifies other fraud, such as Housing Benefit, we will act on this and you may have your benefit adjusted or stopped.
Your application may be denied if:
- you're not a secure (long-term) tenant
- one of the tenants on a joint tenancy hasn't given their consent
- we can't check your identity or eligibility
- the property isn't your main home
- the property has been specifically adapted for the disabled or elderly
- the property has shared facilities
- we have a court order against you for your current or a previous tenancy
- you're an 'un-discharged bankrupt' or are being declared bankrupt
- we plan to demolish your home and you've been served a Demolition Order
Selling or letting your property
Once you own your home you're allowed to rent it to someone else, but if you're a leaseholder you must let us know and give us another contact address for you. You then become a landlord and will need to make sure you have the correct tenancy agreements and insurance in place. You will also need to register with Home Ownership Services by emailing email@example.com. If your home is mortgaged, you will need to check with your lender if they will let you sublet your property.
Paying back your discount
If you sell your property within the first five years, you will have to repay all or some of the discount you originally received. This is based on the percentage of discount you received and the number of years you have owned the property.
You will have to pay back the full discount if you sell within the first year. After that, the 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
The amount you pay back depends on the value of your home when you sell it.
Example - You bought your home worth £100,000 and got a 40% discount (£40,000). You then sold your home after 18 months for £120,000 (40% of £120,000 is £48,000). As you’re in the second year, you would repay 80% of £48,000 (£38,400).
If you want to sell your property within ten years of buying it under the Right to Buy scheme, you must give us the option to buy it back first.
Right to Buy scams
You should be aware of scams from companies or individuals who offer to help you buy your home but end up owning the property themselves. The money they offer isn't enough to buy another home, and you won't be eligible for another tenancy from us. If you are approached, contact us or get independent legal advice from a solicitor or the Citizens Advice Bureau.