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Right to buy

The Right to Buy scheme gives long-term council tenants the right to buy the home they are renting at a discount.

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.

To find out more about what discount you could get visit GOV.UK What discount could I get.

You can find out if you are eligible for the Right to Buy at GOV.UK Am I eligible.

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.

You need to apply for the Right to Buy through GOV.UK.

Apply for Right to Buy at GOV.UK

If you need help completing your application or want an appointment to see us, you can email the team. You can also contact the Right to Buy Advisory helpline on 0300 123 0913.

We'll let you know if your application has been accepted within four weeks. If you're accepted, we'll 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

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. If your home is mortgaged, you will need to check with your lender if they will let you sublet your home.

If you sell your property within the first five years, you'll 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.

For example, if the original market value was £200,000 and you received a discount of £100,000, your discount is 50 per cent, therefore if you sell:

• within the first year you will have to pay back 50 per cent of the selling price
• after one year you repay 40 per cent of the selling price
• after two years you repay 30 per cent of the selling price
• after three years you repay 20 per cent of the selling price
• after four years you repay 10 per cent of the selling price

We will visit your home to value it. If you think we have valued your home too high, you can write to us to request a revaluation, which will be carried out by the District Valuer and their decision will be final. They can take up to six months to revalue your home.

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.