Buying a council home - right to buy
Since April 2012, major changes have been made to the Right to Buy scheme. From Tuesday 26 May 2015 the qualifying period for the Right to Buy was reduced from five to three years. In July 2014, the maximum percentage discount available to eligible tenants living in houses was increased from 60 per cent (30 years tenancy) to 70 per cent (40 years tenancy). This brings the maximum percentage discount in line with the maximum percentage discount available for flats.
The maximum cash discount amount available to eligible tenants is currently £77,900 (£103,900 in London). This amount will increase every April in line with inflation.
To be eligible, you must have been a council tenant for at least three years.
The time spent as a secure tenant does not have to be continuous. If you have held a 12 month introductory tenancy and it has been transferred to a secure tenancy, this time will also count towards the three year qualifying period.
You cannot share the right to buy with members of your family who don’t live with you, but you may be able to exercise the right to buy jointly with your husband or wife, civil partner, members of your family who have lived with you for the past 12 months, or someone who is a joint tenant with you.
Homes available to buy
Most of the homes we let are available to buy, however there are certain homes which cannot be bought such as those within sheltered housing schemes for the elderly. Other homes which we do not normally sell include bungalows and ground floor flats which are allocated to someone aged 60 or over.
If you are told that your home is not available to buy because it is particularly suitable for an elderly person, you can appeal against this decision by contacting the Residential Property Tribunal.
Find out more about the Residential Property Tribunal Service (link opens in a new window)
There is no right of appeal if your home is not available to buy for any other reason.
Advice and support
We can provide specialist information and advice on the processes involved in buying your home. We cannot recommend particular services, such as mortgage lenders, solicitors or surveyors, but we can offer general advice and guidance at every stage. Our aim is to support you through the entire purchase process which is likely to take between four and six months.
We deal with all sales of council homes and our services are free. Beware of anyone knocking on your door offering services to help you buy your home and asking for a fee. If you are approached by a person or company offering to help you buy your council home, talk to us before signing up to anything. If you do decide to let them into your home, please ask to see their identity card and if you are still in doubt, contact your local information point.
Find out where your nearest information point is