The right to buy or acquire your home

This information applies to England and Wales.

If you rent your home from the council or a housing association, you may be eligible to buy it.

Warning If the council sold your home to a housing association while you were living in it

You could have the preserved right to buy if you were a council tenant when your home transferred to a housing association. This offers a larger discount.

Preserved Right to Buy (Own Your Home)

Getting a mortgage

If you have the legal right to buy your home, you will need to think about how you can afford it. This usually means getting a mortgage.

The discount available for council properties under the Right to Buy scheme is usually much higher than for housing association homes under the Right to Acquire scheme. The government and local authorities set these discounts.

Mortgage affordability and benefits

Warning Wales and Scotland do not have Right to Buy or Right to Acquire schemes

These schemes closed in 2019.

Council homes and the Right to Buy

You may be eligible to buy your home under a discount under Right to Buy if you either:

  • have been a tenant of the local council for more than 3 years
  • or were living in your home when the council transferred it to another landlord

Right to Buy (Own Your Home) gives you advice on:

  • if you're eligible
  • how much of a discount you may be entitled to
  • working out the costs of the scheme
  • getting a mortgage

Right to Buy advice (GOV.UK)

Discounts available on the Right to Buy scheme

If you're eligible for Right to Buy, you could be entitled to a discount of up to 70% or £102,400 (or £136,000 if you live in a London borough).

Your discount depends on:

  • how long you've lived in the property
  • if the property is in or outside London
  • if it's a house or a flat

Right to Buy discounts (GOV.UK)

In some cases, councils can refuse to sell adapted properties. The council can deny your application if the property:

  • has features that are substantially different from those of ordinary dwelling houses
  • is designed for people who are physically disabled
  • is part of a group of dwellings for people who are physically disabled
  • is near to a social service or special facility for occupants

You may be able to appeal. Ask your council about the appeal process. This can take a long time.

Housing association homes and the Right to Acquire

The law says that to be eligible for the Right to Acquire scheme, both of the following must apply to you:

  • your home was built after 1997 and was funded by the government
  • you have been a tenant of the housing association or council for more than 3 years

Your housing association will know if your home is eligible.

Right to Acquire (GOV.UK)

Contact Citizens Advice to get advice.

Discounts available on the Right to Acquire scheme

You can get a discount of £9,000 to £16,000. This depends on where you live.

Right to Acquire discounts by location (GOV.UK)

Other home buying schemes

Some housing associations run a shared ownership scheme through Social HomeBuy. Ask your housing association if they are part of this scheme.

Shared ownership can be a good option for some people, but there are some risks.

Shared ownership (Unbiased)

Which scheme is right for you? (Own Your Home, GOV.UK)

Mortgage advice

Whether you're purchasing a property using the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire schemes, it's important you find an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) you can trust.

Find an IFA (

Buying a home (MoneyHelper)

Right to Buy and Right to Acquire (MoneyHelper)

Last reviewed by Scope on: 04/04/2024

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