The right to buy or acquire your home

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

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 does not have Right to Buy or Right to Acquire schemes

These were closed in January 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

The Right to Buy website 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

Getting support

Speak to a Right to Buy adviser (GOV.UK)

Right to Buy and Right to Acquire (Money Advice Service)

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 £82,800 (£110,500 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

The Right to Buy calculator will help you work out what discount you could get.

Housing associations and the Right to Acquire

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

You could be eligible for the Right to Buy scheme, which has a larger discount.

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

Getting support

Your housing association will know if your home is eligible.

Contact Citizens Advice to get advice.

Right to Buy and Right to Acquire (Money Advice Service)

Right to Acquire (GOV.UK)

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 comes with risks – here's what to watch out for (The Guardian)

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 (unbiased.co.uk)

Mortgages (Money Advice Service)

Money Advice Service has lots more advice on buying a home.

Last reviewed by Scope on: 18/11/2019

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