Right to buy
Right to Buy (RTB) is a Government scheme which gives qualifying Council tenants a chance to buy their homes. You will usually qualify for a discount from the full market valuation of your property if you have been a secure Council tenant for at least 3 years. As a secure tenant, you can normally live in the property for the rest of your life, as long as you don’t break the conditions of the tenancy.
How the Right to Buy scheme works
Your discount is calculated by how many years you have been a secure tenant.
Three to 5 years as a secure tenant gives you a 50% discount when you buy your flat or maisonette and 35% when you buy your house. If you have been a secure tenant for 6 years or more, you will get an extra 2% discount per year for flats or maisonettes and an extra 1% discount per year for houses. This is capped at 70% or the maximum cash discount - whichever is lower.
The amount of discount you can receive is capped. The maximum discount for London is £103,900 and £77,900 for the rest of the country (until 5 April 2018).
On 21 July 2014 the Housing (Right to Buy) (Limit on Discount) (England) Order 2014 (the Order) came into force and provided for an annual increase to the maximum right to buy discount. This increase takes effect on 6 April each year.
The Department indicated it would publish the new maximum discounts in January of each year. The discount is based upon the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).
In respect of the financial year 2018/19, the relevant September 2017 CPI figure is 3 per cent and the new maximum discounts will be:
- London: £108,000
- outside London: £80,900
These discounts will apply to applications which are served on the landlord by the tenant on or after 6 April 2018.
The discounts do not apply retrospectively to applications made before 6 April 2018.
Get a rough idea of how much your discount will be by viewing the government's Right to Buy Calculator.
Qualifying for Right to Buy
Before applying for the Right to Buy scheme, you should check to see if you qualify, eligibility applies to both you and your property.
- you must be a secure tenant in the property you wish to buy
- you must have spent at least three years as a public sector tenant
- the property must be your only or main home
- you must not have breached your suspended possession order
- your home must not be due for demolition (a notice would have been served on you)
Buying with family members
You can buy your home with family members or a spouse/civil partner, even if they are not joint tenants, as long as:
- it is their only or principal home
- they have lived there for a minimum of 12 months before applying
Family members cannot apply for the Right to Buy or buy the property without the main tenant(s).
In a joint tenancy usually both tenants must apply to buy. If you do not want to apply, you must agree to the sale by filling in the appropriate part of the application form. You should also consider getting legal advice, when you end your tenancy you will lose rights to the property.
Can you afford it?
Before you think about buying your property it is a good idea to think about the costs involved. There are other one off costs besides paying for the value of your property, including:
- stamp duty
- solicitors fees
If you are buying a flat or maisonette you are likely to become a leaseholder. Your lease will usually be 125 years and can be renewed. As a leaseholder you will be responsible for paying:
- service charges
- ground rent
- repairs and maintenance
- building’s insurance
- you must also consider major works; these are repairs and improvements that we make to your building that you may need to pay towards
If you are buying a house, it is likely that you will become the freeholder. This means that you are responsible for paying for all repairs and maintenance work.
Apply for Right to Buy
To apply, or if you need any more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are all the documents you will need to make your initial application:
- Application form
- How to complete the RTB1 form
- RTB1 Form (357 KB)
- RTB questionnaire and declaration
- Your right to buy your home guide
Once you have completed the above forms please return them to the home ownership team:
The Orchard Housing Office,
152 Broadmead Road,