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.

Discount cap

The amount of discount you can receive is capped. 

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 2021/22 the relevant September 2020 Consumer Price Index figure is 0.5 per cent and the new maximum discounts are as follows:

  • London: £112,800
  • outside London: £84,600

These discounts will apply to applications which are served on the landlord by the tenant on or after 6 April 2021.

The discounts do not apply retrospectively to applications made before 6 April 2021.         

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.

To qualify:

  • 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).

Joint tenants

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
  • surveys
  • 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 home.ownership@redbridge.gov.uk 

Below are all the documents you will need to make your initial application:


You should read these notes before you complete form RTB1. If the form is not fully completed it will be returned to you and may delay processing your right to buy claim.

Part A: The Property
• State the address of the property including the full postcode.
• Your landlord’s name. This is ‘The London Borough of Redbridge’. If you do not pay your rent to Redbridge, we are not your landlord and you should not send this form back to us. You should send it to your landlord.

Part B: Tenants
Before you complete this part think carefully about who wants to be included in the purchase.
After you have sent us this form you cannot add any further names later on.
• State the tenant or joint tenants full name(s). Your tenancy agreement will tell you if you are a tenant. Make sure that the name(s) stated is the name(s) you want to use on the legal contact if you buy your home. If you have recently changed your name and have not told your Housing Officer you should do this before you complete this form.
• Put a tick in the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ box depending on the heading that applies to you.

Part C: Family members(s) sharing the right to buy
• Fill in this part if you would like members of your family to share in the purchase. The family member must be named on the tenancy agreement. If their name(s) is not on the tenancy agreement they will not be allowed to share in the purchase. Do not include any person under the age of 18 as they cannot buy with you.
• Put a tick in the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ box depending on the heading that applies to you.
• State your relationship to the tenant such as son, daughter, husband, wife and so on.

Part D: Qualification and discount
You should read the notes before completing this part.
Answer sections 1 to 5 depending on the section that applies to you.

• State the date your present tenancy started, the name of the tenant, the full address of the property and the name of your landlord.

If you have also been a tenant at another address state the date your tenancy started and finished, the name of the tenant, the full address of the property and the name and full address of your landlord. Remember to include all previous tenancies spent as a public sector tenant as they may count towards your discount. If you have been a tenant of any
of the landlords listed on the back pages you should include this on the form. Any tenancy that you do not tell us about will not be taken into account when we work out your discount.

If you have ever purchased a property under the right to buy and received a discount you must complete this part.

Part F: Tenants improvements
• Fill in this part if you have made any improvements to the property. This is to make sure that any improvements you have made are not taken into account when the property is valued.

If you need help to fill out this form you can contact a Right to Buy Officer on 020 8708 7699  Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm or email home.ownership@redbridge.gov.uk


Once you have completed the above forms please return them to the home ownership team:

The Orchard Housing Office,
152 Broadmead Road,
Woodford Green,

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