Right to buy

The Right to Buy scheme is to help tenants in England buy their council home at a discount.

Since 1980, the Right to Buy Mortgage Scheme has helped more than two million council tenants and housing association tenants to buy their council owned home at a discounted rate. The right to buy mortgages scheme enables local authority secure tenants with a minimum of two years tenancy to buy their current home at a discount price. It is targeted at long standing public tenants, with the right to buy discount increasing in proportion to the years that rent has been paid.

The maximum discount is:

  • £108,000 in London

  • £80,900 in rest of England

  • £8,000 in Wales

  • £24,000 in Northern Ireland

    The discount is based on:

  • how long you’ve been a tenant with a public sector landlord

  • the type of property you’re buying (a flat or a house)

  • the value of your home

    Selling your home afterwards If you sell your home within five years of purchasing it you will have to repay the discount.

    If you sell your home within 10 years of buying it through Right to Buy, you must first offer it to either to your old landlord or another social landlord in the area.

    If you sell within the first year, you’ll have to pay back all of the discount. On top of this, the amount you pay back depends on the value of your home when you sell it. So, if you got a 20% discount, you’ll have to pay back 20% of the selling price.

    If you sell after the first year, the total amount you pay back reduces. You pay back:

  • 80% of the discount in the second year

  • 60% of the discount in the third year

  • 40% of the discount in the fourth year

  • 20% of the discount in the fifth year