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How the Right to buy your council home works

February 11, 2019

Right to buy allows tenants of the council to purchase their home at a large discount. The Scheme has now been extended to Housing association tenants.

This article describes the Right to buy process and will give you an insight into how it all started, where we are now and the future plans.

  • Articles include:
  • Right to buy Origin
  • Where is the Scheme Available?
  • The Discount available
  • Has Your Landlord spent Monies on your Home?
  • How it all actually works
  • Finding a Mortgage

Right To Buy Origin

Right to buy was the brain child of Margaret Thatcher (The Iron Lady) , who enabled tenants to buy there council property’s with a substantial discount as part of the 1980 Housing Act.

Heseltine noted that “no single piece of legislation has enabled the transfer of so much capital wealth from the state to the people”.

The Present rules allow you to apply for the right to buy your home on these conditions;

  1. It is your main home
  2. It is all contained into one unit ( another words you don’t have to share your facilities
  3. with other tenants)
  4. You are currently a secure tenant for 3 years( It needn’t be 3 consecutive years )
  5. It also allows you as the tenant to include other people who have lived with you for at
  6. least the last 12 months-
  7. You can make an application with someone else that is currently registered on the
  8. tenancy agreement.

Where is the Scheme Available?

It is available throughout England


The Government in Wales has reduced the discounts in half and has plans to stop the right to buy all
together, which its plans to happen by 2021.


The government in Scotland have now stopped right to buy’s all together, this happened on the 31st
July 2016

However your council still might sell you your property but won’t give you any discount- You would
need to contact your local housing department for further information- for more information see
this link

Northern Ireland:

They still have the Right to Buy Scheme available for secure Tenants up to a discount of £24,000. This discounts is based on the amount of years you have lived in your home.

To get further information of the different schemes please click on these links:

Alternatively please contact us at Total Home Loans and we will help you.

Get in touch for friendly mortgage advice

Call us today on: 01202 232 160

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The Discount Available

The Discount for Right to buy is different for House’s and flats, these are the details;


You get a 50% discount if you’ve been a public sector tenant for between 3 and 5 years.

After 5 years, the discount goes up by 2% for every extra year you’ve been a public sector tenant, up to a maximum of 70% – or £80,900 across England and £108,000 in London boroughs (whichever is lower).


You get a 35% discount if you’ve been a public sector tenant for between 3 and 5 years.

After 5 years, the discount goes up by 1% for every extra year you’ve been a public sector tenant, up to a maximum of 70% – or £80,900 across England and £108,000 in London boroughs (whichever is lower).

To get a good idea how much discount you are capable of getting , go to the Governments calculator

Has your Landlord spent monies on your home?

Your discount will be less if your landlord has spent money building or maintaining your home:

  • in the last 10 years – if your landlord built or acquired your home before 2 April 2012
  • in the last 15 years – if you’re buying your home through Preserved Right to Buy, or if your
  • landlord acquired your home after 2 April 2012

You won’t get any discount if your landlord has spent more money than your home is now worth.

How it all actually works

First step is to complete the Right to buy forms, which are commonly known as a RTB1–2

Click on the link and complete the form, it’s a little long but self explanatory. Please contact us if you need any help and we will walk you through the process.

Once you have been accepted to buy your home you will receive an offer which will give you the following key information;

  1. How much £ you are being offered the property for and the calculation behind the figure.
  2. The amount of discount you have been offered and how they got to that figure
  3. Details about your flat or house and the plot.
  4. Details of any service charge
  5. Issues with the property they are aware of

You will have 12 weeks to let your council/Landlord know f you would like to proceed with the purchase – After the 12 weeks they will give you a further 28 days notice to let them know if you wish to proceed with the purchase. If you decided you don’t want to proceed you can withdrawn your application and continue to rent as normal.

If you are not happy about the valuation of your property you have the right to ask for an independent valuer to review the valuation .The Independent valuer ( District Valuer) will arrange an appoint to see you of the area in which you live. You will then have a further 12 weeks to go with the new value or pull out of the purchase and continue renting.

Your landlord/Council has got to complete certain parts of the process with a time scale of 4 weeks, if they don’t do it within this time you may be able to get some money off the purchase price- I have attached a link to the RTB6 delay notice form in case you need it This should kick-start them into action or they may send you a notice to explain what the delay is or what they are waiting for. Either way it keeps you informed with that’s happening behind the scenes.

IF you still don’t get any reply within 4 weeks after the RTB6 , the next process is to complete the RTB8- which is the operative notice of Delay form- I have attached a link below:

This could mean that any rent you are paying could be reduced from the purchase price.

Finding a Mortgage

Once you have been given the green light to buy your property it’s up to you to finance the purchase. At Total Home Loans we are highly experienced mortgage brokers who will help you find the right lender and mortgage for your home, click on the link below and complete the short form and we will get right back to you or call us on 01202 232160.

The purchase of your home is a huge decision and you must take time making sure it’s the right thing for you and your family to do. It’s important to factor in additional costs and responsibilities that you didn’t have previously as tenants and would be responsible for as an owner. It’s a good idea to complete an income and expenditure form to make sure you can afford all the bills and your normal living expenses.

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