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Right to buy your council home

Thing to Consider Before Submitting a Right to Buy Application

If you would like to discuss your Right to Buy before submitting an application, please call our customer service team and ask to speak to the Right to Buy Officer.

Do You Meet the Requirements set out in the Government Document ‘Your Right to Buy Your Home’

  • The qualifying period as a public sector tenant is a minimum of 3 years.
  • All joint applicants must meet the stated requirements, this can include
    • Someone who shares your Tenancy.
    • Your spouse or civil partner.
    • Up to 3 family members who have lived with you for the last 12 months as their main home.

Identification and Evidence

  • Do you have the required documents you need to provide for identification purposes for all Tenants to be included in the Right to Buy.
  • Do you have evidence and documentation available for the dates of previous tenancies with Housing Associations or the MoD for these to be included in the discount calculation.

Examples of Documents that can be used for ID Verification

  • Photo ID for example a passport or driving licence.


  • Documents with tenant’s name and current address for example a utility bill or bank statement. This evidence should be dated to show residency at the property of over 12 months.
  • 3 Months Bank Statements.

If required

  • Evidence of name change, for example marriage certificate.

 Purchasing your Home with a Mortgage

  • In order to proceed with your RTB efficiently, it is advisable to have a mortgage agreed in principle to confirm that you can complete on the purchase price for your property.

Consider all the Responsibilities and Costs of Owning your Home

Remember - if you do not keep up with your mortgage payments, your lender may take possession of your home. There will be initial costs for taking up your Right to Buy, these may vary but could include:

  • Stamp Duty - you can find out more about this at: 
  • Legal fees – a fee will be payable if you use a solicitor or other legal representative to help you with buying your home.
  • Mortgage fees – these can include:
    • a fee if you use a broker to help you find a mortgage.
    • an arrangement fee to fix a mortgage rate with your mortgage lender.
    • a fee for your lender’s assessment of the market value of your property.
    • a survey fee for a professional inspection of your property (this is not the same as the assessment of market value undertaken by your mortgage lender). There are different types of survey with different costs depending on how detailed the survey is.

As a homeowner you will also have regular ongoing costs. These can include payments for:

  • a mortgage or loan on your property.
  • building insurance.
  • contents insurance.
  • life insurance.
  • mortgage payment protection insurance.
  • Council tax.
  • water, gas, electricity, broadband and other services.
  • repairing and maintaining your property.
  • service charges – you can find more information here: https://www.lease-advice.org/

Exclusions to the Right to Buy Scheme - You may be Denied the Right to Buy if:

  • You do not have a secure tenancy, or the secure tenant has not applied.
  • A joint tenant has not given their consent for the other tenant to buy on their own.
  • We are unable to verify your identity.
  • The property is not your main home.
  • The property is adapted for special use such as disabled or elderly.
  • The property is not self-contained, for example has a shared kitchen or bathroom.
  • The landlord does not hold sufficient interest in the property such as a lease for a flat of less than 50 years or, for a house, less than 35 years.
  • There is a court order stating you must leave your home.
  • You are an ‘un-discharged bankrupt’.
  • You are being declared bankrupt.
  • You have made a composition or arrangement with creditors i.e.an individual or company voluntary arrangement.
  • The court has suspended your Right to Buy.
  • We plan to demolish your home and you have been served a Demolition Order.

Selling Within the First Ten Years

  • If the property is sold within the first year, all the discount will need to be repaid. This reduces each year up to 5 years, for full details see the Government guide ‘Your Right to Buy Your Home’.
  • If you sell your property within 10 years you must first offer it back to your landlord.
Last updated 27 January 2023
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