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Right to Buy: How can I buy my council house?

If you’re a council or housing association tenant, you could be eligible to purchase your home with a government discount under the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme.

What is ‘Right to Buy’?

‘Right to Buy’ is a government initiative. The scheme allows eligible council tenants to buy their council-owned home at a discounted price. Ex-council properties sold to a housing association may also have a ‘Preserved Right to Buy’.

Am I eligible for Right to Buy?

You can make an application to buy your council home under Right to Buy if you meet the following criteria:

  • The property must be your only residence
  • The property must be self-contained
  • You must be a secure tenant (ie your tenancy is for life)
  • You must have had a public sector landlord for at least three years (not necessarily consecutively)

What is the process of purchasing my council house?

You should complete the Right to Buy application form on the government’s website and send it to your landlord. If your landlord agrees to sell the property, they will send you an offer. The offer includes the price of the house and the discount applied, a description of the property and any known issues, and estimates of service charges (if it’s a leasehold property, such as a flat).

You must respond to the landlord’s offer within 12 weeks.

When should I instruct a solicitor?

Once your Right to Buy application has been accepted by the local authority you should instruct a solicitor to progress the legal work involved in your purchase.

What happens if I sell my Right to Buy property?

If you sell your home in the future, please keep in mind that any discount must be repaid if the property is sold within five years of the Right to Buy purchase. If you sell the property with 10 years of the Right to Buy purchase, the council must be offered first refusal on the house.

How can Emsleys Solicitors help me buy my council house?

We have many years’ experience in assisting council tenants purchase their homes. From checking the legal title to the property, to guiding you through the transfer documentation, our friendly experts will be with you each step of the way.

Contact our conveyancing team by calling 0113 264 4414 or emailing conveyancing@emsleys.co.uk.

Adam Dawson

Written by

Adam Dawson

Associate Director

Adam is an Associate Director. He qualified as a Solicitor in 2012 and specialises in all aspects of residential conveyancing including freehold and leasehold sales and purchases, auction purchases, re-mortgages, transfers of equity, shared ownership and grants of new leases. Adam also supports the development of our...

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