Right to Buy

The government’s Right to Buy scheme enables you to buy your council home at a discount. A Registered Valuer will therefore be needed to carry out a valuation on your property.

Right to Buy

The government’s Right to Buy scheme enables you to buy your council home at a discount. You would need to instruct an RICS Registered Valuer to carry out a valuation on your property prior to purchase.

Qualifying criteria include you needing to be a public sector tenant and have lived in the property for 3-5 years. If you own a house then the discount is 35%, but if you own a flat the discount is 50%. 

An additional discount of 1% for houses and 2% for flats (each with a maximum discount of £127,900 for London or £96,000 in all other areas of England) is added annually after 5 years of having lived there. 

Contact us on how to apply for Right to Buy and our panel of valuers can assist you.

Frequently asked questions

What other criteria are there?

The property needs to be your only or main home and must be self-contained. You need to be a secure tenant and have had a public sector landlord (e.g. council, NHS trust or housing association).

Preserved Right to Buy is when your home used to be owned by a public sector landlord and so you may still qualify for Right to Buy.

Do I keep all of the discount?

You typically have to repay discount if you sell your home within 5 years of purchasing it.

A smaller discount may be available for those who have used Right to Buy in the past.

Less discount is also available if the landlord has spent money on building or maintaining the property in the last 10 years and the landlord acquired it before 2nd April 2012 (or 15 years if you have Preserved Right to Buy or the landlord acquired it after 2nd April 2012).

How much discount do I repay?

You will repay discount only if you have sold your home within 5 years of buying it through Right to Buy. This is tiered as follows:

  • 1st year: all discount
  • 2nd year: 80% of the discount
  • 3rd year: 60% of the discount
  • 4th year: 40% of the discount
  • 5th year: 20% of the discount

The total amount to be repaid depends on the new sale price. For example: you bought your home when it was worth £200,000. The discount you received was 40% (£80,000). You then sold your home after 18 months for £240,000. 40% of £240,000 is £96,000. As you’re in the 2nd year, you would repay 80% of £96,000, which equals £76,800.

How do I apply for Right to Buy?

The relevant RTB1 form will need to be sent to the landlord, who needs to respond within 4 weeks (or 8 weeks if they have been your landlord for under 3 years).

Can I apply jointly?

A joint application can be made if someone shares your tenancy or with up to 3 family members who have lived with you for the past 12 months.

What if my landlord accepts?

If they say yes, they are to send you an offer for which they have another 8 weeks to do if you are buying freehold and 12 weeks if you are buying leasehold.

What if my landlord refuses?

If they say no, they must have valid reasons, which you can appeal within 56 days.

What does the offer include?

The offer must include a fair price with the discount and how everything has been calculated. The property must be accurately described with land included in the price. For flats/maisonettes, there should be an estimate of service charges for the first 5 years.

How long do I have to accept?

Thereafter, you have 12 weeks to decide. If not, the landlord should send you a reminder, which will give you a further 28 days. You can cancel the purchase and continue renting whenever.

What if my landlord is slow in replying?

Reductions in the sale price can be applied for with an RTB6 form if your landlord has delayed. The landlord must then proceed with the sale within 1 month or serve you with a counter-notice. If they fail to respond, then form RTB8 is sent to them and the rent you are paying can be deducted from the sale price.

What if I then decide to sell my home?

If you bought your home through Right to Buy and then decide to sell it, you must offer it to your old landlord or another local social landlord first.

It needs to be sold at the full market price as agreed between you and the landlord. If no agreement is reached, then it is referred to the District Valuer for determination, whom you will not need to pay.

If the landlord does not agree to buy it within 8 weeks of offer, then you can sell it to whomever else.

What if my home is rural?

Your previous landlord may limit whom you can sell your home to if it is in a national park, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or generally classed as “rural” by the government in respect of Right to Buy.

Is there a helpline?

Yes. There is a service offering free advice on eligibility, how to complete your application, etc. The contact details are:

Right to Buy Agent Service


Tel: 0300 123 0913