0844 826 8381

right to buy helpline

right to buy helpline

Right to Buy is a Government scheme which allows tenants of a housing association/council property to buy their home at a discount price.

Other Right To Buy Contact Numbers:

Right To Buy Phone Number
Helpline 0844 826 8381
Application updates 0844 826 8381
Complaints 0844 826 8381

Right To Buy Helpline Opening Hours

Department Opening Hours
Helpline Monday to Friday, 8am until 6pm

Reasons to call the Right to Buy Helpline:

  • To find out if you are eligible for the scheme.
  • Working out how much discount you are allowed.
  • To find out about your options for funding.
  • For advice on the costs involved.
  • To get help filling out the application form.
  • To get advice on discussing your application with your landlord.
  • For help on finding a solicitor.

Where can you get a Right to Buy mortgage?
Right to Buy in Scotland
Right to Buy discount
How to fill in the Right to Buy form

Right to Buy Scheme

The Right to Buy scheme is a Government incentive where you can buy your council/ housing association home at a discounted price. You can apply if you have been a public sector or council tenant for three years and you don’t share your house with other people. If you have been threatened with eviction, have large debts or have been declared bankrupt, you won’t be eligible for the scheme. This is also the case if your home has been reserved for the elderly or disabled or if there is a shortage of housing in your area.

To begin the process, you should ask your landlord for a Right To Buy form. Your landlord must respond in four weeks- whether this is a ‘yes’ with an offer or a no with a reason why. The amount that the property will cost depends on your landlord’s price and how much discount you are entitled to.

The landlord must tell you if there are any restrictions on who you can sell your home to. Their offer should also include a full description of the property, information about any structural problems and an estimate of the service charge if a service charge applies to the property. You have 12 weeks after receiving the offer to decide whether to go ahead with the sale. You can withdraw from the sale at any time and carry on renting your home.

Right to Buy Discount

The amount of discount that you are entitled to when purchasing your home depends on where you live. As of 2016, the discount is as follows:

  • £103,000 in London
  • £77,900 rest of England
  • £8,000 in Wales
  • £24,000 in Northern Ireland

The longer you have lived in the property, the more discount you could get. If you’ve been a tenant for 3 years, you get a 35% discount. After five years, the discount goes up by 1% for every year that you are a tenant. For example, if you are a tenant in a house in London and you have lived in the property for 20 years and the property is worth £230,000, you would be entitled to a 50% discount and would pay £126,100 for the property. This is because £115,000 (50% of the property value) is above the maximum discount amount for London of £103,900.

Right to Buy Council House

‘Secure’ tenants- those who have lived in their council house for over three years- are most likely eligible for Right to Buy. Your landlord will confirm this when you apply. You don’t have to have lived in the same council house for three years in a row, you can count multiple years of being a council tenant in different houses towards your application. Right to Buy isn’t available to tenants who part own their property with the council.


Right to Buy Mortgage

right to buy mortgages

right to buy mortgages

Most people hoping to use the Right to Buy scheme will need a mortgage to help them afford their home. You can apply for a mortgage from a bank and they will check to see if you can afford the repayments. You should make sure you also have enough money to cover the various fees associated with buying a home. It’s up to you how you will finance your Right to Buy purchase but you shouldn’t ask your landlord to recommend a mortgage provider. If you do need advice about seeking a mortgage, contact the Money Advice Service or call the Right to Buy helpline on this page.

You can also contact an independent financial advisor for advice on your finances.

Some mortgage providers will accept the discount that you are being given as part of the Right to Buy scheme as a deposit towards buying the home, but some won’t, so always check with the lender.

Popular questions about Right to Buy

Where to get a Right to Buy mortgage?

Halifax, Nationwide, Barclays and HSBC are some of the lenders who offer mortgages as part of the Right to Buy scheme. You should discuss Right to Buy with the lender at your initial mortgage appointment to determine whether they will accept the discount as a deposit or not.

Who has the Right to Buy in Scotland?

The Right to Buy scheme in Scotland ended for all housing association and council tenants at the end of July 2016. This means that no one in Scotland is eligible for the scheme. The Scottish Government first began discussing the future of the scheme in 2012, before ending it in 2016.

When does Right to Buy discount increase?

The discount that you could get as part of the Right to Buy scheme increases after 5 years of being a housing association tenant, up to a maximum of 20 years.

How to fill Right to Buy form?

The first step of the Right to Buy application process is to fill in a form for your landlord. You can get advice on completing the form on the Right to Buy website or by calling the Right to Buy helpline to be talked through the process.


About Right to Buy

Up until the 1970s, although councils always had the right to sell properties to tenants, it was quite rare. The first legislation for the Right to Buy scheme passed in the Housing Act 1980. Since then, around 1.5 million houses have been sold through the scheme.