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How the Right to Buy scheme works

The Government is set to relaunch the Right to Buy scheme of the eighties. Photo: Reuters

According to Directgov the Right to Buy scheme helps social tenants in England to buy their council home at a discount.The scheme is open to people who are secure tenants (someone who has been a council tenant for more than 12 months).

You can apply for Right to Buy if you’ve been a council or public sector tenant for five years (it doesn’t have to be five years in a row). You are a public sector tenant if you have lived in properties provided by a housing association, the armed services or a public body like an NHS trust.

You can make a 'joint application' to buy your home through Right to Buy with someone who shares the tenancy with you or with members of your family. They must have lived with you for the past 12 months.

If you qualify for Right to Buy, you can get a discount on the market value of your home when you buy it.

The discount is based on:

  • How long you have been a tenant
  • Where you live
  • The type of property you're buying (a flat or a house)

If you have previously had a discount to help you buy a council home, this may be taken off your Right to Buy discount.

The Right to Buy scheme is being re-launched by the Government. Credit: Reuters

If you sell your property within ten years of buying it, you must first offer it to your old landlord, eg the council, or another social landlord in the area.

Your home should be offered at the full sale price, which must be agreed between you and the landlord. If you can’t agree on the price for your home, a district valuer will say how much your home is worth and set the price. You won’t have to pay for their valuation.

If the landlord doesn’t agree to buy your home within eight weeks, you can sell your home to anyone on the open market.

To read the Government's guide to Right to Buy in full, click here.

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