Right to Buy
In order to qualify for the right to buy scheme, you will need to have been a public sector tenant for a minimum of five years.
Changes to the right to buy
Please note that the maximum discount for all right to buy applications increased from £16,000 to £75,000 on 2 April 2012. As of 25 March 2013 it has increased to £100,000 within London boroughs.
The discount percentage rate remains the same. If you are the tenant of a house, you will qualify for a discount of 35 per cent from the market value of your home after you have held a public sector tenancy for a total period of five years. You will receive 1 per cent more discount for each additional full year of public sector tenancy you have had, up to a maximum of 60 per cent. If you are the tenant of a flat, the discount you will receive starts at 50 per cent from the market value of your home after you have held a public sector tenancy for five years and increases by another 2 per cent for each additional full year up to a maximum of 70 per cent. Should the discount you are entitled to come to less than £100,000 then you are only entitled to receive that amount. If the amount comes to more than £100,000 then you will only receive the maximum discount of £100,000.
The cost floor has now changed from 10 years to 15 years for homes built or acquired after 2 April 2012 (see part 2 of the Government's guide "Right to Buy: buying your council home).
The Steps to owning your own home booklet gives you basic information about your right to buy, what you will need to think about if you want to take advantage of the scheme and any restrictions that may apply to either you or the property you live in.
You can download an application form from the Government's Right to Buy website. Please print the application form, as it must be signed and returned to:
Home Ownership Services,
153-159 Abbeyfield Road
Should you need to discuss your application in person it is advisable to make an appointment with a right to buy officer on 020 7525 7850.
Social homebuy is an alternative to right to buy and allows you to acquire your home on a shared ownership basis. This means you can buy some of the equity in the property but pay rent on the share that you do not own, allowing you to get closer to full ownership. You will also get a discount on the purchase price.
As with right to buy, you will still need to have been a council tenant for a minimum of two years if your tenancy started before January 18 2005 or five years if your first tenancy started after that date.