Housing association tenants can now apply to buy their homes using the government’s Right to Buy scheme.
If you rent from L&Q, Riverside, Saffron Housing, Sovereign or Thames Valley Housing Association, you’re eligible to buy your home from today.
The full scheme will be rolled out later this year to include all housing associations in England.
If you’re thinking of buying your home using Right to Buy, you can get impartial guidance on how to get a mortgage by speaking to Which? Mortgage Advisers on 0808 252 7987.
What is Right to Buy?
Right to Buy was originally introduced in 1980 and allows people to buy their rented homes at a discount.
Until now, it’s only been available to council tenants, but the government plans to extend the scheme to include 1.3m housing association tenants.
The maximum discount you can get when using Right to Buy is 70% of the purchase price of your home – up to a maximum of £103,900 in London and £77,900 elsewhere in England.
Find out more: Right to Buy – check out our full guide
Can I buy my home now using Right to Buy?
So far, you can use Right to Buy if you rent from one of the five housing associations who are piloting the scheme. Here are the full details of who’s taking part:
- L&Q – Croydon LBC, Enfield LBC, Greenwich LBC, Haringey LBC, Lambeth LBC, Lewisham LBC, Newham LBC, Southwark LBC
- Riverside – Liverpool CC, Halton BC, Knowsley MBC, Sefton MBC, St Helens MBC, Wirral MBC
- Saffron Housing – South Norfolk DC
- Sovereign – Cherwell DC, West Oxfordshire DC, Vale of White Horse DC, South Oxfordshire DC
- Thames Valley Housing Association – Guildford BC, Hart DC, Runnymede BC, Rushmoor BC, Woking BC
Will I be eligible for Right to Buy?
If you have spent at least three years living in a public sector house or flat, you will be able to use Right to Buy.
Joint applications are allowed, so it’s possible to buy your home with a partner. You can also apply with up to three family members, as long as they have also lived in the property for the last 12 months.
The Right to Buy scheme is only available to tenants in England, and the government has set up an online eligibility quiz for would-be home buyers.
While the vast majority of housing association homes will be eligible for Right to Buy, there will be some restrictions, so keep an eye out for more information in the coming months.
How much money will I save if I use Right to Buy?
Your Right to Buy discount will depend on the type of property you are buying and how long you have been a tenant.
If you live in a house and have been a tenant for at least three years, you will be able to benefit from a 35% Right to Buy discount. After five years, this discount increases by 1% each year, up to a maximum discount of 70% on the purchase price.
Buyers who live in a flat get an initial discount of 50% after three years, which increases by 2% each year after five years. As with houses, the maximum discount for people buying their council flat is 70% of the purchase price.