The Right to Buy scheme

image of housing

The Right to Buy process can be complicated. Important decisions have to be made within set time periods by you and us. We advise you to get some independent advice about the process from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor.

If you have been a secure public sector tenant for 5 years or more, you have the right to buy. You can do this with any joint tenants, or with family members who have lived with you for at least 12 months. You can buy the property if it’s a self-contained home and is your only home.

There are some exceptions:

  • property supplied in connection with your work
  • some housing provided for older people and people with disabilities
  • if a court has made a possession order which states that you must leave your home
  • if you are an undischarged bankrupt, have a bankruptcy petition pending or you have made arrangements with creditors and still owe them money.

You can use the righttobuy website to see whether you are eligible:

Once we have received the form we will let you know whether you have the Right to Buy or not. If you are unable to, we will explain why this is. Any response you make has to be made within certain time periods.

If we agree to sell your home we will send you an offer notice telling you the price and the terms and conditions of sale. If we don’t respond to your application within the prescribed time period, you may be entitled to a reduction in the purchase price.

There are also time periods in which you must respond to us. If you fail to do this, your application may be withdrawn.

Costs may include legal and survey fees, valuation fees and costs associated with taking out a mortgage. You may also have to pay stamp duty.

Once you have bought your home you may then have to make regular mortgage repayments, plus building insurance, life assurance and mortgage payment protection insurance.

There may be service charges for maintenance on your home. You may also have to pay for water, sewerage, gas, electricity and other utility services and council tax.

If you fail to make some of these payments, it may result in legal action against you.

If you fail to make mortgage payment, your home may be repossessed. We may not give you another tenancy if your home is repossessed.

You can sell your home on, but you may have to repay some or all of the discount. The amount you repay will depend on when you made your application.

If you sell your home within 10 years of purchase you must first offer it to us at market value. In some rural areas, particularly in Powys, you may be required to resell to people who have lived or worked locally for at least 3 years.

The scheme gives you a discount on the market value of your home. The longer you have been a right to buy tenant, the more discount you get (up to a maximum discount of £8,000).

For those eligible after 2 years the discount is 32% for houses and 44% for flats. The discount for those eligible after 5 years is 35% for houses and 50% for flats. The discount rises by 1% for each extra year, up to a maximum of 60% but the discount cannot exceed the maximum of £8,000.

The discount may be reduced by a special rule called the cost floor. This will apply if we have bought or built your home recently or we have spent money repairing or maintaining it. The discount can’t reduce the price paid below the amount that we have spent.

Claim form

To begin the process, you need to complete a Right to Buy claim form. You can get the form and advice about filling it in using the link below:

Download a right to buy claim form

Our Right to Buy Administrator can give you all the forms, booklets and advice you need and will deal with your application free of charge.

More information

External links:

Right to buy -

Check eligibility -

Guidance on how to apply -

A series of guides/leaflets are available from:

Right to Buy Information from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

Free Literature
PO Box No 236
Wetherby LS23 7NB
Tel: 0870 1226236
Fax: 0870 1226237

There are schemes to help people in Wales to buy their home:


  • Address:
    Housing Area Office
    Ystradgynlais Area Office
    Hendre Ladus
    SA9 1SE
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