Right to buy legislation

  • Qualifying criteria: you must be a secure tenant and have accumulated at least three years public sector tenancy.
  • Discount: this is based on the number of years you have been a tenant. The basic discount you can qualify for after three years is 35% for houses and 50% for flats. For each additional year spent as a public sector tenant, you receive 1% for houses up to a maximum of 70% and 2% for flats up to a maximum of 70%.
  • Maximum discount: From 6 April 2021, the discount in Ealing increased to £116,200. For more information please see the discounts page.
  • Repaying the discount: if you sell the property within the first five years of ownership, you will have to repay a percentage of the re-sale price after deducting the value of any improvements you have made since the purchase. The percentage is based on the proportion of the market value the right to buy discount you received represented. The amount is reduced by 20% for each year of ownership. For example, if your property was valued at £150,000 and you received £16,000 discount, the percentage is 10.6667% (£16,000/£150,000). If you sell in the first year, you would have you repay 100% of 10.6667% of the sale price. So, if you sell the property for £190,000, you would have to repay £20,226. If you sell in the fourth year for £210,000, you would have to repay £8,960 which is 40% of 10.6667% of the value.
  • Landlord's right of first refusal: if you or any successor in title wishes to sell the property within the first 10 years of the Right to Buy sale, the council (or to someone nominated by the council) must first be given the option to re-purchase the property.
  • Deferred re-sale agreements: if you enter into an agreement to sell your property during the discount period following your purchase under the Right to Buy, you may be liable to repay some or all of your discount even if the sale date falls after the five-year period. Furthermore, if you make such an agreement prior to exercising your Right to Buy, you will be liable to repay all of the discount immediately upon completion of your purchase.
  • Valuation and appeals: the council will value your property. If you are unhappy with the valuation, you have the right to have your case referred to the District Valuer for determination. The District Valuers decision is final and cannot be appealed.
  • Cost floor: Section 131 of the Housing Act 1985 (the cost floor) limits the Right to Buy discount to ensure that the purchase price of the property does not fall below what has been spent on building, buying, repairing or maintaining it over a certain period of time (relevant expenditure).
  • Exceptions to the Right to Buy: Your application may be denied for the following reasons:
    • You do not have a secure tenancy
    • You have less than three years public sector tenancy
    • Your home is under a possession order
    • You are an undischarged bankrupt, have a pending bankruptcy petition or you have made arrangements with creditors
    • You have a court order suspending your Right to Buy because of antisocial behaviour
    • Your property is subject to a demolition notice
    • Your home is sheltered housing
    • Your home is particularly suitable for elderly people and have been let to someone of pensionable age, or someone with a disability
    • Other conditions may apply.