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Who qualifies for the right to buy?

You are eligible to apply for buying your council home if you meet the following criteria:

  • You (and up to three family members who want to buy with you) must be at least 18 years old. Apart from your husband, wife or civil partner, anyone sharing the right to buy with you must have lived with you for 12 months before you apply to buy your home. Family members cannot buy your home unless you also want to buy it.

  • You must be a council tenant with a secure tenancy agreement.

  • You've had a public sector landlord (a council, housing association or NHS trust) for three years - it doesn’t have to be three years in a row

  • Time spent in temporary accommodation (for example, a bed and breakfast or a hostel) or time spent as a demoted tenant does not count towards your qualifying period.

Housing association tenants, armed forces tenants, and a tenant of a public body such as the NHS also may qualify for the right to buy.

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Who does not qualify for the right to buy?

You may not qualify for the right to buy if any of following applies:

  • You have an introductory or demoted tenancy agreement.

  • You have a possession order against you or you have broken the terms of a suspended possession order.

  • You are not up to date with your rent payments before you complete the purchase. If we have suspended any arrears from your rent account, you will need to pay these back in full before purchasing your council home.

  • You have been declared bankrupt, or are waiting to hear the outcome of a bankruptcy petition against you or you have made an arrangement with creditors (people or organisations you owe money to) and you still owe them money.

  • You (or any household members or visitors) are involved or threatening to be involved in anti-social behaviour.

  • You have an application pending against you for a demotion order, a suspension order or a possession order because of anti-social behaviour. Or the court has changed your tenancy from a secure to a demoted tenancy because of anti-social behaviour. This will suspend any current right to buy application you have and prevent you from applying to buy your home while your tenancy is demoted.

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What type of property can’t be bought under the Right to Buy?

The following properties are not included in the Right to Buy scheme:

  • Temporary accommodation

  • Properties that are particularly suitable for elderly people

  • Sheltered housing for older people, disabled people or people suffering from mental ill-health

  • Properties the Council only owns the lease to but not the freehold, and where there are not enough years left on the lease (fewer than 21 years for a house and fewer than 50 years for a flat or maisonette)

  • Properties due to be demolished - in this case, the Council may suspend your right to buy by sending you an initial demolition notice, or end your right to buy by sending you a final demolition notice.

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Page Last Updated:

17 August 2016