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Right to Buy

The Right to Buy scheme helps eligible council tenants in England to buy their home with a discount of up to £78,600 outside London.

If you are buying a house, you will be buying the property freehold and will own the property outright. If you are buying a flat or maisonette, you will be buying a long-term lease and the council will still own the freehold of the building.

Who has the Right to Buy?

To be eligible to buy your home from the council:

  • You must be a secure tenant of Medway Council
  • You must have spent at least three years as a public sector tenant (a public sector tenant is a tenant whose landlord is either a local authority or registered social landlord)
  • The house or flat you plan to buy must be your only or principal home
  • You may be able to exercise the Right to Buy with someone who is a joint tenant with you or with members of your family (they must be over the age of 18 years and have lived with you for a minimum of 12 months).

You can't buy your home if:

  • A court has made a possession order which says that you must leave your home
  • You are declared bankrupt or have a bankruptcy petition pending against you
  • Your home is particularly suitable for occupation by the elderly (Under paragraph 11 of Schedule 5 to the Housing Act 1985 ) taking into account its location, size, design, heating system and other features.

The Right to Buy discount

As a qualifying Right to Buy tenant, you will receive a discount on the market value of your home. The amount of discount is linked to the number of years you have spent as a secure tenant - the longer you have been a tenant, the greater your discount will be.

  • If you live in a house, you can get a discount of 35 per cent after 3 years tenancy. You also get 35 per cent after 4 and 5 years tenancy. For each extra year after that, you get another 1 per cent for each year of tenancy up to a maximum of 70 per cent.
  • If you live in a flat, you can get a discount of 50 per cent after 3 years as a tenant. You also get 50 per cent after 4 and 5 years tenancy. For each extra year after that, you get another 2 per cent for each year of tenancy, up to a maximum of 70 per cent.

But, whatever percentage you are eligible for, your discount cannot be greater than £78,600. The maximum discounts will increase on 6 April each year if the Consumer Price Index increases. If the Index does not increase, the discounts will remain the same.

Please note, you may have to repay part or all of your discount if you resell your property within the first five years of ownership.

Apply for the Right to Buy

You must submit a Right to Buy application form (pdf 432KB) to your landlord.

Your landlord must tell you within 4 weeks of receiving your application if you have the Right to Buy your home and will send you a notice (Form RTB2).

If you decide you are interested in purchasing your home, you must tell your landlord in writing within 12 weeks of receiving your notice. An independent Estate Agent will then value your property and you will receive an offer letter from your landlord telling you how much they are prepared to sell the property for. You will also be provided with the terms and conditions of sale and an Energy Performance Certificate to tell you how energy efficient and environmentally-friendly your home is.

If you wish to complete your Right to Buy, your purchase should be handled by your solicitor and your landlord’s legal representative.

Cost of buying your council home

If you decide to buy your council home, there may be additional costs to the purchase price for the following:

  • Maintenance costs to ensure your home is in good repair
  • Running costs, such as utilities and Council Tax
  • You may have to pay stamp duty, which is a tax that people pay when they buy property
  • You will need a solicitor or licensed conveyancer to look after the legal side of buying your home
  • You should have a survey of your home carried out - a Royal Institute Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
  • Home Buyers’ Survey and Valuation is a report to tell you of all significant defects and provides a guide to value
  • If you take out a mortgage loan, you may have to pay for the cost of arranging it and will also have to pay a valuation fee
  • When a sale is completed, you must pay the Land Registry to register you as the new owner.

Information on the Right to Buy

More information on the Right to Buy can be found on the Right to Buy website or in the Department of Communities and Local Government publication Your Right to Buy Your Home: A guide.

Medway Council's fair processing

We are under a duty to protect the public fund we administer, and may therefore use the information you provide on your Right to Buy application and/or Insolvency Declaration for the prevention and detection of fraud. We may also share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds.

For further information, read Medway Council's Privacy Notice.