How to buy your home
The government’s Right to Buy and Right to Acquire schemes enable social housing tenants in England to buy their homes at a discounted price.
Government announcement about the Right to Buy scheme
In June 2022 the government announced potential changes to the Right to Buy to enable housing association tenants to purchase their home through the scheme. The government has not published further details or outlined any timescales for these changes. We will communicate with our residents when further details are announced. Get more information on schemes to help access home ownership and the findings of the Voluntary Right to Buy Pilot here.
The ability to buy your home depends on your individual tenancy and the type of property you live in. But, in general, you may be able to buy your home if:
- it’s your main home
- you must be on an assured or secure tenancy
- it’s a self-contained home
- you’ve had a public sector tenancy for three years, e.g. a housing association or local council..
However, you won’t be able to buy if:
- you live in sheltered housing or other housing suitable for older or disabled people
- you have an IVA, you are bankrupt or being declared bankrupt
- you’ve had a court order to leave your home.
You can buy your home with a joint tenant, spouse or civil partner, or up to three family members if they’ve lived with you for the previous 12 months.
Right to Acquire scheme
If you have had a social housing tenancy for at least three years, you may be able to buy your home through the Right to Acquire scheme.
Only homes built by, bought by, or transferred to housing associations after 31 March 1997 are available to buy through the Right to Acquire scheme. Some homes are also not available due to their design or location.
To find out if you’re able to make an application through the Right to Acquire scheme, please phone our home ownership team on 0300 500 8000.
You get a discount on your home of between £9,000 and £16,000 depending on where you live. We’ll let you know the discount for your area when you apply. Your discount may be less if you’ve used the Right to Acquire or Right to Buy schemes before.
Find your local discount on the government’s website.
Find out more
Government website: www.gov.uk/right-to-acquire-buying-housing-association-home
Government home ownership website: www.ownyourhome.gov.uk/scheme/right-to-acquire
Right to Buy scheme
The Right to Buy scheme allows you to buy your home at a discount, depending on your individual tenancy and the type of property you live in. To find out if you’re able to make an application through the Right to Buy scheme, please phone our home ownership team on 0300 500 8000.
If you’re buying a house, you get a 35% discount – plus 1% for each year over five years that you’ve had a public sector landlord.
If you’re buying a flat, you get a 50% discount – plus 2% for each year over five years that you’ve had a public sector landlord.
However, the maximum discount is £96,010 (£127,940 in London) or 70% of the property value, whichever is less.
Your discount may be less if you’ve used the Right to Buy scheme before.
Find out more
The government has a dedicated Right to Buy scheme website. The government also offers free and impartial advice on buying your home, the application process, getting a mortgage, finding a solicitor and arranging a survey.
How to apply
After you enquire in step 1, we will need to check if you’re eligible to buy your home and if your home is available to be bought through the Right to Acquire or Right to Buy schemes.
When we have advised if Right to Acquire or Right to Buy is suitable for you we will issue you an application form via email to be printed, completed and signed in wet ink.
If you are unable to print an application form off yourself, please contact our Home Ownership team via the enquiry form, who will be happy to send you an application out in the post.
Selling your home
After you’ve bought your home through either the Right to Acquire or Right to Buy scheme, you’re free to sell it at any time.
However, if you decide to sell your home within the first 10 years, you’re legally required to offer it to Clarion to buy back before you advertise on the open market. If you can’t agree a full market price with us, we’ll arrange a valuation to set the price.
Paying back your discount
You’ll have to pay back some or all of the discount you got if you sell your Right to Buy home within 5 years of buying it.
You’ll have to pay back all of the discount if you sell within the first year. After that, the total amount you pay back reduces to:
- 80% of the discount in the second year
- 60% of the discount in the third year
- 40% of the discount in the fourth year
- 20% of the discount in the fifth year
The amount you pay back depends on the value of your home when you sell it.
Example: You bought your home worth £100,000 and got a 40% discount (£40,000). You then sold your home after 18 months for £120,000.
40% of £120,000 is £48,000. As you’re in the second year, you would repay 80% of £48,000 (£38,400).
Right to Shared Ownership
The new Right to Shared Ownership, is a scheme which will give social tenants, living in new rented homes delivered by the Affordable Homes Programme 2021-26, the opportunity to purchase a stake in their home and purchase further shares when they can afford to do so.
The Right to Shared Ownership will apply to all new rented homes delivered through the Affordable Homes Programme 2021-26, with limited exceptions.
Residents living in one of those homes may be eligible for the scheme provided they are:
- A social tenant who has been in social housing for three years
- And have lived in a qualifying home for a year.
The following categories of property will be exempted from the scheme from the outset:
- local authority homes
- homes in designated protected areas and rural exemption sites
- specialist homes for older, disabled and vulnerable people
- alms houses
- homes where the landlord is a co-operative housing association
- homes where the landlord or freeholder is a Community Land Trust
Find out more
The government has guidance on The Right to Shared Ownership.
If your property was delivered by the Affordable Homes Programme 2021-26 you can contact the team for more information.