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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.

Eligibility

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.

Joint applications

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 customer services team on 0300 500 8000.

Discounts

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 customer services team on 0300 500 8000.

Discounts

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 £84,600 (£112,800 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

When you apply, 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. If you are unable to print an application form off yourself, please call our Customer Services Team on 0300 500 8000 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).