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Right to acquire your housing association home

The Right to Acquire scheme gives eligible tenants of registered social landlords the right to buy their property from their landlord at a discount. Buying a home is a long term financial commitment, so always make sure you get independent financial and legal advice before you make the decision.

Are you eligible to acquire your housing association home?

You may be if:

  • You are a secure or assured tenant.
  • You’ve had a public sector landlord for at least 3 years.

Public sector landlords include housing associations, councils, armed services, NHS trusts and foundation trusts.

And you live in:

  • A housing association property built or bought using public funds after 31 March 1997 onwards.
  • A property transferred from a local authority to a housing association after 31 March 1997.

You will not be eligible to acquire your housing association home if:

  • You are a Council tenant.
  • The courts have issued a possession order for you to leave your home.
  • You are undergoing bankruptcy proceedings.
  • You live in housing specially provided for older people and, in certain cases, disabled people.

See 'Right to Acquire: buying your housing association home on GOV.UK for an overview on Right to Acquire. The discount amount on property price you might expect. How to apply to buy your home. Information on landlord's offer price. What to do if you want to sell a house you have bought under right to acquire. Plus general help and advice.

Discounts available on a housing association home

  • Discounts range from £9,000 to £16,000 depending on where you live.
  • If you applied to the scheme on or after 18th January 2005, and decide you want to sell the property within five years of buying it, you will have to repay some, or all, of your discount - the amount you repay depends on the how long after you got the discount you want to sell.

    Time when property sold Amount of discount to be repaid
    Within 1 year 100%
    Within 2 years 80%
    Within 3 years 60%
    Within 4 years 40%
    Within 5 years 20%
  • If you decide to sell your property after five years you will not have to pay the discount back.
  • If you decide to sell your property within ten years then you will have to offer the property to your landlord first, at market value - if your landlord doesn't want it, you are free to sell the property on the open market.

How to apply to acquire your housing association home and next steps

Contact your housing association for an application form. They will make a decision about whether you qualify for the Right to Acquire for your current property, or an alternative property.

If the alternative property is in another area, you may qualify for a different discount. You don't have to accept the alternative property and your landlord doesn't have to offer you an alternative property.

If you do qualify, your landlord will send you a notice outlining:

  • A description of the property and any land included in the price.
  • Details of your discount and how it has been calculated.
  • The price the landlord thinks you should pay for the property and how the landlord calculated the price.
  • Estimates of any service charges.
  • Any structural problems the property may have.
  • Terms and conditions of the sale.

If you disagree with the price given for your home, you can ask for an independent valuation by the District Valuer. However, the District Valuer's decision is final, even if they value your house is higher than that of your landlord.

See home ownership schemes on the nidirect government services website, which lists different types of home ownership schemes.

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