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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.
  • have been a public sector tenant for at least two years or five years if you became a public sector tenant after 18 January 2005.

And you live in:

  • a qualifying property.
  • a property that was built or acquired by a housing association, both charitable and non-charitable, with public funds from 1 April 1997 onwards.
  • a property that was transferred from a local authority to a housing association after 1 April 1997.

You may be classified as a public sector tenant if you have previously lived in properties provided by your local authority, the armed services, fire service, or police authority.

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.

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 this has been calculated;
  • 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 Valuer's decision is final, so if it is found that the value of your house is higher than the one given by your landlord, you must stick to it.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) provide grants to cover the discount offered to the purchaser. You can get further details from your housing association or see home ownership schemes.

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