Right to Buy: Eligibility

The first thing you need to know is whether you are eligible for the Right to Buy. Eligibility criteria apply to you and the property you live in.

If you’re not sure you can use our easy quiz to find out if you could be eligible to buy your home at a discount.

If you’d prefer to speak to someone you may want to contact one of our Right to Buy advisers who can take you through the quiz and answer any questions you may have. However, your eligibility would need to be confirmed by your landlord as part of the Right to Buy application process.

If you are eligible and thinking of applying, be wary of individuals or companies offering to help you with your Right to Buy. It’s likely that they will charge you for their services and may be offering a deal which is better for them than it is for you. Always check first if there are any costs involved.

For more detailed information on eligibility and exceptions to the Right to Buy you can download Your Right to Buy Your Home – A Guide (GOV.UK).

Changes to eligibility

In May 2015, the eligibility criteria was reduced from five years public sector tenancy to three. This means you now have to be a tenant for three years instead of five before you can apply to buy your home.

Making a joint application

You don’t have to do it alone – you may be able to make a joint application for Right to Buy. If you’re eligible, you might be able to buy your home with:

  • Someone who shares your tenancy
  • Your spouse or civil partner
  • Up to 3 family members who’ve lived with you for the past 12 months. They don’t have to be on your tenancy agreement but it must be their main home

There is nothing in law that specifies how a Right to Buy purchase should be financed. A family member (or someone else) could provide the funding for the purchase. However legal ownership of the property can only be in the names of the eligible tenant/s and other eligible applicants. We recommend that you get financial and legal advice on mortgages or contact one of our Right to Buy advisers who will be able to point you in the right direction.

Housing association tenants

There are other schemes available to housing association tenants. The government also has plans to extend Right to Buy so if you are a housing association tenant and not currently eligible.