Right to Buy: Housing association tenants

Ex-council homes (Preserved Right to Buy)

Most housing association tenants do not have the Right to Buy. But if you were a secure council tenant and were living in your home when it was transferred from your council to another landlord, like a housing association, then you may have a ‘Preserved’ Right to Buy.

This only applies if you were living in your home when it was transferred. It can also apply if you then move to another property owned by the new landlord. But it does not apply if you move to a property owned by a different landlord.

If you have the Preserved Right to Buy, then you can buy your home under the scheme in the same way as if you were still a council tenant. Your landlord will be able to tell you whether you have the Preserved Right to Buy or you can use our handy eligibility quiz.

Right to Acquire

If you don’t have a Preserved Right to Buy you may still be able to purchase your property at a smaller discount under another scheme called Right to Acquire.

You can find more details about Right to Acquire and you can discuss whether you are eligible for this scheme with your landlord.

Voluntary Right to Buy pilot

The government, in partnership with the National Housing Federation, launched a £200m pilot of the Voluntary Right to Buy across the Midlands in August 2018. Eligible housing association tenants in the East and West Midlands were able to register for a place on the pilot, with those who were successful given the opportunity to buy their home at a Right to Buy level discount. As the Midlands pilot had a fixed budget, the government was only able to fund a limited number of places through the pilot. To give everyone an equal chance to participate, places on the pilot were allocated by a ballot.

A full evaluation of the pilot has been conducted. Data on homes sold under the Midlands pilot and the replacement homes which have been started is available on GOV.UK, and will be updated on an annual basis.

The previous Prime Minister announced on 9 June 2022 the intention to extend the Right to Buy to housing association tenants. The government is working closely with the sector on the design of this scheme and details will be announced in due course. 

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