Right To Buy Mortgages explained…

The Right to Buy scheme was first introduced in 1980. The scheme helps council and housing association tenants buy their homes at discounted prices. The discount as at April 2019, is up to 70% or £110,500 in London and £82,800 outside London.

The Right to Buy discount increases in April each year, in line with the CPI (Consumer Price Index).

The discount you could potentially receive depends on:

  • How long you’ve been a tenant with a public sector landlord
  • The type of property you want to buy – e.g. a house or flat
  • The value of the property

To apply for the Right to Buy discount, both you and your property need to meet the following requirements.

You must:

  • Be a council tenant or have been a council tenant when your property was transferred from the council to a housing association – in the latter case, you would instead apply for the Preserved Right to Buy which we explain below
  • Have had a public sector landlord for at least 3 years
  • Be a secure tenant, not an introductory or flexible tenant
  • Not live in sheltered or other housing suitable for elderly or disable people
  • Not have any legal problems with debt
  • Not have any outstanding possession orders against you

Your council home must:

  • Be your only or main home
  • Be self-contained
  • Not be due to be demolished

If the council used to own your property but now it’s owned by a housing association, you may qualify for the Preserved Right to Buy.

The Preserved Right to Buy is for people who want to buy their ex-council home. You may have the Preserved Right to Buy if you were a secure council tenant living in your home at the time it was transferred from your council to a housing association.

Even though the Preserved Right to Buy has slightly different rules and regulations about who can apply, it’s still a form of the Right to Buy scheme and works in the same way; you receive a potential discount when you go to buy your property.

You can apply for the scheme in your own name, with your spouse or partner or with Someone who shares your tenancy, or up to 3 family members who’ve lived with you for the last 12 months, regardless of whether they share your tenancy or not


If you meet the eligibility criteria for the scheme, you will need to complete the RTB1 application form and send it to your landlord.  Your landlord will confirm or deny whether you have the Right to Buy.

If your application is confirmed, you will receive an offer within 8 weeks for a freehold – typically a house – and 12 weeks for a leasehold property – typically a flat.

You’ll then have up to 12 weeks to accept your landlord’s offer. In this time, you’ll have to find a solicitor, arrange a mortgage and have the house surveyed.


If you’re not eligible for Right to Buy, you may be able to use Right to Acquire instead.

There are a few main differences between Right to Buy and Right to Acquire. These revolve around who’s eligible and the discount you can receive.

Right to Buy is a scheme which allows council tenants, or housing association tenants who were council tenants, to buy their property with a discount.

Right to Acquire is a scheme which allows housing association tenants, not council tenants, to buy their property with a discount. The discount is £9,000 – £16,000 which is significantly less than the discount available through the Right to Buy scheme. The amount of discount that you could receive through Right to Acquire will depend on where you live in the UK.

Most lenders will accept the discount you receive as deposit; however, you will still need to meet the affordability criteria for the lenders. Depending on your income and expenditure, this could mean you need additional funds for the deposit

We have specialist advisors for Right to Buy mortgages and they can guide you through the whole process.

To book in an appointment to speak with an advisor:

Email: enquiries@london-fs.com

Fill in our quick enquiry form here: Contact form

Call us on: 0208 427 5057