Right to Buy and Right to Acquire

Right to Buy and Right to Acquire are ways of buying the home that you currently rent from your landlord.

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Most tenants don’t automatically have the Right to Buy their rented property. But if you were a secure council tenant of either Stockton, Middlesbrough or Hartlepool councils and were living in your home when it was transferred from your council to the former Tristar Homes, Erimus Housing or Housing Hartlepool, then you might have a ‘preserved’ Right to Buy.

If you don’t have a preserved Right to Buy, you might be able to buy your property at a smaller discount under another scheme called Right to Acquire. This applies to many tenants of the former Tees Valley Housing as well as the majority of tenants of Tristar Homes, Erimus Housing and Housing Hartlepool when the tenancy started after the landlords moved away from the councils.

If you have become a tenant of Thirteen since 1 July 2017, then you might have the Right to Acquire when you have three years as a tenant of a housing association.

Right to Buy update

Although the government intended to extend the Right to Buy to more tenants on a voluntary basis, the introduction of this scheme has been delayed and we are unsure when the scheme will start.

Discounts available

Right to Buy

If you’ve been a tenant for between three and five years, then your discount from the full market value of the property starts at 35% for a house, and 50% for a flat or maisonette.

The discount rises by:

  • 1% for each full year that you’ve been a tenant in a house
  • 2% for each full year that you’ve been a tenant in a flat or maisonette.

We’ll take into account the time you’ve spent as a tenant with other housing associations or councils, as well as any time spent in armed forces accommodation.

The maximum discount is 70% of the market value of a house or a flat, but from 6 April 2017 this is capped at £78,600. This maximum discount will increase by inflation every year, but will remain at £78,600 for 2017/18.

The tables below show examples of discount percentages and purchase price based on properties valued at £100,000. The value of your home will probably differ from this. Until we receive a valid application we're not able to tell you the value of your home. 

Discounts while living in a house
Period in house Percentage discount Discount Purchase price
3-5 years 35% £35,000 £65,000
10 years 40% £40,000 £60,000
20 years 50% £50,000 £50,000
30 years 60% £60,000 £40,000
40 years 70% £70,000 £30,000
Discounts while living in a flat/maisonette
Period in house Percentage discount Discount Purchase price
3 to 5 years 50% £50,000 £50,000
10 years 60% £60,000 £40,000
20 years 70% £70,000 £30,000
30 years 70% £70,000 £30,000
40 years 70% £70,000 £30,000

Discounts available

Right to Acquire

If you’ve been a tenant for three or more years, the amount of discount is a flat amount and depends on which region of the country you live.

In the majority of our properties (those in Stockton, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool) a discount of £9,000 is applicable. Some areas, for example York have a slightly higher discount of £10,000.

Applications

Applications to Right to Buy and Right to Acquire

Remember, buying your home is a big decision and a commitment that you shouldn’t take lightly. Even though it can have advantages, you should think carefully about the responsibilities, costs and financial commitments of home ownership.

You should always get independent financial and legal advice before buying your home.

Before making an application, you should read the government's:

You can then apply to buy your home by completing the relevant:

You can apply to buy your home together with:

  • someone who shares your tenancy
  • your spouse or civil partner
  • up to three family members who’ve lived with you for the past 12 months. They don’t need to be on your tenancy agreement, but the property must be their main home.

Once we receive your application form, we’ll respond to you within the time set out in the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire rules. We generally have four weeks to let you know if you qualify for either scheme. After this, we normally let you know what the purchase price is after another eight weeks, but timescales are slightly longer for flats and apartments.

A family member (or someone else) could provide the funding for the purchase. However, only the eligible tenant and other eligible applicants would have legal ownership of the property.

More information

If you decide that home ownership is right for you, the government’s Right to Buy Agent service offers free and impartial advice to help you through the process of buying your home. You can find out more about the Right to Buy Agent service.

For more help and advice:

  • call our homes sales advisors on 0300 111 1000
  • find out more on our buy a home page.