Right to Acquire (RTA)

Last updated - 13 April 2018

The Right to Acquire is a scheme giving eligible tenants the legal right to buy the home they currently rent. This will be done with the assistance of a discount of up to £16,000.

This is for tenants living in a property which qualifies for the scheme. Their landlord must be a housing association or housing company. They are referred to as “registered social landlords”.

The Right to Acquire does not apply to tenants of LAs.

Am I eligible?

To make the scheme the home must have been built or bought by a registered social landlord, funded on, or after, 1 April 1997. This would have been done through a social housing grant. A property transferred to a registered social landlord after March 1997 will qualify for the scheme.

If the social landlord does not own the freehold of the property, the freeholder must also be a public-sector landlord for the property to qualify.

As well as occupying a qualifying property, you must also:

  • Have spent a total of two years as a public-sector tenant or in accommodation provided by the armed services, if you have been a public sector tenant before January 18th 2005.
  • Have spent a total of five years as a public-sector tenant, if your first public sector tenancy was created on or after January 18th 2005.
  • Live in a house or flat which is a self- contained property and is your only or main home.

You will not be eligible to claim the Right to Acquire if you are:

  • An undischarged bankrupt, or have a bankruptcy petition pending against you.
  • The subject of a possession order served by the court, at the request of your landlord.
  • Subject to a formal creditors agreement made under the Insolvency Acts.

What discount could I receive?

The discounts for this scheme are fixed amounts published by the Government. They currently range from £9,000 to £16,000.

The amount of discount you receive will depend on where you live. If you have previously had a discount to help you buy a home, this may be taken off your Right to Acquire discount.

Conditions to buying

There are some additional conditions to buying that should be considered, these are:

You are not allowed to sublet the property within the first five years of ownership.

If you choose to sell your home within the first five years of purchase; the discount you receive will be repayable. The discount is repayable if the property is sold or the share assigned.

The amount due to be repaid is calculated as a percentage of the resale value equivalent to the percentage of the discount, when compared to the purchase price and reduced by a fifth each year as follows:

  • Sale within one year, repay an amount equal to the % that the discount bore to the purchase price.
  • Sale within two years, repay 80% of the amount calculated as above.
  • Sale within year three, repay 60% of the amount calculated as above.
  • Sale within year four, repay 40% as calculated above.
  • Sale within year five, repay 20% of the amount calculated above.
  • No repayment required after year five.

For more visit the Department of Communities and Local Government website.