Right to buy a Council Home (RTB Council)

Last updated - 1 November 2017

Buying your Council Home
Right to Buy Council Home (RTB Council) is a statutory scheme specific to Local Authority properties and allows eligible tenants to purchase their council home at a discount.

Am I eligible?

It is only available to those tenants living in a Local Authority property on a secured tenancy or those whose property was transferred to Genesis from the Local Authority as a result of a stock transfer.

You can apply to buy your council home if:

  • It’s your only or main home
  • It’s self-contained
  • You’re a secure tenant
  • You’ve had a public sector landlord (for example, a council, housing association or NHS trust) for three years – it doesn’t have to be three years in a row.

If you were previously a secure tenant of a local authority who became an assured tenant because ownership of your home was transferred to a registered provider, you may have what is known as the Preserved Right to Buy (pRTB). 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.

What discount can I receive?

The discounts for those who qualify will allow those living in a house to receive a 35% discount after five years residency, with an extra 1% for each additional year beyond the qualifying period, up to a maximum of £100,000 (effective from the Government’s Budget Statement at 25 March 2013).

Tenants in flats will receive 50% discount after five years, with 2% for each additional year beyond the qualifying period. The discount may reduce by a special rule called the cost floor. This may apply if your home has recently been purchased or built by your landlord or they have spent money on repairing or maintaining it.

Conditions to buying

Please note that the RTB Council scheme requires you to buy 100% of the value of your home. You are not allowed to sublet the property within the first five years of ownership. If you choose to sell your home within the initial five years of the original purchase, the discount you receive will be repayable. The discount is repayable if the property is sold or the share assigned within five years from the date of initial purchase.

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.

If you are an assured tenant of a registered provider, such as a housing association, in normal circumstances you do not have the Right to Buy Council Home.

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