Housing association right to buy

Government has proposed a new right to buy scheme for housing association tenants. A pilot began in August 2018 in the Midlands.

New housing association right to buy

The new scheme would give many housing association tenants the right to buy their housing association homes.

Pilot scheme

A pilot for the scheme began in the Midlands in August 2018.

Discounts for the pilot of the new housing association right to buy scheme have been set at the same level as the council house right to buy.

Find out more about the Midlands pilot scheme and discounts and if your housing association is participating.

How the right to buy scheme could work

The new right to buy scheme will probably be restricted to housing association tenants who have an:

  • assured tenancy
  • assured shorthold tenancy where the original fixed term was at least 2 years

It's likely you'll need to have been a tenant of a housing association or council for least 3 years.

If your housing association takes part in the scheme, they'll decide if your home can be included.

Homes excluded from the scheme

Homes you won’t be able to buy may include homes:

  • adapted for use by disabled people
  • in some rural areas

If your home is not included, you may be offered an alternative home to buy at a discount.

Other ways to buy a home from a housing association

You may already have the right to buy your housing association home at a discounted price under the right to acquire scheme.

This scheme’s discounts are less generous than those proposed for the new housing association right to buy scheme.

Former council tenants

The new scheme won't apply if you rented your home from the council and your tenancy was transferred to a housing association. You may be able to buy your home under the preserved right to buy rules for former council tenants.

Secure housing association tenants may have the right to buy. You can only be a secure tenant if your original housing association tenancy began before 15 January 1989.

Shared ownership

You may be able to buy a shared ownership home from a housing association, even if you are not a housing association tenant. Home ownership schemes allow you to part rent and part buy a home.

New responsibilities if you buy a home

If you buy a home, you are responsible for new expenses such as:

  • a mortgage
  • buildings insurance
  • repairs costs or service charges for repairs and maintenance
  • charges for the upkeep or improvement of communal areas

Find out more from the Money Advice Service about the costs of buying a home.

Risks of buying a right to buy home

Buying a home with a mortgage is a risk for any homebuyer.

Mortgage interest rates can go up. Your home could be repossessed if you don't keep up the payments.

Check if a mortgage company will offer a loan on the property, even if you don't need one yourself. If they won't, you could find it hard to sell in future.

Consider the potential life of the building. A flat may not retain its value if it could be demolished within the period covered by the lease.

Assess if expensive repairs might be needed in the future and if you'll be in a position to pay.

Consider if you'll be able to pay the cost of extending the lease in future years if you buy a flat or leasehold house.

Gov.uk has more on buying a home.

Last updated 24 Jul 2018 | © Shelter

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