There’s only one way to find out.

Ask the question. They do say, "if you don’t ask you don’t get."

If you answer no to the following questions, you may have the ‘right to buy’.

  • You currently have no ongoing legal issues with bad debt.
  • You have been a tenant of the property for a minimum of 3 years.
  • This is your only/main home.
  • You are a council or housing association tenant (or you were before the property was sold to your current landlord)
  • There are no outstanding procession orders on the property.

'Right to Buy' was introduced by the conservative government back in 1980, designed to give tenants the opportunity to own their own property. Funds can be raised to purchase the property via a mortgage or even from gifted funds from a relative. If you are using a mortgage, there are many lenders who don’t require a deposit from the buyer. This means you could possibly purchase your home with no deposit whatsoever! Providing your credit history is clean, you should have a very good chance of making the first step on to the property ladder. 'Right to buy' is a way of creating fairness for all and giving more opportunities to tenants.

You can request the 'Right to Buy' your current home after a minimum of three years tenancy from a local authority or house association. All purchasers must be named on the 'right to buy' papers, mortgage application and title deeds. Any additional parties must be over the age of 18 and have resided in the property for a minimum of twelve months.

The 'Right to Buy' entitles tenants to a discount off of the market value of the property, which is determined by the amount of time they have rented the property. The longer you have been a tenant, the larger the discount you are able to receive. In order to determine the value of the property, a representative from the local authority will complete internal inspection. If the tenant decides they want to proceed, they then need to complete the paperwork to apply for the 'Right to Buy' (which normally has to be done within a designated period of 12 weeks).

'Right to buy' has many benefits, the main being the opportunity to take that very important first step on the property ladder, giving tenants the financial security of owning a property. It’s a form of affordable housing that now allows tenants ownership of properties they have been paying rent on for many years, meaning they can invest and have ownership of assets. They also have the option to make basic changes to their home without seeking prior approval.

If you have any further questions about the 'Right to Buy' scheme or to find out how to move forward, please contact The Mortgage Library, who will be happy to help. Alternatively, further information can be found on the governments 'right to buy' webpage.

Asking the right question may leave you very pleasantly surprised!