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Right to Buy

How to buy your council home

Right to Buy criteria

  • You must have a protected assured tenancy. You would have this if your home was originally rented with a local authority and it was transferred to L&Q through a stock transfer. The right to buy the local authority home was protected and your rights transferred with you to L&Q. We must, by law, therefore offer you this same opportunity
  • You must have been a public sector tenant for at least three years
  • Your home must not be about to be demolished. If you're not sure about this, please check with your Property Manager
  • You must not be an undischarged bankrupt, have a bankruptcy petition pending against you or have obtained a debit relief order
  • You must not have any outstanding possession orders

To find out more about your eligibility for the Right to Buy scheme, visit the UK government website.

If after reading through the eligibility criteria, you feel that you qualify, you can request an application pack by getting in touch with our customer service centre or by calling 0300 456 9996.

Some basic checks will be made before we send the application pack, but all final decisions will be made after a full application has been made.

Right to Buy - things to consider

Can you afford to buy?

Once you have bought your home, you will be responsible for both the mortgage and the general upkeep and repair costs.

We strongly advise you to get some financial advice either before applying or when your sales offer is issued.

This advice will help you get a better idea of what your future costs are likely to be. We have a list of financial advisors (PDF) who will be able to assist.

Family and friends sharing the right to buy

All applicants must have a legal interest in the property and be included on the mortgage and legal documents.

At least one tenant must want to purchase the home - family members (occupants) are not able to buy it on their behalf.


You will be expected to pay for you own solicitor's fees and any costs that your mortgage provider may charge you, for example, the arrangement fee.

Before you decide to buy you may want to have a full structural survey carried out on your home.

This examination of the property will highlight any issues that could present a problem in the future. This survey would be at your own cost.

What if I've made improvements to my home?

Any improvement that you want to be taken into consideration must have been previously approved by us.

These improvements must have been paid for by you and we would need to see proof of this.

Not all improvements are considered to add value to the home, for example, redecoration or general maintenance.

What if I decide to sell?

If you sell within the first five years, you will need to pay a percentage of the discount you were originally given.

If you decide to sell in the first ten years, you will need to give us first refusal to buy back at the current market value.

How long does the application process take?

The Right to Buy process has strict time-scales that must be met by all parties. These include:

Application received

Once we have received your application, we must respond to you within four weeks, or eight weeks if you have a previous tenancy with a different landlord.

Sales offer being issued

We have eight to twelve weeks to gather all the information we need to go into your sales offer. This includes the property value, your discount entitlement and any future costs that you may be responsible for.

Sale offer response

You will have twelve weeks to to let us know if you want to proceed. This time should be used to read the sales offer carefully and get advice on whether this is financially viable for you.

When you apply, we will need to know the name of your chosen solicitor.

Receipt of the sales offer response

If your offer is accepted, we will then order the conveyancing plans. As soon as these are received our solicitors will be instructed. You will then have three months to organise your mortgage and complete your purchase.

Please note that after submitting your application, only essential maintenance will be carried out on your property.

Once you become a homeowner, you will be responsible for all repairs and maintenance to your property, other than communal or external repairs if you live in a flat, but you will still need to pay a contribution for these maintenance costs.

If you're accepted for the Right to Buy scheme, we will need to follow anti-money laundering laws. This means we will need to confirm how you intend to fund the purchase.

If you're using savings to pay for this, we will need to see evidence showing where this money came from.

Your purchase may be delayed if you do not give us this information when requested, or if you do not respond satisfactorily to any questions that may be raised. 

We may also need to use an identity verification agency to confirm your identity.

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L&Q's financial consultants