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The Right to Acquire Scheme

By: Christine Whitfield BA (hons) - Updated: 12 Dec 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Right To Acquire Right To Buy Scheme

If you are a council tenant you may be eligible to buy your council house. This is because councils give tenants a secure tenancy. If you rent a housing association house then you do not have the Right to Buy. This is because housing associations give an assured tenancy agreement. An assured tenancy offers security for a certain amount of time, for example you could have an assured tenancy for 12 months.

However just because you do not live in a council property it does not mean you are completely ruled out from the possibility of buying your house. The initiative which helps housing association tenants buy their property is called the Right to Acquire initiative.

What is the Right to Acquire?

The Right to Acquire initiative is very similar to the Right to Buy scheme. The only difference is it applies to housing association tenants as opposed to council tenants. It was developed in 1996 but was updated in the Housing Act 2004. It gives tenants the right to buy their property at a reduced cost.

Who is Eligible to Apply for the Right to Acquire Scheme?

The Right to acquire scheme is available to all housing association or social landlord tenants so long as the landlord is taking part in the scheme. For the property to qualify for the Right to Acquire scheme it must have been built or bought by the social landlord after April 1997 (it could have been bought from the local authority after April 2007 too.)

Is the Right to Acquire Scheme Suitable for me?

The Housing Act 2004 states if you have been a tenant (i.e. lived in social housing) for at two years or more. This applied if you became a tenant before the 18th of January 2005. If you became a tenant in social housing after 18th January 2005 you are eligible for the Right to Acquire scheme only if you have been a tenant for five years or more.

However even if you do meet these criteria you will not be able to apply for the scheme if you have been declared bankrupt or if you landlord has filed a possession order against you.

What Discounts are Available? The discounts on offer through the Right to Acquire scheme vary. The size of the discount depends on where you live and ranges from around £9000 to around £16000.

How to I Apply for the Right to Acquire Scheme?

If you are interested in applying for the Right to Acquire scheme first you need to ensure you are eligible and your property qualifies. Once you know this you need to inform your landlord of your interest in entering the scheme.

Your landlord will then contact you to tell you how much you can buy the property for. If you still want to go ahead you must tell your landlord this within twelve weeks of receiving the price. It is then important to get legal help to ensure you are kept up to date with everything that happens so hire a solicitor. Your solicitor will then help you take the next step.

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[Add a Comment]
LadyG - Your Question:
I've been a housing association tenant since 2000 but I've been informed that my property is not eligible to buy because it was built in 1981. I requested to be transferred to a property that I could buy but I was declined by my landlord.I would like to know what right have I got with the housing association because I am desperate to buy a property.

Our Response:
We can offer no more information than the gov.uk link here can tell you. Or what you have already been told through your housing association. You can contact the Government's Right to Buy Agent service via the link.
AffordableHomeAdvice - 12-Dec-17 @ 2:42 PM
I also put in my application in January 2015 but was informed that l will have to pay the repairs that were being carried out that's why I suspended till they complete all the repairs. But I've been informed that my property is not eligible to buy because it was built in 1981. I would like to know of that application form I sent to the housing association in 2015 is still valid.
LadyG - 12-Dec-17 @ 5:15 AM
I've been a housing association tenant since 2000 but I've been informed that my property is not eligible to buy because it was built in 1981. I requested to be transferred to a property that I could buy but I was declined by my landlord. I would like to know whatright have I got with the housing association because I am desperate to buy a property.
LadyG - 12-Dec-17 @ 4:56 AM
Matmo - Your Question:
I been an housing Association house tended since 2007 do I have right to acquire???

Our Response:
You can see whether you may be eligible via the gov.uk link here .
AffordableHomeAdvice - 5-Dec-17 @ 9:19 AM
I been an housing Association house tended since 2007 do I have right to acquire???
Matmo - 2-Dec-17 @ 8:56 PM
Hi I've been told by my housing trust that I can purchase the property under the right to acquire, not right to buy scheme. I moved in 2004. Previous to that I was with another housing association for 2 years and before that, a council tenant with a different council for previous 2 years. Is this information correct?
Tray13 - 29-Oct-17 @ 8:51 PM
hi , i am planning to buy the house i am renting from housing association thought right to acquire but been told that they will sell but without any discount , does the housing association has the right to refuse the discount? thanks
cris - 15-Oct-17 @ 8:57 AM
Naz - Your Question:
HelloI am urgently looking for an answer, please can someone help.I am planning to purchase my housing association property under the right to acquire scheme.But Will I be able to rent it out in due course.Have asked the housing association they are taking too long.

Our Response:
We cannot answer this question as it depends whether there is a no-sublet clause in your contract. You can see more via the CAB link here.
AffordableHomeAdvice - 12-Oct-17 @ 1:49 PM
Hello I am urgently looking for an answer, please can someone help. I am planning to purchase my housing association property under the right to acquire scheme. But Will I be able to rent it out in due course. Have asked the housing association they are taking too long.
Naz - 11-Oct-17 @ 11:57 PM
Hi we have got the right to aquire,however it's my partner who will be getting the mortgage but as he's not on the tenancy but classed as a family member buying we're finding it difficult to get the mortgage soley in his name?
Lisa - 29-Sep-17 @ 3:47 PM
I am a shared owner of 25% of my apartment througha Housing association. Can I use the right to acquire ?
Dnah - 22-Sep-17 @ 5:46 PM
Parents 30+yrs with housing association. Has either the right to buy or to acquire but im not sure which. Sadly 1 parent has just passed away but wanted to be scattered at property. The other really cant loose the property so wants 2 buy the property now but dont know how to. Remsininng parent is at pension age, so has low income but obviously wants to stay and buy because of the scattering of loved 1's ashes, the memories and history thats there. Its always been the family home to 4 and should really be kept. How can it be puchased without loosing any benefits or without having to add somebody to the occupancy for a year so they can buy it. The remaining parent needs to buy ideally that way if anythings happens it can be taken off them but can be left equally to the children now adults that grew up there. Its causing stress and upset and confusion we cant find the info needed. Can somebody help plz.
Sez - 18-Sep-17 @ 6:37 PM
Our property has been valued at 135k we get 10k discount. Under RTA, is the 10k count towards our deposit?
Nettz - 17-Sep-17 @ 10:31 AM
Hiwas told that my house which is a housing associationsdoes not fallunder the right to acquire scheme- I am aware I do not qualify due to my house was non funded by goverment grant or local authority . I have my doubts about this information . Can you confirm that this info is accurate and where can i find proof that my property was government or local authority funded housing associations. -.if itis, isthere anything that can be done - is there someone I can write to challenge the houding assoiciation decision because i have been living in the.property for over 8 years.Thank you.
Bobby - 10-Aug-17 @ 1:51 PM
We are currently looking at buying our housing association house. As far as I can tell we may only be entitled to the right to aquire and not the the right to buy as it is housing association. My question is if you use the right to aquire can you do it on a shared ownership basis or can it only be done on the full price of the house, minus the discount that you are entitled to?
Cerysellen - 9-Aug-17 @ 3:23 PM
Hi, I've been doing a lot of research on RTA and there's a lot of conflicting information on the web. I've been a housing association tenant for 5 years and would like to purchase my property under the RTA scheme. The issue is, my property is valued just under 300k and I am a single tenant on an average 28k salary. I can afford a 10% deposit. Would I get a mortgage for the rest or am I punching above my weight? And lastly, can the maximum discount of 16k from the RTA scheme be put towards my deposit aswell? Sorry for rambling on I feel quite deflated having waited for the RTB to extend but never materialised. Thank you
Naz - 2-Jun-17 @ 11:06 PM
Hi - I am aware I do not qualify due to my house being pre- 1997 (which makes utterly no sense at all!) ... But is there anything that can be done - is there someone I can write to? I have contacted the housing association even offering the market rate and they still will not allow us to buy. Also - is this a criteria that could be changed (the date issue) with the potential government reforms? Or am i holding out for something that is never going to happen?
SD - 26-May-17 @ 2:12 PM
Suzie1time - Your Question:
Hi,Your info says that you don't qualify for the scheme if you've been bankrupt. However, I've been advised that as long as it's been over 6 years since it was discharged and therefore no longer on your credit file, you do qualify. Which information is correct. Or do you mean you don't qualify if you're currently bankrupt. Thanks

Our Response:
It means an undischarged bankruptcy.
AffordableHomeAdvice - 18-May-17 @ 12:35 PM
Hi, Your info says that you don't qualify for the scheme if you've been bankrupt. However, I've been advised that as long as it's been over 6 years since it was discharged and therefore no longer on your credit file, you do qualify. Which information is correct. Or do you mean you don't qualify if you're currently bankrupt. Thanks
Suzie1time - 17-May-17 @ 8:28 PM
Jamie - Your Question:
Hi,Can you please help me answer this quick question - if my brother (who is a tenant) wants to buy with me, will he be able to if he has another property/mortgage?

Our Response:
If he has the finances to cover another mortgage and the mortgage company allows this, then yes.
AffordableHomeAdvice - 9-May-17 @ 11:27 AM
Hi, Can you please help me answer this quick question - if my brother (who is a tenant) wants to buy with me, will he be able to if he has another property/mortgage?
Jamie - 8-May-17 @ 10:44 AM
I have been a tenant for 17years with midland heart, I really want to purchase my property is my only option to wait for RtB... or are there any other schemes even if it isn't this property.
Maz - 10-Apr-17 @ 7:31 AM
Hi, can anyone help me please... I have lived in my housing association house for nearly 11 years, they have refused my application for the RTA because my properly is in a rural area. Has anyone else experienced this & what should I do next? Many thanks for taking the time to read my comment. I will look forward to your replies.
Jo - 7-Apr-17 @ 10:59 AM
Hi, I have been a Peabody tenant since 2004. In 2014 I was in the process of buying a property that was not my Peabody resident however Peabody had agreed that on completion the £16k discount that I would have received had I purchased my Peabody residence would be paid to me - a scheme that was called Open Market Social Homebuy. The scene meant that I would not be restricted to buying the property I live in which is good because i currently live in a 1 bed flat and would like a 2 bed. Unfortunately I had to pull out of the sale. When the possible extension of right to buy to HA was announced I contacted Peabody who said that as a response the Government stopped funding this scheme and now my only option was to buy my own property or wait until the HA get right to buy which they said will not be earlier than April 2018, if even then. I really want to buy a property, especially now that fixed rates are lower so I am ok not waiting for the government to sort themselves out with this (possible) extension. However, I don't see why the government would stop funding the option to use the right to acquire deposit on a non HA property - the way I see it, it can only help them as they wouldn't loose a HA property. Do you know whether it is possible to apply directly to DCLG or one of its bodies/agencies to get this grant?
Susan - 18-Mar-17 @ 11:56 AM
Is there a difference in the discount offered to RTB compared to RTA? The reason I ask is that I qualify for RTA but was wondering whether I would do better waiting for RTB to be extended to HA tenants? I know the Bill is currently progressing through Parliament and will hopefully come into law sometime in 2017/18? If RTB offers a larger discount it would obviously make purchasing my HA flat more affordable.
Mr T - 2-Mar-17 @ 3:17 PM
hi. im thinking of buying my housing association house. ive been a tenant for 14 years in my own name, before that it was my family home where I grew up with my mam, does that time count towards my discount?
debbie - 1-Mar-17 @ 11:00 PM
is there a maximum amount on what you earn in order to qualify to right to acquire?
george - 12-Feb-17 @ 1:21 PM
I have received a valuation from my housing association under the right to acquire scheme. I have also received a £9000 discount. Can this £9000 be used as a mortgage discount?
Max - 7-Feb-17 @ 6:21 PM
Terry - Your Question:
Hello, please please help or try and explain this for me.I am trying to buy my housing association home for which I have been a tenant for almost 7years. However when I have contacted them they asked me to speak with a lady who looks after the scheme. She explained I was not eligible as the property "became available"??? Before 1997 in 1993. However my brother who lives 10 doors down is eligible even living in a similar property with the same association. I contacted the association again who believe all properties in the area were acquired in 2003 including my own. I am at a loss to understand why mine is different to my brothers and both the association and the lady who deals with the scheme are not very helpful at all in explained matters. Any advice would be greatly received. Kind regardsTerry

Our Response:
I can only direct you to the gov.uk site here. You may wish to contact your housing association and ask for an explanation in writing regarding why you are not allowed the right to acquire.
AffordableHomeAdvice - 17-Jan-17 @ 12:39 PM
Hello, please please help or try and explain this for me... I am trying to buy my housing association home for which I have been a tenant for almost 7years. However when I have contacted them they asked me to speak with a lady who looks after the scheme. She explained I was not eligible as the property "became available"??? Before 1997 in 1993. However my brother who lives 10 doors down is eligible even living in a similar property with the same association. I contacted the association again who believe all properties in the area were acquired in 2003 including my own. I am at a loss to understand why mine is different to my brothers and both the association and the lady who deals with the scheme are not very helpful at all in explained matters. Any advice would be greatly received. Kind regards Terry
Terry - 16-Jan-17 @ 7:08 PM
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