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The Right to Acquire Scheme

By: Christine Whitfield BA (hons) - Updated: 6 Oct 2019 | 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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Hi my house new2010 l living 9yearsI am Right to Acquire scheme how much discount totally please telling
Vgtha - 6-Oct-19 @ 11:03 PM
I inherit a property, Will this disqualify me from the right to aqcuire scheme?
Soni - 11-Sep-19 @ 12:00 AM
i am currently looking into the right to acquire for our property from guinness partnership. up to now they have said our property COULD be eligible. with regards to the 1997 rule... when was this rule introduced? There are approx 8 properties that have already been bought on our street from the housing association, so i'm assuming if the right to acquire havent changed much since they were introduced, i should be eligible?
Kezzah01 - 22-Aug-19 @ 12:38 PM
I would like to buy home but its unclear the housing association built or bought thing its stillcouncil in my eyes just a limitedcompany lie scheme
Pecks - 28-Jul-19 @ 2:52 PM
While under raglan I was told I could buy my flat but I was at risk of being made redundant so I didn’t go for buying my flat now I’m in a better position and want to buy my flat but now under stonewater same people just different name I have now been told I can’t by it buy my agreement was still under raglan how can this change now I been in my place 14 years I even had a valuation done on my place and told how much discount I’d get now I been told no houses in my town are up to buy when two flats in my block are already been bought how can this be changed without notice ?
Tazz - 26-Jul-19 @ 7:43 PM
We was told 2 years ago we had the right to acquire with paper work from our HA2 years later all checks was done and we don't have right to acquire they made a mistake
Nic - 25-Apr-19 @ 5:02 PM
This right to acquire that blocks people from purchasing your home with the March 1997 rule is a big monopoly game. I see it as a scam where greedy housing association does not give the public the chance to be a home owner.Check my situation,my grandad came in the propertywhen council was the landlord, while we were staying in the same address since 1975, the council transferred us to housing association in 1983. Grandad passed away in 1986 and the tenancy came under my dad. Apparently, somewhere along the line we lost ourPreserve Right to Buy and right aquire blocks us with the 1997 rule?!?! I'm fighting to get my right with the solicitors. They are bunch of scumbags, and I'm glad I voted Brexit because those who invested in the housing market are so worried they will lose so much money in the shares market.
Aj - 20-Mar-19 @ 8:27 PM
Hi I have recently joined Homeswapper I live ia council property and have been a council tennant for over 20 yrs. I would love to buy the home I am i live iat the moment but the area is not really somewhere thats particularly desirable if i decided to buy and then re-sell. I have been contacted by 3 or 4 people on Homeswapper who are in housing assosciation properties...that are interested in swapping with me , however i am unsure about moving from council property to housing association. Under the right to buy scheme I would get up to a 50% discount...my question is...can i carry that forward to a housing association home? If i moved into a housing associationproperty and then decided to move again...back to local authority property would my 50% discount be void then?...Thank you any info greatly appreciated
Sue - 10-Mar-19 @ 9:40 AM
I have been renting a housing association property for 13 years but cannot buy through right to buy as the house was built before 1997. Why is this ruling been made? Why because the house was built in 1985 can I not buy it? This doesn't make any sense to me.
Andy - 11-Jan-19 @ 3:12 PM
Only one response to all these questions which is pretty shocking considering the website is labeled ‘Advice’. Anyway, same here. I moved on and had ‘right to acquire’ on my tenancy. Applied to acquire to br told the property wasn’t elegible!! I since applied for immediate rent on a new build. Guess what? Nothing heard and denial of having seen me apply. I have over 20yrs of public sector rent payments and it would seem it counts for diddly squat in reality!!!!
Nelsonscolumn - 29-Dec-18 @ 2:50 AM
Hi I did apply for right to acquire but have bee denial beacons my house has been build before 1997. Your property must either have been: built or bought by a housing association after 31 March 1997 (and funded through a social housing grant provided by the Housing Corporation or local council) transferred from a local council to a housing association after 31 March 1997. My question are build or bought 1997 ??????
Indigou - 16-Nov-18 @ 9:22 PM
I moved into my Partners rented accommodation in July . He lost out ,on the "Right to Buy"scheme . At the time it was sufficient ,however ,as I have no longer a Property on owning now . Is it possible for myself ,to go down the route of "Right to Aquire" his property for both of us .
Nickname - 16-Oct-18 @ 8:32 AM
I have been living in my housing association house for 3 years and I called the housing association to see if i could buy my house on right to buy or right to acquire and was told although the housing association do offer right to acquire to its tenants they will not offer it to me as they said the house i am in was not built with social funding. Is this rule likely to change or is there any other ways I can buy my house. Also the discounted price between 9,000 and 16,000is that per year or is that maxium. Thanks for your help
K1 - 11-Sep-18 @ 11:46 AM
Hi, i am currently in the process of right to aquire my council flat, i meet all the requirements, however if for any reason i am not able to secure a mortgage for such reasons as nkt having enough deposit and the right to aquire falls through, do you know if this will effect my tenancy at all?, any advice greatley appreciated.
Davtho - 23-Aug-18 @ 8:52 PM
Hello, I am thinking of using the right to acquire scheme to purchase my one bedroom flat, I have been here 10 years. I am aware that I can not sell with in the first 5 years otherwise I have to pay back a percentage of the loaned deposit. However would I be able to let the flat out instead? Or would that require me still to pay back the deposit loaned?
Nina Thomas-Jaji - 2-Jul-18 @ 8:00 AM
Sobey- Your Question:
I have been in my housing association home for 11 years but they won’t let me buy it. It’s really unfair because most of the street do own thier property please can you help

Our Response:
As specified in the article, there are pre-requisites to being able to purchase your house. They are listed in full via the gov.uk via the link here .
AffordableHomeAdvice - 5-Jun-18 @ 2:40 PM
I have been in my housing association home for 11 years but they won’t let me buy it . It’s really unfair because most of the street do own thier property please can you help
Sobey - 5-Jun-18 @ 3:26 AM
My HA says I need to be living in the property for 5 years before I have the right to aquire. Before this I was living in a different HA property for 8years should they take this into consideration for me to have the right to aquire or does it have to be their property I have lived in for 5years? Thanks
Lil - 26-May-18 @ 9:31 AM
I own 25 % of a flat a pay rent on the rest from paragon housing association. Would i be eligable for the right to aquire discount.
Spark - 25-May-18 @ 3:24 PM
Hi I have been in my house for over 20 years recently I applied for right to acquire as my landlord is a housing association who purchased local authority housing stock I have been informed that I neither have the right to acquire or the right to buy No right to buy as I signed my tenancy with housing association although my time spent on the list was with local council No right to acquire as the housing stock was purchased from the local authority before 1996 right to acquire cane in to force This would mean that 80% of the local housing stock is not available to own
Mab - 15-May-18 @ 12:22 PM
I have rented my housing assosiation home since 1995 can i aquire my home with a right to buy/aquire
Midds - 8-Apr-18 @ 9:14 PM
Hi, I would like to buy the home I've been in for the last ten years under the right to acquire scheme. I am currently saving in a help to buy isa account, would I get the government bonus if I were to buy this property? Or is the bonus only for a new home?
Rhi.rhi. - 8-Apr-18 @ 11:05 AM
Dee - Your Question:
I have a existing Mortgage and want to sell my house. I have over £50,000 equity in my home. I need to have that amount as retirement fund.My son needs a home; but is not ready to mortgage yet. Is there any way I can remortgage my home with him paying the mortgage with the option of me signing over the house to him when he is ready?

Our Response:
In order to get the equity from your house you would have to remortgage for the full amount (if eligible). Is your son ready to take on a part share of the mortgage to help? You would really have to seek professional financial advice here as it is a tricky situation with a few pitfalls to watch out for i.e if your son cannot pay or defaults, then the onus would be on you to meet the payments.
AffordableHomeAdvice - 23-Mar-18 @ 11:13 AM
I have a existing Mortgage and want to sell my house. I have over £50,000 equity in my home. I need to have that amount as retirement fund. My son needs a home; but is not ready to mortgage yet. Is there any way I can remortgage my home with him paying the mortgage with the option of me signing over the house to him when he is ready?
Dee - 22-Mar-18 @ 4:06 PM
I am with Asra housing association and was given valuation of 204 thousand and after 3 months they said it’s 234 thousand as Waac trying to find a solicitor and now it’s bed. 3 months they have given me deadline of 1st March and are chasing . I asked to do a desktop valuation they refused and have suggested can ask district valuer but then the price can go up or decrease or remain same . It’s my first time and don’t know what to do as the market is slow and does anyone know do I have to pay district valuer or the housing association pay . I am confused can someone help me. I delayed as there was an announcement that the government was going up match the discount with council . Can someone guide me on this issue it’s a one bedroom flat
Becky - 15-Feb-18 @ 12:51 PM
Hi i have lived in my housing association house since 1998. I have been told that i do not have right to acquire because the house is grant funded. Does anyone else have experience if this?
Tas - 13-Feb-18 @ 3:53 PM
We have the right to accuire but trying to find a mortgage to do this has been a nightmare we are having to put a hold on this again???????? they offer of a mortgage on right to buy is out there but not on right to accuire
Ema - 6-Feb-18 @ 3:46 PM
Me and brother lived all our lives he has the right to buy i don'tcan I make a joint claim to keep me safe so he does not just kick me out thanks
Maz - 29-Jan-18 @ 3:50 PM
I applied twice for the right to acquire the housing association house that I've lived in for the last 12 years with my husband and 2 children. Everything went well and we were eligible but we had to pull out the first time as my husband was made redundant. We decided to apply again November 2017 and were told we were eligible and they came and priced the house, after a few weeks the housing association rang and said sorry we can no longer buy the property because the value was too cheap... I don't understand this as it was cheaper the first time we applied it was just us that had to pull out. Something about this doesn't seem right to me and wondered if this was correct?
Chelsea - 4-Jan-18 @ 6:46 PM
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
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