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The Right to Acquire Scheme

By: Christine Whitfield BA (hons) - Updated: 17 Jan 2020 | 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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I have be living in a housing association for 18years I am currently looking into the right to acquire for our property from L&Q . up to now they have said our property could be noteligible. due to the 1997 rule... What can Ido to be eligible. Also is there any plan for the voluntary right to buy Programme to be reinstate in London again
Richado - 17-Jan-20 @ 4:35 PM
Do we know if the Housing Act will change to allow tenants of Housing Association properties to buy their which were bought before 31 March 1997. My property was brought by my Housing Association in August 1996, when I called to find out about buying they said none of their properties can be purchased as they were all purchased before March 1997.
Merissa - 11-Jan-20 @ 3:15 PM
I am currently looking into the right to acquire for our property from ISHA. up to now they have said our property could be eligible. However now they are saying weren't eligible due to the 1997 rule... we have now been told our house will be sold to another housing association who is managing the properties basic maintenance and rent. What can be done to stop the other housing association purchase the property because if they do we would never be able to buy our home.
Alfonso - 11-Jan-20 @ 2:20 PM
My housing association always said that I don't qualify to buy this property but they hae sent me an email that I am eligible for 'right to aquire'. Is this mean that now I can apply for, to buy this property. Do I have to give my bank details now because I don't know wheather I can afford to buy or they agreed to sell the property. In their form I have give my bank details. I thought you only this details when you apply for a mortgage. Please advise me what to do.
Mona - 8-Jan-20 @ 6:13 PM
Last year I had been offered Voluntary right to buy pilot scheme of the flat which i was renting and living since 2008 from a Housing Association.I had to withdraw my application from the scheme as I could not be able to secure finance.Now I amvin a position to secure finance but Housing Association said that I can be only able to apply for Right to acquire.Is there any way I can apply for Voluntary Right to buy instead of Right to acquire.
Vir - 6-Jan-20 @ 12:01 PM
right to acquire exempt from right to acquire rural area yet the have sold house to next door less then 2yrs agar
ste - 6-Dec-19 @ 10:27 AM
After being told for 3 years that I can apply for a right to acquire, I'm now being told I can't, on the designated rural area in the North East act/legislation. Is there any way around this?
Keith - 7-Nov-19 @ 4:56 PM
I have been a housing association tenant for 11 years, 9 of these were with one association and 2 years with another (Still with the latter). I have the right to acquire my property because it was built with a social housing grant after 1997 but my current association have said that I need to be a tenant with them for 3 years before I am eligible. I have checked GOV.uk and Shelter and they both state you need to be a “public sector tenant” for at least three years but it doesn’t state if those three years have to be with the same housing association. Anyone else been in the same situation or advice? Another 10 months isn’t long to wait but another 10 months rent when it could be going towards paying off a mortgage is pretty frustrating.
Lnm_86 - 5-Nov-19 @ 3:43 PM
Hi there, Thank you for giving us a chance to ask questions with regards to affordable housing. I want to buy a house with the right to acquire skim which is fine the housing offered to sell, however, I am somehow confusedfor instance : 1 Can I rent out the house straight away after I purchased? 2 My parents' pension and housing benefit are paying for the rent at the moment. So after I buy the house dose that continues to be the same, basically Can I have my parents living there and housing benefit to pay the rent to me? Or do they have to move out elsewhere? 3 To sell the property am I restricted in any shape or form ( Timing)? Many thanks Tim
Tim - 1-Nov-19 @ 3:48 PM
I have lived in this property for almost 11yrs now. I have notified my landlord of my interest to buy the property under Preserved RIght to Buy. Landlord just responded saying they are denying me.this right because I was never a Council.tenant. What other rights do I have to buy this house please
Sunjam - 31-Oct-19 @ 6:32 PM
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
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Latest Comments
  • Richado
    Re: The Right to Acquire Scheme
    I have be living in a housing association for 18years I am currently looking into the right to acquire for our property from L&Q .…
    17 January 2020
  • Merissa
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    Do we know if the Housing Act will change to allow tenants of Housing Association properties to buy their which were bought before…
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