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The Right to Acquire Scheme

By: Christine Whitfield BA (hons) - Updated: 10 Apr 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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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
Don't know where to start here, it's a joke. Been living in my property since 2008 housing association Peabodywas in the process of buying my home with a discount of £16,000 I pulled out last minute due to discount didn't make sense to the price of the house I was living in. On a scheme called ( social home buy,) which no longer exists. I spoke to them the other day about buying again which their response was I'm noteligible at this stage still waiting for the government to set something in place in stone.My property is built before 1997,not new build,maybe there will be changes in April, joke joke joke.I am assured tenant.Would love to have some security in my life work very hard.Pay my taxes.
Joker - 14-Jan-17 @ 7:26 AM
Flora - Your Question:
HII am looking to buy my housing association property where I have lived for over 10 years. the discount I should receive on my property would that be deducted from the equity loan scheme? Also would I have to pay a deposit even since it is housing association property?

Our Response:
You would have to ask these questions directly to the housing association as we do not have this information.
AffordableHomeAdvice - 13-Jan-17 @ 9:54 AM
HI I am looking to buy my housing association property where I have lived for over 10 years.the discount I should receive on my property would that be deducted from the equity loan scheme? Also would I have to pay a deposit even since it is housing association property?
Flora - 12-Jan-17 @ 12:03 AM
can you please help me , I am in the process of buying my council house, do I need a homebuyer's report?
rocky - 11-Jan-17 @ 11:41 PM
Hello Can i rent my property out under the right to aquire scheme. Thank you. Pc.
Pc - 23-Dec-16 @ 3:33 PM
Hi, my housing association have refused me the right to acquire because my house falls under a rural housing act 1997, has any one else had this and can I take this further?
Mark Rushton - 5-Nov-16 @ 9:30 AM
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?
jade - 20-Sep-16 @ 5:13 PM
Hi there I just wanted to know if the right to acquire can be transfered to buy somewhere else privately or can I only use the £16,000 to buy where I am? Someone told me that my housing associationswould give me the £16,000 to buy somewhere else so they could also re let my property!
Amanda - 17-Sep-16 @ 8:12 PM
Why are housing association tenants being treated so unfairly?What is £16,000 discount on a London property?I have been in my home for 15 years and would very much like to buy, but simply cannot afford to given the miserly discount being offered. The government said it wanted housing associations tenants to have the same discounts offered to council tenants,but this has not happened. We are being denied the rights offered to other social housing tenants.
Milly - 29-Jun-16 @ 10:11 PM
Pitstop - Your Question:
I, also, would like to know why houses built before 1997 are not in the right to acquire scheme. I have been in my property since 1992 when newly built and was very keen to acquire my property when the government introduced to Housing Associations - so disappointed when my property wasn't eligible.

Our Response:
It is because amendments passed in the House of Lords excluded tenants of charitable housing associations from the Housing Acts in order to safeguard the right of those charitable organisations to hold their assets in perpetuity.
AffordableHomeAdvice - 7-Jun-16 @ 12:16 PM
I, also, would like to know why houses built before 1997 are not in the right to acquire scheme. I have been in my property since 1992 when newly built and was very keen to acquiremy property when the government introduced to Housing Associations - so disappointed when my property wasn't eligible.
Pitstop - 6-Jun-16 @ 3:28 PM
Hi, what is the reason that houses built/bought by the housing associations pre 1997 cannot be acquired? Many thanks.
Chris - 24-May-16 @ 3:26 PM
I have lived in a housing association flat in London for8 years under an assured tenancy. i have enquirer about right to buy but gave been told I do not qualify under this tenancy. Is this correct please? I am a key worker working for nhs so thus seems very unfair. Look forward to your reply.
Retlaw - 1-May-16 @ 7:10 AM
I have lived in a housing association flat in London for8 years under an assured tenancy. i have enquirer about right to buy but gave been told I do not qualify under this tenancy. Is this correct please? I am a key worker working for nhs so thus seems very unfair. Look forward to your reply.
Retlaw - 1-May-16 @ 7:10 AM
Gela - Your Question:
Ive just had my mortgage refused I was buying it under the right to buy been told the property is cavity wall insulated and it should not off been as it is timber framed with brick outlay should the council off know this before I laid out my money now lost ?

Our Response:
The council still has a right to sell the house if it of an unusual construction, it's just not all mortgage companies will lend on this. Mortgage companies will refuse to lend for all sorts of reasons, so it is unlikely you will get a refund on the survey. But you may want to approach the council and inform it of this.
AffordableHomeAdvice - 22-Apr-16 @ 12:36 PM
Ive just had my mortgage refused i was buying it under the right to buy been told the property is cavity wall insulated and it should not off been as it is timber framed with brick outlay should the council off know this before i laid out my money now lost ?
Gela - 21-Apr-16 @ 5:43 PM
good afternoon I was a council tenant for years from 1992 to 2010 then from 2010 to 2013 housing association then swapped back to a council property as wanted the right to buy but the council transferred to housing association now I'm being told my only discount will be 16,000surely they can't write off the previous 2o years social council housing ! when I swapped in 2o13 I did not realise there had been a stock transfer council to housing associationso assured tenancy I am sure I should have received a secure tenancy as the lady I swapped with was a secure tenant ??
tambill - 12-Apr-16 @ 1:22 PM
My tenancy started forty one years ago with my local council, I have moved house five times keeping the same tenancy agreement, in that time. Over the years the houses now belong to a different landlord that took them over from the council. My tenancy still stands with the full discount. I am in the prose's of a house exchange to a house with the same landlord, but there house as an assured tenancy. Should I be able to take my tenancy with me when I exchange houses. Or will I have to leave my tenancy that as the full discount , and except the tenancy of the person I exchange houses with. Hope to get your reply. Thank you ..
lainey - 11-Mar-16 @ 3:33 AM
Floraa - Your Question:
Hi, I want to enquire if the new discount scheme for Housing Association Right to Buy (£103,900 london area) will also apply to Right to Acquire scheme?

Our Response:
You can see the differences via the link here. I hope this answers your question.
AffordableHomeAdvice - 4-Feb-16 @ 2:22 PM
Hi, I want to enquire if the new discount scheme for Housing Association Right to Buy (£103,900 london area) will also apply to Right to Acquire scheme?
Floraa - 3-Feb-16 @ 9:07 PM
Hi, i just want to ask if Right to Acquire (£16,000 london area) have the same discount as Right to Buy (£103,900 london area) under new government scheme?
Flora - 3-Feb-16 @ 9:00 PM
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