Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

"Reinvigorated" right to buy in force

Out-Law News | 03 Apr 2012 | 4:03 pm | 1 min. read

The Government's "reinvigorated" Right to Buy scheme is now in force and will apply to social housing tenants, following a consultation at the end of last year.

The new Right to Buy scheme includes a discount cap of up to £75,000 and the Government has pledged to replace every home sold under the scheme with a new affordable rent home.

Following the consultation, the Government agreed to retain the "cost floor", which limits the discount available on a property to ensure the purchase price does not fall below what has been spent on the property. The duration of the cost floor has been extended from ten to 15 years as a result of the consultation. 

"We are reinvigorating the Right to Buy – to support social housing tenants who aspire to own their own home, by raising the discounts to make it attractive to tenants across England," said Prime Minister David Cameron.

The council will replace every home sold under the new Right to Buy model with a new affordable rent home, to "support tenants and help build more affordable housing", the Government said. 

The receipts from the sale of a Right to Buy home can be recycled by the council to acquire a new affordable rent home. Councils will also be able to buy back former council properties under the new rules and can claim around 50% of the costs from their total Right to Buy receipts. 

To be eligible for the scheme, applicants must have been a public sector tenant for five years.

Discounts of up to £75,000 on the value of each home will be available, but the actual discount will vary dependent on the length of tenancy, the Government said. 

Although the maximum discount under the scheme is £75,000, the caps that are imposed usually result in a discount of £16,000 in most parts of London and up to £38,000 in parts of the south east, the Government said. 

Around two million homes have been bought under the Right to Buy scheme since the policy was introduced in the 1980s. The impact assessment for the reinvigorated Right to Buy, published in December last year, suggested around 300,000 households might be in a position to take advantage of the new discounts.