Buying your council home

Buying your council home, how much it costs, how long it takes, becoming a leaseholder, selling the property once you’ve bought it and reporting suspected fraud.

Can I buy my council home?

The 'right to buy' scheme gives secure tenants of local authorities the opportunity to buy their council home. You must have been a council tenant for at least 3 years.

Many secure tenants can buy their home at a discount to the full market price, your discount is based on the number of years that you have been a public sector tenant, but it is limited to a maximum of £96,000 for applications received in 2023/24. There may be a reduction in the amount of discount you receive if you have previously purchased a property under the Right to Buy Scheme or if the cost floor rule applies.

Some properties are exempt from the right to buy such as properties occupied in connection with a tenant's employment or housing particularly suitable for elderly people and (in certain cases) people with disabilities.

To find out if you are able to buy your council home you need to complete a right to buy application form, which can be downloaded from the website:

GOV.UK - Notice Claiming the Right to Buy (external website)

You will also need to download and complete a bankruptcy declaration form and an additional information form.

Right to Buy additional information request form (pdf 67kb)

A bankruptcy declaration form must be completed for each tenant and family member who wishes to join in with the right to buy. If you are a joint tenant and do not wish to join in you also need to complete a bankruptcy declaration form.

Right to Buy bankruptcy declaration form (pdf 130kb)

We may share the information you provide with other public sector organisations for the purpose of preventing and detecting fraud.

The right to buy application form, bankruptcy declaration form and previous tenancy check consent form should be sent to:

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Housing Services - Right to Buy Team
County Hall
Cross Street
HU17 9BA.

If you can't download and print these forms you can request a right to buy application pack and we will send you a pack through the post.

You should read the following document about the right to buy process before applying:

Right to Buy Information (pdf 144kb)

Further information is available on the GOV.UK website:

GOV.UK - Your right to buy your home: a guide (external website)

GOV.UK - Right to Buy Summary Booklet (external website)

If you are thinking of buying your council flat you should also read the following document, available on the GOV.UK website:

GOV.UK - Residential Long Leaseholders (external website)

Please be aware that, in general, whilst your right to buy is current, we will not carry out planned maintenance or repairs to your property (except to keep your home wind and water-tight).

We will let you know within 4 weeks whether you qualify to purchase your home (or within 8 weeks if we need to confirm your qualifying period with another authority).

How much will it cost to buy my council home?

If you apply to buy your council home, the service to process your application is completely free. Your mortgage provider may charge you for a survey and you will incur solicitor’s fees if you decide to proceed with the purchase. Private companies who offer services relating to buying your home may charge a fee.

If you are a secure council tenant and have the right to buy, you can buy your home at a discount to the full market price unless the cost floor rule applies - we will arrange for your home to be valued. Your discount is based on the number of years that you have been a public sector tenant.

The discount starts at 35% for houses and 50% for flats and maisonettes. The discount rises by 1% per year for houses and 2% per year for flats and maisonettes (after the qualifying period) to a maximum of 70% for houses, flats and maisonettes. Tenants with 3,4 or 5 years of tenancy get a 35% discount for houses, and 50% discount for flats. Whatever percentage discount you are eligible for, you can not receive more than £96,000 discount for applications received in 2023/24 as this is the maximum available under the scheme.

If you qualify for the right to buy scheme we will let you know in writing the valuation of your property, the discount you are entitled to and how much you can buy your property for, within 12 weeks of your application for a house or within 16 weeks for a flat or maisonette. You can then decide whether to proceed with the purchase or not.

What is the maximum discount that I can get to buy my council home?

The maximum discount that you can qualify for to buy your council home is £96,000 for applications received in 2023/24. This means that if you qualify for a discount on the purchase price of your council home of more than £96,010, the amount of discount you receive will be limited to (or capped at) £96,000.

The maximum amount of discount is reviewed annually in accordance with the Consumer Price Index.

The rate of discount for houses and flats varies according to how long you have been a tenant, and you have to have been a public sector tenant for three years to qualify for the scheme.

How long will it take to buy my council home?

When we receive your completed right to buy (RTB) application form we will acknowledge receipt within five working days. We will then request the information that we need to establish whether you have the right to buy.

Within four weeks of receiving your application (or 8 weeks if we need to confirm your qualifying period with another authority), we will send you a notice (RTB2 form) either admitting or denying your right to buy. If you do not have the right to buy your application will be cancelled. If you do have the right to buy, we will then obtain further information which is required to enable us to value your home. A valuation officer will have to visit your home, they will telephone you to make an appointment, so please ensure we have your correct telephone number. If we have problems contacting you this will delay the process.

Within twelve weeks of receiving your application form, we will send you an offer letter (section 125 notice) which sets out the valuation figure for your home, your discount entitlement (whether capped or not), the terms of the sale and the actual purchase price. In the case of flats and maisonettes, you will receive your offer letter within sixteen weeks, and will also be given the maximum annual service charges for the first 5 years after you have bought your property.

You then have twelve weeks to decide if you wish to proceed with buying your home. If you wish to go ahead with the purchase you must complete the RTB (Right to Buy) proceed form included in your offer letter, and return it to the Right to Buy team.

Tel: (01482) 396301

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Housing Services - Right to Buy Team
County Hall
Cross Street
HU17 9BA.

If you are not happy with the valuation figure then you can request a redetermination by the independent district valuer. The redetermination must be requested within twelve weeks of the date of the offer letter. The length of time taken for this process depends largely on the workload of the district valuer.

If you wish to proceed with the purchase we will instruct our legal department within 5 working days of receiving your completed RTB proceed form. They will send the relevant paperwork to your solicitor within ten working days. The length of time for completion is then dependent upon your solicitor.

Your rent account must be clear before the process can be completed.

If you have any queries regarding the right to buy please contact the Right to Buy team.

Tel: (01482) 396301

What are Right to Buy Agents?

The government has commissioned a team of Right to Buy Agents to give free independent advice on exercising the Right to Buy. Right to Buy Agents can offer advice on eligibility, affordability and assistance in the Right to Buy process. You can contact the agents by:


Live chat: GOV.UK - Right to buy - communities/agent service (external website)

Tel: 0300 123 0913 (standard rate call)

Facebook: Facebook - Right to buy (external website)

Twitter: @righttobuy

Why will I become a leaseholder if I buy my council flat?

If you qualify to buy your council flat or maisonette under the right to buy scheme, it will be sold on a long term lease (usually 125 years) and you will become a council leaseholder.

It is sold on this basis as it forms part of a larger property that we own. In effect, you are buying the inside of your flat or maisonette and the structure of the building (external walls, roof etc) remain in our ownership and is our responsibility to maintain. You may also be granted rights to use communal areas in relation to your property. However, under the terms of your lease, you will be required to contribute annually to the cost of managing and maintaining the building in which your property is situated. This is called the service charge, and you will be given details of the charges with your right to buy offer letter (Section 125 Notice).

More information about buying your council flat is available on the GOV.UK website:

GOV.UK - Thinking of buying your council flat? (external website)

Can I sell my council property once I’ve bought it?

You may sell your home whenever you like. If you sell your property within the first five years of owning it you will have to repay some, or all, of the discount that you received.

If you sell in your first year of ownership you will have to repay 100% of the discount you received, 80% in the second year, 60% in the third year, 40% in the fourth year and 20% in the fifth and final year. The discount to be repaid will be a percentage of the market value of the property when it is resold. The value of any improvements that you made to your home after buying it, will be deducted from the sale price before the discount repayable is calculated (receipts will be required). After 5 years of ownership you can sell without having to repay any discount.

If you applied to buy your home under the right to buy scheme in, or after, 2005 and you wish to resell or dispose of it within ten years of the purchase date, you are required to offer it back to us or to another social landlord (nominated by the council) at the full market value.

You can offer your ex-council home back to us online or you can put it in writing and send to the following address:

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Housing Services - Right to Buy Team
County Hall
Cross Street
HU17 9BA.

The value will be agreed between the parties involved or, if we are unable to agree, will be determined by the district valuer. If your offer has not been accepted by us within eight weeks, you will be free to sell the property on the open market.

What is the 'cost floor rule'?

The cost floor rule may reduce the amount of discount you receive, and may apply if your home has been purchased or built by the council, or a considerable amount of money has been spent on repairing or maintaining your property, over (a maximum of) the last 15 years.

Under the cost floor rule the discount you receive must not reduce the price you pay below what has been spent on building, buying, repairing or maintaining your property. For example, if your home is valued at £150,000 and you qualify for 35% discount (£52,500 discount) you would normally be able to purchase your home for £97,500. However, if the council had purchased your home in 2020 at a cost of £145,000 the cost floor rule would apply and the purchase price would be £145,000, giving you only a £5,000 discount. If the cost of the building, buying, repairing and/or maintaining of your home is greater than the valuation price you will not receive any discount.

We are only able to tell you if the cost floor rule applies to your application at the point that we issue your offer letter.

How do I report suspected fraud?

Right To Buy fraud occurs when an existing tenant either misrepresents their circumstances to either gain a discount they are not entitled to, or exercises the Right to Buy when they are not entitled to.

The most common examples of Right To Buy fraud are:

  • misrepresenting the length of a tenancy in order to gain a greater discount
  • concealing a tenancy history, such as not disclosing previous rent arrears, possession orders, transfers or evictions
  • attempting to purchase a property whilst not using it as their only or principal home
  • misrepresenting the household composition
  • entering into an agreement with a third party to buy the property on the tenant's behalf for a cash incentive
  • unscrupulous family members making an application ‘on behalf of' a vulnerable relative.

Report suspected fraud

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