The Government has announced that its Right to Buy scheme will be extended to 2.5 million tenants renting their homes from a housing association.

Currently, tenants in council homes are eligible to buy their homes at a discounted price, up to 70% off the market value, (a discount of up to £87,200 or £116,200 inside London), dependent on how long they have lived there. The council housing Right to Buy scheme has been in place for 40 years and almost two million people have bought their homes.

However, historically a similar scheme for those in homes owned by housing associations, Right to Acquire, has been less generous, with a much smaller discount of £9,000 and £16,000 on the price of the property. A housing association is a “not-for-profit organisation which owns, lets and manages rental housing and revenue acquired through rent is ploughed back into the acquisition and maintenance of a property.

According to the announcement made by Boris Johnson, under the new Right to Buy scheme housing association tenants could use their housing benefits to get mortgages and make monthly payments. The scheme would offer discounts on buying housing association properties of up to 70 per cent of the market price, depending on how long the householders have lived there. As part of the new Right to Buy scheme, Mr Johnson has also promised to deliver a one-for-one policy, which would see one home built for every property sold through the scheme. Full details on the scheme have yet to be announced.

For more information on Residential Property purchases or sales please contact Mary O’Leary (Lower Earley office) on 01189 209495 or Denise Stradling (Henley office) on 01491 570 908.