Right to buy (buy your council home)

Tenants of council houses and flats have the general right to buy their home for its market value minus a discount.

From 6 April 2024 the maximum right to buy discount in Barking and Dagenham will increase to £136,400. The new discount does not apply retrospectively to applications made before 6 April 2024.  These discounts will apply to applications which are served on the landlord by the tenant on or after 6 April 2024.


The Right to Buy scheme allows council tenants to buy their home from us and gives tenants a discount on the open market.​

The discount will depend on how long the tenant has lived in the property. The current maximum discount in Barking and Dagenham is £136,400.

Details of the Scheme can be found in the Government booklet Your Right to Buy Your Home (PDF, 718.81 KB)

Right to Buy

Right to Buy

Who is eligible?

You are eligible to apply to buy your council home if you:

  • are at least 18 years old
  • are a council tenant with a secure tenancy agreement
  • have had a public sector landlord (a council, housing association or NHS trust) for 3 years - it doesn’t have to be 3 years in a row

Time spent in temporary accommodation (for example, a bed and breakfast or a hostel) or time spent as a demoted tenant does not count towards your qualifying period.

Housing association tenants, armed forces tenants and tenants of a public body such as the NHS may also qualify.

You may not qualify for the right to buy if:

  • you have an introductory or demoted tenancy agreement
  • you have a possession order against you, or you have broken the terms of a suspended possession order
  • you are not up to date with rent payments before you complete the purchase - you will need to pay any suspended arrears in full before purchasing your council home
  • you have been declared bankrupt or are waiting to hear the outcome of a bankruptcy petition against you, or you have made an arrangement with creditors (people or organisations you owe money to) and you still owe them money
  • you (or any household members or visitors) are involved or threatening to be involved in anti-social behaviour
  • you have an application pending against you for a demotion order, a suspension order or a possession order because of anti-social behaviour. Or the court has changed your tenancy from a secure to a demoted tenancy because of anti-social behaviour. This will suspend any current right to buy application you have and prevent you from applying to buy your home while your tenancy is demoted.

You can take a simple online test to check whether you are likely to be eligible.

Before you apply

Before you apply, consider all the costs involved in buying your own home. You should see what sort of mortgage you will require. You can speak to high street lenders to find out what they advise. There is also a lot of information on the internet on this subject.

Getting advice

The Government has appointed a Right to Buy agent service. It provides free advice at any stage of the purchase and will also help you avoid hidden fees which some independent financial advisers charge for their Right to Buy advice.

If you are a tenant and you want general advice on buying your council home, please contact the government’s Right to Buy agent:

Right to Buy Advisers - enquiry@righttobuyagent.org.uk

Tel: 0300 123 0913

Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service offers free, impartial advice about money, including buying a home and taking out a mortgage.

Money Advice Service

Tel: 0300 500 5000

Other help

Read the Right to Buy summary booklet and the Right to Buy guidance.

You can also get advice on Right to Buy from:


There are private companies or people who may offer you help in buying your home. They generally do not give good advice. They will often charge you lots of money for things that we or the government provide free of charge, or, they may overcharge you for other services, such as arranging your mortgage.

Sometimes companies or individuals offer tenants money for a deal where the company ends up owning the property. If you do this in order to buy your property, you will almost certainly have to repay your discount as soon as you buy it.

Tenants have become homeless after agreeing to deals like this. It is very important that you get independent legal advice from your own solicitor or the Citizens Advice Bureau, before you enter into any agreement of this kind.

Apply to buy your council home

Whether you complete the form online or download the form, you will need to print and sign it before returning it to us.

Notice Claiming the Right to Buy (RTB1 Form) (PDF, 962.94 KB)

Bankruptcy Self-declaration Form (PDF, 123.05 KB)

Funding Intentions (PDF, 153.12 KB)

The completed form can either be uploaded via the Council’s website or can be emailed to rightobuy@lbbd.gov.uk


Exceptions to the Right to Buy

Certain types of properties are exempt from the Right to Buy, as detailed below, but all are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

  • Homes suitable for occupation by the elderly

Your landlord may refuse to let you buy on the grounds that your home is particularly suitable for occupation by elderly people (under paragraph 11 of Schedule 5 to the Housing Act 1985:

  • Homes due to be demolished

In this case, the council may suspend your right to buy by sending you an initial demolition notice, or end your right to buy by sending you a final demolition notice.

  • Sheltered housing for the elderly, the physically disabled, the mentally ill or the mentally disabled.

Special rules must be met in these cases. ‘Sheltered housing’ normally means that the property is one of a group of such dwellings, that a warden service is provided, and that there is a common room nearby. 10 ‘Housing for the disabled’ means a property that is one of a group and has features that are substantially different from those of ordinary dwellings and with special facilities that are provided nearby.

  • Temporary Accommodation

  • Properties where the Council owns the lease, not the freehold

If the lease is for less than 21 years for a house and fewer than 50 years for a flat or maisonette.


You can get a discount on the market value of your home when you buy it if you qualify for Right to Buy.

The discount is based on:

  • how long you’ve been a tenant with a public sector landlord.
  • the type of property you’re buying - a flat or house
  • the value of your home

The maximum discount usually increases in April every year, in line with inflation. The current maximum discount is £127,900.

The amount of discount you get will be:-

  • 3 – 5 years – 35% discount for a house and 50% discount for a flat
  • 6 years or more – For a house - 35% for the first 5 years, plus add 1% per year after this (up to 70% subject to the maximum discount – whichever is lower),
  • For a flat - 50% for the first 5 years, plus add 2% per year after this (up to 70% subject to the maximum discount – whichever is lower)

Use the Right to Buy calculator to find out how much discount you could get.

You can claim periods of time with other authorities, housing associations and registered social landlords including the armed forces. You will need to contact your former landlords and get confirmation of the start and end date of these tenancies and send us a copy.

Your Landlords Offer

Once we have received all required documents, we will carry out our usual checks and confirm whether you are eligible to purchase the property under the Right to Buy scheme within 4 weeks.

Next, we will arrange the valuation of the property before we issue our S125 offer letter.

The Section 125 Notice is an important document, and you should read it very carefully. It will tell you six main things:

  • It will describe the property which you have the Right to Buy.
  • It will tell you the price the landlord thinks you should pay for it. To calculate this, your landlord must first work out how much your home was worth at the date on which you submitted your application form, and then take off your discount. If you have made improvements, these are not allowed to put the price up. If your discount is reduced by the discount limit or the cost floor, the notice must say so. It is not specified in legislation that a landlord must attend a property to value it. You do not need to pay for the first valuation.
  • It will give estimates of the service charges or improvement costs you will have to pay during the first 5 years after you buy your home if it is a flat or leasehold house.
  • The length and expiry date of the lease if it is a flat or leasehold house. 23
  • It will describe any structural defects that the landlord knows about.
  • It will contain the terms and conditions that your landlord thinks should be attached to the sale. These may be set out either in the form of a draft of the legal document for you to sign, or as part of the notice, or on a separate sheet.

You have up to 12 weeks to accept your landlord’s offer.

It is during this time that you will need to arrange a mortgage or loan, get a survey, and hire a solicitor for conveyancing, etc. It is also time to get independent financial and legal advice (if you have not already) and check you understand all the costs before you sign anything.

Appeals - Appealing to the District Valuer

You may feel that what your landlord thinks is the full market value of your home is too high. If so, you have a right to obtain an independent valuation from the District Valuer. Before doing so, you must tell the landlord, within 3 months of receiving the Section 125 notice, that you want a ‘determination of value’ under Section 128 of the Housing Act 1985

You then have 4 weeks to put your case to the District Valuer. You will not have to pay for this service.

A District Valuer will then need to inspect your home. The District Valuer’s valuation will be the one that counts, even if it is higher than the landlord’s valuation.

You will have to accept it or withdraw your application to buy your home unless you or your landlord meet the criteria to request a review of the District Valuer's determination.

A review can only be requested if there has been a significant factual error in the determination, or the District Valuer did not consider representations made by the tenant or the landlord in relation to the determination.

Both landlord and tenant have 28 days to request a redetermination in writing to the district valuer. Once an appeal has been submitted the district valuer has 14 days to advise whether they will be carrying out a redetermination.


Under a Right to Buy usually the garden as defined in your tenancy agreement will be included in the sale.  However, with Leasehold purchases remote gardens will not be included and will remain in the ownership of the Council, although if being used you will be able to continue to do so, provided these are kept in a well maintained condition.

On sales where gardens are included you should check the plans provided carefully to ensure that the area has been correctly identified, any errors should be raised immediately.

Any fences that are to be included within the sale will be identified by a “T” mark.  Fences should not be allowed to fall into disrepair and as occasion may require these should be repaired/renewed along the boundaries.

Repairs whilst RTB application live

From the date of registration of your Right to Buy application, the Landlord will only carry out emergency or urgent works to the property, that is only repairs required by law.

These repairs are limited to repairing and maintaining the structure and exterior of the property, the landlord’s heating and hot water appliances, sanitary ware and pipes, and wires etc. within the property.

Generally, repairs outstanding or underway at completion of the sale will be cancelled.


Your landlord must deal with your application within the timescales set out below.  If they don’t, you could get a further reduction on the sale price.

Once your landlord has received your completed application, they need to confirm whether you, any joint applicants, and your property are eligible. They will confirm this by sending you a Section 124 notice (RTB2). They have up to 4 weeks to do this, or 8 weeks if you have been with your current landlord for less than 3 years.

If your landlord has confirmed you are eligible, they then have to send you a formal offer letter (S125) within 8 weeks (for a freehold property) or 12 weeks (for a leasehold property)

Tip: Delays can get complicated, particularly if your landlord doesn’t agree that the delay is their fault. It’s a good idea to keep copies of everything, confirm proof of postage, such as using recorded or registered delivery, or if you deliver it in person get written confirmation from the person you gave it to. This will reduce the likelihood of any dispute over the dates on which forms were sent as you will have evidence.

Selling Your Home – Right of First Refusal

If you purchase your home under the Right to Buy scheme and you wish to resell or dispose of it within 10 years, you will first have to offer it for sale to either your former landlord or to another social landlord in your area at full market value.

The market value must be agreed between the parties or, if they are unable to agree, will be determined by the District Valuer (the government will pay the costs of employing a District Valuer).

If your offer has not been accepted within 8 weeks, you will be free to sell the property on the open market.

Repayment of discount

If you have bought your home under the Right to Buy, you can sell it whenever you like.  However, if you sell within the first five years of ownership, you will usually have to repay some or all of the discount.

You will have to pay back all the discount if you sell within the first year. After that, the total amount you pay back reduces to:

  • 80% of the discount in the second year
  • 60% of the discount in the third year
  • 40% of the discount in the fourth year
  • 20% of the discount in the fifth year
  • After 5 years, you can sell without repaying any discount.

In addition, the amount of discount to be repaid if you sell within 5 years of purchase will be a percentage of the resale value of the property, disregarding the value of any improvements. For example, if your home was valued at £125,000 at the time you bought it from your landlord, and you received a discount of £50,000, that means that your discount was 40%.

If your home is valued at £160,000 when you wish to sell it, and you sell within the second year of purchase, you will have to repay an amount of the same percentage of the sale price. In this case, as the initial discount was 40%, and selling in the second year required four fifths of the discount to be paid back, the amount needing to be paid would be four fifths of 40% of £160,000, which is four fifths of £64,000, or £51,200.

Certain sales or transfers are exempt from the requirement to repay the discount, for example transfers between certain family members. In addition, if you would face hardship by having to repay your discount, and your circumstances justify it, your landlord can decide not to ask you to pay some or all of what you owe. If in advance of your purchase, or within the discount repayment period, you enter into an agreement to transfer your property to a third party in the future, then this will trigger repayment of your discount.

Help and Advice

If you have difficulty getting a copy of the Right to Buy application form or require further information or advice, contact your landlord.

Email: righttobuy@lbbd.gov.uk

Telephone: 0208 227 2529 option 1


In addition to this guide there are several resources available to support you in delivering Right to Buy including:

• GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/right-to-buy-buying-your-council-home

Own Your Home site includes eligibility quiz, discount calculator tools and FAQs:

Alternatively, you can contact:

Right to Buy Agent Service

Email: enquiry@righttobuyagent.org.uk

Telephone: 0300 123 0913


The Right to Buy Agent service offers free advice on things like:

• the Right to Buy and Preserved Right to Buy process

• eligibility

• filling out your application form

• where you can get financial and legal advice

• what to do if your application is delayed


If you need further support, please contact:

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

Right to Buy

Fry Building

2 Marsham Street

London, SW1P 4DF Email: RTB@levellingup.gov.uk


Other Help

For free, impartial advice about money contact:

The Money and Pensions Service

Telephone: 0800 138 7777


For free, impartial advice on leasehold law and rights (flats and leasehold houses), contact:

The Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE)

Email: info@lease-advice.org

Telephone: 020 7832 2500


For information on mortgage lenders contact:

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

Telephone: 0800 111 6768


For information on stamp duty and the latest rates go to:

 • https://www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax


If you want to know about your rights, you can ask:

Citizens Advice or a solicitor


If you disagree with your landlord about buying your home, you can contact Right to Buy Agents or the DLUHC