Buy your council home

'Right to Buy' allows most council tenants to buy their council home at a discount.

Watch the short video to find out more.

Buying your council home

If you are a secure tenant, and have been a council or social housing tenant for three years or more, you may be able to purchase your property.

Buying your house

Houses are usually sold on a freehold basis.  This means that you will be purchasing the house and the land it sits on.  All repairing and maintenance issues will become your responsibility.  However, you will also need to keep in mind that while you are going through the Right to Buy process, you will not be entitled to repairs to the property (other than those that the council are responsible for by law under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985).  All existing routine repairs that have been reported and any scheduled works will be cancelled while your Right to Buy application is active.

Buying your flat

Flats (and maisonettes) are sold on a leasehold basis.  This means that Sandwell Council will remain the freeholder (i.e. the landlord) and that the same services that are provided while you are a tenant will continue when you purchase the property – meaning that you will still have to pay a service charge.  Furthermore, you will be responsible for a proportion of the costs for any repairs that are carried out to the building or the common areas.  You will need to be aware that there is potentially no limit to the amount that you can be charged for repairs or major works after the initial five-year period after you purchase the property.  This means that owning a leasehold property can be very expensive.

Discount entitlement

If you qualify for the Right to Buy, you will also be entitled to a discount based on the number of full years’ tenancy you have.  Please see the table below for details.

Years as a tenant House  Flat/maisonette  Cap
3-5 years 35% 50% 70% (but see below)
+1 year over 5 years +1% discount +2% discount 70% (but see below)

If, for example, you have seven years’ tenancy in a house, you will be entitled to 37% discount.  If you have ten years’ tenancy in a flat, you would be entitled to 60% discount.

However, the Secretary of State also imposes a cap on discount entitlement that may affect your purchase price.  This cap changes every year and will be displayed on your Offer Notice. 

More information

An overview on Right to Buy can be found on pages 50 to 56 in the Tenants’ Handbook.
For more extensive information, you are recommended to visit the Government’s Right to Buy website.

Anti-money laundering process

If you exercise your Right to Buy, Sandwell Council have an obligation by law under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017 to verify where your funding is coming from. This means that you will need to prove, using official documentation, how you are paying for your property. The process is quite intensive and thorough, so we strongly recommend that you read all of the information issued to you when you reach this stage of the process.  However, more information on how to complete the process can be found here.