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Right to buy your council property

The right to buy (RTB) process was introduced in 1980 to allow tenants to buy their home.

Lots of houses

This RTB leaflet [151kb] will answer many questions you might have.

To qualify, both the property and the tenant(s) living in them must meet specific conditions.

Who can apply?

  • Council tenants for more than three years, or if you were living in your home when the council transferred it to another landlord.

The Government's official Right to Buy Agent service offers free and impartial advice to help council/housing association tenants who are interested in understanding and taking up the Right to Buy your home. If you decide home ownership is for you our advisers can help you through the process of buying your home.

Conditions you need to meet before you can apply

  • have a current secure tenancy
  • must have held a public sector tenancy for three years
  • the property you wish to purchase is your only or principal home
  • there is no Possession Order against you
  • you are not an un-discharged bankrupt

We can stop you from buying your home:

  • if the house has a lease of 50 years or less, or, in the case of a flat the lease is less than 21 years
  • if you live in a sheltered housing
  • if we have plans to demolish it
  • if the council has been granted a possession order requiring you to leave or you are subject to bankruptcy proceedings
  • if there is any record, or pending record, of anti-social behaviour order against you we may delay the sale of your home


The maximum discount, from 6 April 2017, is £104,900. If you sell your home within five years, you will have to pay back some of the discount based on a sliding scale of one fifth per year. The amount to be repaid is calculated by reference to the amount you received from the sale of your home. 

How to apply Apply

The Sales Team administers the process, free of charge.

  • You can download the two forms, below. Please note: all applicants, including family members who wish to buy, must complete and sign the forms.
  • Could you please provide a photograph of each applicant. This can be a copy of a passport or driving licence. At this stage we do not require the original documents but you may be required to produce them at a later stage.

Complete, download and return your RTB application

Complete the RTB additional information form

The two completed forms should be returned to the Sales Team, London Borough of Hillingdon, 2 North, Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge, UB8 1UW.

Right to buy abuses

We are aware of possible abuses to the right to buy process carried out by private companies. This can be in the form of bogus advice being offered by self-made "experts", claiming, for a fee, they will guarantee tenants will successfully be able to buy their home and be admitted to the right to buy process. We have no evidence of such practice within London Borough of Hillingdon, remember we can help you with all stages of your application, and there is no charge.

It has been brought to our attention that a number of companies are contacting tenants regarding loans for purchasing their council homes. The council has not and will not, without tenant's agreement, pass any information to finance companies regarding applications received for right to buy. It is in your own interest to contact organisations that keep to the mortgage code. Should you feel you are been intimidated or harassed by sales representatives of any loan company, please contact the Sales Team.

Deeds of postponement

If you request to borrow extra money from your mortgage provider during the purchase of your property under the right to buy you will be required to get a Deed of Postponement from the council.

This is a charge the council puts on the property for the five year period, after sale, to protect the discount you received.

If approved, the council will register its charge as a third charge and allow your lender to place a second charge (the first is placed by your lender to secure the original sum of the mortgage).

The council will only approve Deeds of Postponement for improvement works to the property, or if you are changing mortgage lenders as defined under the provisions of Section 156 of the Housing Act 1985.

Please note extensions are not considered home improvements by the council as they are additions to the home and we will not agree to the postponement of charge.

Your solicitor will need to request the deed of postponement from us. Once the sale has been agreed we will ask you to provide confirmation of the purpose of the advance (if it is for home improvements, estimates of the costs will be required).

More information can be found in the Right to Buy information for secure tenants handbook.

If you would like more information about this option, contact the Sales Team.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 19 Dec 2017 at 14:03