The Right to Buy scheme was introduced in 1980 across the UK, with the intention of helping more people become economically self-sufficient. Since then, the scheme has been dropped in Scotland and Wales, but it is still available for eligible individuals in England and Northern Ireland. However, the scheme in Northern Ireland is fairly different from the one in England and is set to end on 28 August 2022. You can read more about how the Northern Ireland scheme works on the Housing Advice for Northern Ireland website.
Right to Buy allows most council house or flat tenants to buy their property if they have lived there for three years or more. The scheme now also applies to properties that used to be council houses but were sold to housing associations or similar authorities. The main feature of the scheme is that it offers a considerable discount on the price of your home, which could be up to £84,600 or more off of its market value.
Right to Buy is just one of the government’s ‘Own Your Home’ strategies, which also includes the Mortgage Guarantee scheme (read more about this in our guide Mortgage Guarantee Scheme – How does it work?) the Help to Buy Equity Loan and the Shared Ownership scheme. There are some obvious benefits to homeownership, with the main advantage being the financial security it can offer, particularly in later life.