Right to Buy scheme

The Right to Buy scheme gives most council tenants the right to buy their home at a discount.

Before applying you should check if you’re eligible, and find out what the costs of buying your council house will be. You may also want to speak to an independent financial advisor, such as the Money Advice Service.

Remember once you’ve bought your home you won’t be able to claim housing benefit to help with your mortgage costs. Your home could be at risk if you aren’t able to keep up your mortgage or loan repayments.

If you’re buying a leasehold property you’ll need to budget for the extra cost of the ground rent.

General information on the Right to Buy scheme is available on the Government Right to Buy website and GOV.UK. 


To apply you need to complete a Right to Buy application on the Government’s website.

There’s no administration charge for the normal Right to Buy service, so you should avoid companies that ask you to pay for help or advice.

If you need a mortgage you should speak to a provider and work out the best mortgage rate. We can provide a formal mortgage reference for £60 (this cost may be passed on to you by your solicitor or mortgage provider).

Please note as soon as you’ve submitted your Right to Buy application your property will be withdrawn from any major repairs schemes, and the council will only carry out essential repairs to your home. If you’ve applied for a transfer, your transfer application will be suspended.

Next steps

We’ll let you know whether or not you have the Right to Buy your home within four weeks of receiving your application (or eight weeks if you’ve also been a tenant outside of Barnsley or if your home is a flat).

If you have the Right to Buy your home, we’ll arrange for your property to be valued. You’ll then be sent an Offer Notice telling you the price that the council will sell your home to you for. This should come within eight weeks after you got the letter confirming your Right to Buy (or 12 weeks if your home is a flat).

If you aren’t eligible to buy your home we’ll let you know why. If you disagree with our decision you can get advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor. 

Cancelling your application

All cancellations must be made in writing to:

Right to Buy, Culture Housing and Regulation, PO Box 634, Barnsley  S70 9GG

You should also tell your local Barnsley Council office if you cancel your application, and make sure that any new or outstanding repairs have been accepted and processed.

If you later cancel your Right to Buy application, your home will not be included in major repair schemes for 12 months after your cancellation. Normal day-to-day repairs and minor repairs will be carried out. 

Selling or transferring your property

Once you’ve bought your home, if you sell or transfer it within five years you’ll usually have to repay some or all of the Right to Buy discount. The amount will depend on:

  • the level of discount you received
  • the price you sell at
  • how long you have been the owner

This also applies if you agree to transfer ownership to somebody else.

If you sell or want to sell your home within 10 years of buying it you first have to ask your former landlord if they want to buy your home back at market value. If they say no then you can sell it on the open market.