Conditions and exemptions

These are the conditions and exceptions which apply to right to buy tenants.


The applicant must be a secure tenant of one of the following bodies:

  • A district council, county council or unitary local authority
  • A London borough council
  • The common council of the City of London
  • A body which was set up when the Greater London Council (GLC) was abolished
  • A new town or Urban Development Corporation
  • The Commission for the New Towns
  • A housing action trust
  • A housing association registered with the Housing Corporation*
  • The Housing Corporation/Housing Association registered with the Housing Corporation

* with the exception of housing associations which are charities, co-operatives, or which do not receive public subsidy

The applicant must have spent a total of at least two years* as a tenant of his/her present landlord, another RTB landlord, one of the public bodies listed above, or in accommodation provided by the armed forces.

* a minimum period of five years applies if the purchaser's secure tenancy commenced on or after 28 January 2005.

The property being purchased must be a separate home, and the applicant's only home or main home

The applicant cannot purchase under RTB if (s)he (a) has received a possession order from a court; (b) is an undischarged bankrupt; (c) has a bankruptcy petition pending against him/her; or (d) has made an arrangement with creditors to whom (s)he still owes money


RTB does not apply to properties which are:

  • Rented from a charitable housing association
  • Sheltered housing for the elderly, physically disabled, mentally ill or mentally disabled
  • Particularly suitable for retired persons and which were first let prior to 1990, to be lived in by someone of 60 years of age or more
  • Being used as temporary housing pending redevelopment by the landlord
  • Rented to members of staff (only in some cases)
  • Rented by the landlord from someone else and need to be surrendered when requested by the owner


If the above conditions are not met, or if any of the above exceptions apply, the right to buy will probably be denied.