The right-to-buy scheme was introduced in October 1980. The number of council homes sold to sitting tenants under the scheme in England is shown in the following table:
|Local authority housing stock sold under the right-to-buy scheme: England|
|Number of sales|
| Notes: |
1. Data includes estimates for non-responding authorities.
2. Information on other sales to sitting tenants (eg, under the voluntary powers in section 32 of the Housing Act 1985) is not readily available.
Statistical returns from local authorities.
Under Part 5 of the Housing Act 1985, secure tenants of local authority landlords, and tenants of housing associations who held secure tenancies with those associations prior to 1988, have the right to buy the home they rent. A tenant who held a secure tenancy with a local authority, and subsequently became an assured tenant of a housing association following transfer of their home to the association with the authority's housing stock, has a "preserved right to buy".
Local authorities and housing associations must sell properties to such tenants if they have been public sector tenants for at least five years before applying for the right to buy (two years if their tenancies began prior to
the tenant is an undischarged bankrupt; the property is exempt from the right to buy: ie, (i) it is let in connection with the tenant's employment; (ii) it is particularly suitable for occupation by elderly or physically or mentally disabled people; (iii) it is due to be demolished, or (iv) the landlord has an insufficient interest in it - ie, is unable to grant a lease of at least 21 years on a house or 50 years on a flat.