Right to Buy Scheme

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 13th February 2019.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Treasury)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of a statutory waiting time between the date when a social housing unit is purchased under Right to Buy and when that unit may be lawfully offered for private let.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The Government does not impose restrictions on the letting of homes purchased under the Right to Buy. It believes that tenants who have bought their homes under the Right to Buy should have the same freedoms as any other homeowner. Imposing restrictions on the letting of their homes could limit their ability to move for work or family reasons and we do not think this would be reasonable or fair.

The Department regularly publishes information on the number of Right to Buy sales, which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-social-housing-sales.

However, the Department does not monitor what individuals do with their homes after they have bought them. To provide figures for this would be burdensome on central government, local authorities and buyers. It would place a burden on buyers of Right to Buy homes (including second-hand buyers further down the line) to register their purchase of such a home – and whether it was to be their main home – with their local authority, and require enforcement by the local authority in order to be reliable. Such a burden would be contrary to the policy intention of Right to Buy, which is to provide a way for council tenants to access all the benefits of home ownership enjoyed by other homeowners.

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