Eligible for the scheme
You may be eligible if you've been a secure tenant with the Housing Executive, a housing association or another qualifying body for at least five years.
You aren't eligible if you live in:
- sheltered housing
- a property which is part of a group housing scheme
- a single storey or ground floor property, other than a flat, with no more than two bedrooms
Tenant with a tenancy less than five years
If your social housing tenancy hasn't run for five full years, you might still be able to buy your home if your partner or parent was previously the tenant.
Tenant with rent arrears
If you're a secure tenant behind in paying rent to your landlord, you can still apply to buy your home. Your application won't be rejected on the grounds of rent arrears. But the sale cannot complete until you pay overdue rent or other arrears.
People who aren't eligible to apply
You cannot apply to buy under the scheme if:
- the Housing Executive or housing association is taking or intends to take legal possession of the property
- you are a squatter
The amount of discount depends on how long you're a tenant. A secure tenant with a minimum five years, receives 20 per cent discount of the market value.
The discount increases by two per cent for each additional tenancy year to a maximum of 60 per cent or £24, 000 whichever is lower.
Selling your home
If you sell your home within five years of buying, you must pay back the full discount received. If you sell within ten years, you must give the original landlord the opportunity to buy the property.
If they don't buy the property and there is a local housing need, they will let housing associations know the property is for sale.
Applying to buy a Housing Exceutive home
To apply to buy your Housing Executive home, you must complete and return an application form:
Applying to buy a housing association home
To apply to buy your housing association home, contact your housing association.
Valuing your home
An independent valuer will assess your home. If you disagree with the price they give your home, you can ask for a valuation by Land & Property Services.
Their district valuer's decision is final. If they give your home a higher value, you must accept their figure.
Buying your home
You must make your decision about going ahead to buy your home within six weeks of receiving the offer. As there are costs involved in the home buying process and owning a home, it is important to get professional advice before you make a decision.
You should arrange:
- a house survey
- legal advice
- independent financial advice
If you want a mortgage to pay for the property, you will need a solicitor to draw up contracts.
For more information on the House Sales Scheme, contact the Housing Executive or your housing association: