Right to Buy

Buying your council home

There are several ways people can buy their home in the UK, and Right to Buy scheme is one of them. Right to Buy helps eligible council and housing association tenants in England to buy their home at a discount.

The Government's Right to Buy service

Overview of Right to Buy

You can apply to buy your council home if:

  • It’s your only or main home,
  • it’s self-contained,
  • you’re a secure tenant,
  • you’ve had a public sector landlord (for example, a council, housing association or NHS trust) for 3 years - it does not have to be 3 years in a row.

Milton Keynes Council application process

  1. You contact the Home Ownership Team for an application pack or check the Government website to see if you are eligible or to see if you can afford it.
  2. Once you are happy that you want to go ahead, complete the right to buy application online on the Government website then download print and sign - or you could download and print a version of the right to buy form to complete by hand.
  3. Complete the forms and contact us to arrange submitting the completed application form and proof of ID.
  4. We will then process your application and let you know if you have the RTB or not - within 4 weeks for a house or 8 weeks for a flat.
  5. If you don’t have the RTB we will tell you why, if you disagree you can contact the Department for Communities and Local Government and appeal.
  6. If we think you have the RTB we then send you an Offer Notice (section 125 Notice) - within 8 weeks for a house or 12 weeks for a flat.
  7. You have 12 weeks to contact us to tell us what you wish to do now - continue, appeal the valuation (see the next section), or withdraw.
  8. If you don’t tell us within 12 weeks, we will write to give you a final 28 days to tell us what you wish to do, after which your application will be closed.
  9. If you tell us you wish to continue to buy, you have 12 months from your Offer Notice. If you do not complete within that timescale, our legal team will send you a warning notice to complete.
  10. If you have not completed after that, legal will send you a second warning notice, which after the end of the period we give you to complete, we can close your application.
  11. You may withdraw your application at any time in the process. You can change your mind but if your application is closed and you wish to buy again at a later date, you will need to complete a new application form and start again.

Post Right to Buy

Information about our enforcement policy on Post Right to Buy

If you have bought a property under the Right to Buy scheme (RTB), or bought a property that was previously owned by the Council, there are legal restrictions on what you can do with your property.

Post Right to Buy Enforcement Policy

Homes bought under the RTB may come with a number of restrictions such as residential covenants, these are on many properties that used to belong to the Council.

What is a covenant?

A Covenant is a promise made in relation to a property or a piece of land. It can either be a promise to do something (a positive covenant) or not to do something (a restrictive covenant). A restrictive covenant determines what a homeowner can or cannot do with their house or land under particular circumstances. They can include:

  • Restricting the use of a property to a single private residence
  • Not allowing a business to be run from a property
  • Requiring permission from the Council to alter or develop the property or the land it sits on

Restrictive covenants are binding and remain on the property no matter who owns it or how many times it is sold unless they are formally removed.

Can a covenant be removed?

Some restrictive covenants can be varied or released, requests to have a covenant varied or released for a Right to Buy property (ex-Council house) must be made to Milton Keynes Council. If the Council agrees to vary or release the covenant the homeowner will still need to obtain any necessary planning permission or any other consents separately.

The Council will assess all requests looking at the specific facts and merits of each request including any relevant legislation and case law.  In some cases, the removal or release of a covenant may mean the value of a property will go up. Where appropriate, the Council will undertake a valuation of the consent to determine the appropriate level of damages or compensation to be paid by the owner if the value of a former Right to Buy property is increased due to a variation or release of parts of a covenant.

If a request to remove or vary a covenant is turned down, there is a right of appeal.

Do I have to pay to vary or remove a covenant?

The Council charges an administration fee and reasonable legal costs to applicants. The administration fee is payable whether the matter proceeds to completion or not.

Charges vary depending on the type of request. Before submitting a request homeowners should complete the online application form.

What to do if you have broken the rules?

It is important to make sure you have not broken the rules as you will not be able to sell your property if you have and you could be made to reverse the changes or even fined if this is not possible. Check your title deeds to see what covenants apply and if you believe you have breached a covenant contact the Estates Team who will advise you what to do next, but we will investigate and advise you of your options.

Restrictions in favour of the former Development Corporation and successor bodies

Restrictions or covenants on deeds relating to Milton Keynes Development Corporation, Commissions for New Towns, English Partnerships or Homes & Communities Agency cannot be released by the Council. You can contact Homes England who manage these consents.

Contact: Property and Facilities Team


Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ

Right to Buy process is managed by Home Ownership Team. If you have any questions or want to apply, please contact us. Please note, that we will not be able to provide you with a legal or financial advice, so if you do decide to buy your home under Right to Buy, we would advise you to seek an independent legal and financial advice.

Right to Acquire - if you are a tenant of a housing association, you may be eligible to buy your home under Right to Acquire scheme. To find out more please visit the Government's Right to Acquire website.

Housing - Home Ownership Team

Home Ownership Team - contact information

Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ