Right to Buy Entitlement
Under two-thirds of tenancies (63% or 229,351) provided by local authorities and the relevant housing association where local authorities have undergone a stock transfer had some Right to Buy entitlement on 31st March 2016.
Around a third (33% or 118,313) of these tenancies with eligibility as of 31st March 2016 had 'preserved right to buy'.
Around 94% (104,195) of tenancies with 'modernised right to buy' had passed the qualifying period of 5 years continuous tenancy, up from 82% in 2015 and 64% in 2014.
The Right to Buy scheme was introduced in October 1980 and consolidated in the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 which gave most council and housing association tenants the right to buy with discounts of up to 70%. The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 provided a single, common tenancy for nearly all tenants of local authorities and housing associations in Scotland. A 'modernised' Right to Buy was introduced and applied to most tenancies beginning on or after 30 th September 2002. The maximum discount was £15,000. Tenants with a right to buy before 30 th September 2002 kept a 'preserved' Right to Buy with the old terms and conditions, but in most cases would change to modernised terms if they moved house.
The 2001 Act allowed local authorities to apply for pressured area status for specified areas, resulting in the suspension of modernised right to buy in all social rented properties for up to five years.
As a result of the 2010 Housing (Scotland) Act any first-time tenancy starting on or after 2 nd March 2011 will never have the right to buy. Therefore most existing tenants on 31 st March 2015 whose tenancies started on or after 30 th September 2002 and before 2 nd March 2011 have the right to buy under modernised terms. They consist of those who have served the minimum five year qualifying period, and those who have time still to serve before they can exercise their right to buy.
The 2010 Act also ended the Right to Buy for new supply social housing and gave local authorities themselves the power to make pressured area designations for up to ten years, for specific house types as well as areas.
The provision to end Right to Buy with a two year notice period was included in the Housing (Scotland) Bill which received Royal Assent on 1 st August 2014, and the scheme subsequently closed to new applicants on 31 July 2016
On 31 st March 2016, there were 363,236 tenancies provided by local authorities and the relevant housing associations where local authorities have undergone a stock transfer. Of these tenancies, 229,395 (63%) had some Right to Buy entitlement, down from 246,279 (67%) on 31 st March 2015 due to the increasing numbers of new tenants who did not have the right to buy ( Chart 11).
Around a third (32% or 118,313) of the tenancies with eligibility had 'Preserved Right to Buy', with the remainder having modernised right to buy. Of those with modernised right to buy, around 94% (104,246) had passed the qualifying period of 5 years continuous tenancy, up from 64% in 2014 and 82% in 2015 as increasing numbers of tenants reached the 5 year qualifying period.
Chart 11: Tenancies by Right to Buy status
Not all tenants have been able to exercise their Right to Buy, for example because the tenancy is in a Pressured Area. Of the 363,236 tenancies with a Right to Buy eligibility as of 31 st March 2016, 78,019 (21%) were currently unable to exercise their Right to Buy, 57,088 (16%) due to their current home being in a Pressured Area and 20,931 (6%) for other reasons. For 2015 these figures were 18% and 6% respectively.
Link to tables on sales of Right to Buy entitlement: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Housing-Regeneration/HSfS/Sales/rtbentitlepage
Email: Esther Laird, email@example.com