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Author: Carl Shave-Director
Updated on January 30th, 2024

What is a Right to Acquire Mortgage?

In 1996, the Government introduced the Right to Acquire scheme to help Housing Association tenants who meet the qualifying criteria to buy the homes they currently rent to live in. If they are eligible, they will be able to get a discount on the market value of the house when they come to purchase.

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Help with Right to Acquire scheme mortgages

Many people struggle to get their first foot on the property ladder, but if you are currently renting your home from a local council or Housing Association then you may be able to take advantage of schemes to help you on the path to home ownership.

The Right to Buy scheme is well-established for council housing tenants, but if you are a Housing Association tenant then the Right to Acquire scheme could offer you the opportunity to purchase your home and invest in an asset for your future.

Get in touch for a free initial, no-obligation discussion about your mortgage situation.

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Fill out our quick and easy Mortgage Affordability calculator below. We only require a few details to see how much you may be able to borrow.


What is the difference between Right to Buy and Right to Acquire?

The Right to Buy scheme was designed specifically for tenants of council properties, owned by the local authority. The Right to Acquire scheme is intended purely for Housing Association tenants, where the properties are privately owned but managed by a trust who rents them out to people who need financial support.

If you live in a Housing Association property but were a council tenant there before the property passed to private ownership, then the Right to Buy scheme still applies to you.

How do I qualify for the Right to Acquire scheme?

To qualify for the Right to Acquire mortgage scheme, you must be an existing Housing Association tenant and have had a public sector landlord for at least three years. In addition to Housing Associations, landlords in the public sector can include councils, the armed services, NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts.

Your property must be self-contained and your only or main place of residence. It must also have been built or bought by a Housing Association (and funded by a social housing grant from the local council or Housing Corporation) after 31st March 1997, or have been transferred from a council to a Housing Association since the same date.

Your landlord must also be registered with the Regulator of Social Housing, who keep a statutory register of social housing providers.


You will unfortunately be ineligible if you have received a court order to leave your home, or if you are in the process of being made bankrupt.

If you, your property and your landlord all satisfy the various necessary criteria, then you will be able to progress to the next stage.

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Can I buy my housing association property?

The process from here can be quite straightforward. To start the ball rolling, you will have to complete the Right to Acquire application form (RTA1), available via the website, and send this to your landlord.

Your landlord must respond within 4 weeks (or 8 weeks if they have been your landlord for less than three years). If they accept your application and OK your purchase of the property, they will need to get the property valued by a qualified surveyor and will then send you an offer of the price they would be willing to accept (within 8 weeks if the property is a freehold or 12 weeks if leasehold).

You are able to get a discount on the market value of the property of between £9,000–£16,000, depending on where you live in the UK – your landlord will tell you exactly how much, and how it is worked out. You might only be able to get a lesser discount if you have previously made use of Right to Buy or Right to Acquire.

If everything seems agreeable to you, and you are confident that you will be able to afford the property and any associated costs, then your next step is likely to be looking into obtaining a mortgage to fund your purchase.

Right to Acquire mortgages eligibility

With more people opting to buy their own homes that they had previously rented from Housing Associations, there are now many lenders on the market who are willing to offer Right to Acquire mortgages to those who meet the requirements of the scheme.

In some instances, you may not need to put down a deposit yourself. This will depend on the lender and their own individual policies, but many are able to accept the discount on the house price under the scheme in place of a deposit (this also depends on the size of the discount).

Be aware that if you approach lenders directly, they will only be in a position to offer you mortgage products and deals from their own portfolio, and make assessments on your financial position based on their own criteria. They will not be able to give you a complete picture of the market, nor any idea of the flexibility in criteria amongst other lenders. Talking your situation over with a specialist mortgage broker will give you a broad view of the options for lenders and products that are available to you.

Right to Acquire Mortgage specialists

Securing an affordable Right to Acquire mortgage will be a key factor in the shift to owning your own home instead of renting. At The Mortgage Centres, we have an in-depth knowledge of the mortgage market, great relationships with a wide network of lenders and access to deals that you will not find advertised on the high street.

Our team of advisors include specialists in every type of mortgage, including Right to Acquire, and will be well-placed to show you which lenders and mortgage products will be the right ones to meet your needs. If you’d like help with a Right to Acquire mortgage today, please call us on 0330 094 5876, or use our online contact form.

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