Ex-Forces Right To Buy Your Council House

A detailed guide explaining how to get on the property ladder using the Right To Buy scheme for serving and ex-forces military personnel.

ex-military right to buy scheme

In this article you will learn how:

– I saved £67,000 buying a council property
– You can buy a council property a day after moving in for 35-70% of it’s market value
– When you can sell the council property for it’s full value

This article is designed to explain how to buy a council property if you’re currently serving or ex-forces faster than the specified 3-years required by council tenants.

It’s a subject that not many people serving in the military will be rarely told about but it could save you tens of thousands of pounds a lot of time.

If you’re in the military or ex-forces and are looking to get on the property ladder then the right to buy scheme might be for you.

I have personally gone through this process and saved £67,080 doing so.

I’m honestly shocked we aren’t told more about this during our Military careers so if you’re satisfied with this article, please share the URL with anyone it may help.

The discount rules state that if you’ve been a public sector tenant for a minimum of 3 years, you qualify for the discount.

Most people who have served will be able to qualify for the scheme if they’ve had a room on camp for a minimum of 3 years.

My Experience

Here’s a very short summary around my own experience when buying my council property.

I served for 6 years (Army) and paid for accommodation (on camp) for 3 years.

My partner and I moved into a council property (flat) – waited 3 years and purchased the property at a discounted rate of 52%.

The flat was valued at £129,000 and we paid £61,920 – saving over £67,000.

We then kept the flat for 5 years before selling for it’s full value of £145,000 making an incredible profit for what we started with, allowing us to buy a much bigger property later on.

Unfortunately, we wasted the first 3-years unaware that we were able to buy the property straight away because no one told us we could.

We spent a total of 8 years at that property when we could have spent 5 years there and moved on…. Gutted.

Right To Buy Scheme Explained

Right To Buy Rules: England

Please Note: Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland may have different rules and it’s always worth double-checking with your local council.

The Right To Buy scheme allows council tenants to purchase the property they are currently renting at a discounted rate.

The standard rules are that you must have lived in the property for a minimum of 3 years. This bit is very important so please remember the 3 year rule for later on.

Once the 3 years are up, you can apply to buy your flat or house from the council at a discounted rate of between 35% to 70% off it’s market value.

You then have 5 years before you can sell or remortgage the property.

If you decide to sell the property earlier then you must pay back a portion of the discount.

Here is a breakdown on what you need to pay back if you decide to sell earlier than planned.

  • Year 1: Payback 100%
  • Year 2: Payback 75%
  • Year 3: Payback 50%
  • Year 4: Payback 25%
  • Year 5: Payback 0%

Right To Buy Military Discount

To qualify for a discount, you must have lived at the property for a minimum of 3-5 years.

What they failed to tell me is that you can actually buy the property from day 1 if you are Military or ex-forces.

Council Housing For Ex-Military

The discount rules state that if you’ve been a public sector tenant for a minimum of 3 years, you qualify for the discount.

This makes it perfect for ex-military to buy their council housing.

According to Citizens Advice you are a public sector tenant if you rent from a local authority (council), or a registered social landlord. This includes public houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

The Housing Act 2004 mentions Armed Forces being public sector tenants pretty much straight away.

If you’ve ever paid for a room on camp, on tour or anywhere else for at least 3 years, you can buy your property straight away.

OK, so for houses your discount starts at 35% and can go up to a maximum of 70%.

Flats start at a 50% discount rate with a maximum of 70%.

The percentage rate increases with each year you have paid for a public sector tenancy.

Quick Recap

If you’ve paid for accommodation on a military camp for longer than 3 years, you’re eligible to purchase your council home from the day you move in.

We saved over £67,000 through the Right-To Buy Scheme.

You must keep the property for 5 years before selling.

Your local council will guide you through the application process which takes a few weeks.

While the Right To Buy Scheme is quite well known throughout council tenants, not many ex-service personnel know about this hack.

I wasted 3 years renting the property unaware I could have purchased it from day 1.

The beauty of this scheme is that ANYONE serving or ex-military can apply. All you need is proof you have paid for a room on camp for 3 years minimum.

Some people might turn their noses up at living in a council property however if you want a sure-fire way of getting on the property ladder then this is it.

If you know anyone in the military or ex-forces that you think this article might help then please share :).

? Also, let us know your thoughts in the comments below ?


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