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How do I buy my local authority house

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Tenant (Incremental) Purchase Scheme 2016 - Summary of Scheme

In January 2016 a new scheme for the purchase of existing local authority houses came into effect.

If you are a local authority tenant living in a local authority house, that is available for sale under the scheme and you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply to purchase your house.

However, there are a number of types and uses of houses not eligible under the scheme, such as

  • Apartments, (a separate purchase scheme for apartments applies)
  • Houses that have been specifically designed for occupation by elderly persons
  • Houses that have been specifically designed in a group setting for occupation by members of the travelling community and
  • Houses in a private development transferred to the local authority by the developer

Your local authority can tell you if your type of property is included in the scheme.

Rules

If you are a local authority tenant living in a local authority house included in the scheme you can apply to buy the house. You must however be in receipt of some form of social housing support for at least a year, and must have a minimum gross annual income of €15,000, as determined by the local authority in accordance with the rules of the scheme.

You will pay the market value of the house – less a discount.

Depending on income, the discounts will vary between 40% and 60%.

Your local authority will also place a charge on your house called an ‘incremental purchase charge’. This charge will be equal to the discount you get on the price of the house.

The charge will remain in place for 20, 25 or 30 years (depending on the discount given).

Each year, the local authority will reduce the charge by 2%. At the end of the 20, 25 or 30 years, the charge will be zero as long as you obey the terms and conditions of the scheme.

You must live in the house as your normal place of residence and get agreement from your local authority if you want to sell, let or sub-let the house.

You will be able to resell your house at any time if your local authority agrees.  However, if you sell before the end of the 20, 25 or 30 years, you will have to pay back the value of the outstanding charge on your house to your local authority.

Like all homeowners, you will be responsible for maintaining and carrying out repairs on your house from the date you buy it.  You will also have to get and keep adequate property insurance on your house – and pay for this yourself.

The local authority can refuse to sell the house in particular circumstances such as to tenants or household members involved in anti-social behaviour or with rent arrears.

The   Housing (Sale of Local Authority Houses) Regulations 2015,  sets out the conditions for the sale of local authority houses.

How do I apply?

  • You must fill out a Tenant (Incremental) Purchase Scheme application form which you can get from your local authority.
  • You must give proof of your income.
  • You must show your local authority how you intend to pay for the house.
  • You must give the local authority any other information it asks for about your application.

 

Where to apply?

You must apply to your relevant local authority.

The financing of the purchase of the house is a matter for the tenant. However, you may qualify for a local authority House Purchase Loan.

Forms / Related documents

The Tenant Incremental Purchase Scheme 2016 information booklet  provides further details on the scheme.

If you have any queries

You should contact your local authority directly with any queries you may have.