When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Buying your Housing Executive or housing association home

You can normally apply to buy your home if you've been a tenant of the Housing Executive or a housing association for at least 5 years. You can buy all of the property or you can buy a share in it and pay rent to your landlord for their share. Some properties, like 1 and 2 bedroom bungalows, cannot be bought under this scheme. Contact your landlord if you want to apply to buy your home. 

Buying a Housing Executive house

There has been no change to the right to buy for Housing Executive tenants. You can still apply to buy your home. Before you apply to buy, make sure the Housing Executive has fixed any outstanding repairs in your home.

Contact NIHE to request an application form for the House Sales Scheme. Complete this form and return it to Land & Property Services at the Housing Executive.  You’ll get a letter to say that your application has been received.

Once your application has been reviewed, you’ll get a letter to say whether you can or can’t buy the property.  If the answer is yes, the Housing Executive should send a valuer out within 3 weeks to work out the current value of the property.  After this visit you’ll get a letter explaining

  • the market value of the property
  • the amount of discount you’re entitled to
  • the price you’ll have to pay to buy the property.

Responding to the Housing Executive’s offer

You have 6 weeks to let the Housing Executive know if you want to go ahead with the sale.  If you only want to buy part of the property, let the Housing Executive know and it will work out how much it will cost to buy the percentage you’ve suggested.

If you don’t agree with the valuation price, you can ask Land & Property Services to assess the property’s value.

Completing the sale

Once you accept the Housing Executive’s offer, you’ll need to sort out a mortgage and hire a solicitor in order to complete the sale. 

The Housing Executive will remain responsible for repairs and you’ll be responsible for paying rent until the sale is completed. The sale can’t complete until any rent you owe the Housing Executive has been paid. 

Buying a housing association home

The law has changed for housing association tenants. If you want to buy your home, you must apply before 28 August 2022. Contact your housing association to find out how to apply. Ask for a copy of their house sales procedure. Get advice if you are told that you are not allowed to buy your home. 

Improvement schemes

If your home was set for a planned improvement scheme, like getting a new kitchen or new windows, it will be removed from this scheme as soon as you apply to buy the property.  If you buy the property it won’t be included in any future improvement schemes planned for your area.