When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Buying your Housing Executive or housing association home

As long as you are eligible to buy your home you can buy all or part of it.  Regardless of how much of the property you buy, you will become responsible for all repairs and maintenance on the property once the sale has completed.

Buying a Housing Executive house

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

At the minute, housing association tenants and Housing Executive tenants have the same rights to buy. But this will change soon. 

New legislation means that, in the future, housing association tenants will no longer have an automatic right to buy. Some housing associations may decide to continue with the right to buy but they can also choose to end this scheme entirely. 

This new legislation hasn't taken effect yet. When it does, there will be a 2 year period during you will still be able to apply to buy your housing association home as long as you meet all the other criteria. 

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.