Related posts


How Long After Buying a Council House Can You Sell It?

For anyone who bought a council house in the UK, there are regulations determining the earliest you can sell it after purchase. Rules mandate a minimum number of years you must own it before putting your council house on the market. 

Here, we outline the exact post-purchase periods that allow you to sell your council house, along with considerations like exemptions or extensions to these time frames.

Reasons for selling a council house

The Right to Buy scheme in the UK gives council house tenants the opportunity to purchase their property from local authorities at a discounted price of the full market value. This facilitates affordable home ownership. 

If you have lived in your council house for 3 or more years, you have the right to buy it at a discount. There’s a calculator here you can use here to figure out what discount you’ll get if buying a council house.

However, the rules dictate that if you buy a council house, you normally can’t sell it, within the first 10 years of ownership.

The rule intends to prevent situations where people would buy heavily discounted council houses only to resell them for substantial profit. This would be an abuse of the welfare system, which is intended for providing housing for those in need, and is not there to help council tenants become property tycoons.

According to current regulations, if you want to sell a council house within the first 10 years after you bought it from the council, you must first offer it back to the council to see if they want to buy it back.

If an agreement can’t be reached between you and the council on the value of the house for a buy-back, a local valuer determines an objective selling price.

There are rare exemptions allowed for earlier reselling due to extenuating personal situations. Otherwise, a decade is the mandated minimum before selling a former council house purchase acquired via the Right to Buy scheme’s discounted rates.

When does the 10-year-period start

The 10-year timeframe before being allowed to sell a former council house begins on the date listed on the transfer deed document

This marks the moment when the council tenant officially takes ownership of the property after buying it through Right to Buy. It does not start from when the tenant first submitted their initial application to purchase the council house. 

The date on this legal document, signed upon completion of the discounted purchase from the local council, is the definitive starting point for the 10 years you must own the council home before having full rights to sell the property without needing to first offer it back to any public housing bodies. 

Exemptions that shorten the period

While the standard rule mandates waiting 10 years before reselling a former council house purchased via Right to Buy, there are select personal situations that can qualify homeowners to apply for an exemption. 

These special circumstances — such as the death of a joint tenant spouse who held an ownership stake, undergoing financial hardship like unplanned job loss or serious illness, having to relocate for caregiving of a family member, or other approved cases of demonstrated urgency — means you can request permission for an early sale occurring less than 10 years after the initial purchase. 

Approval usually permits a sale after only three years, though specific time frames depend on specific reasons in the application. Exemptions typically account for unforeseen life events taking priority after a reasonable ownership period. However, these need proper documentation and approval is assessed on a case-by-case basis before allowing discounted council house sales in under 10 years.

Reselling at a discount

If a homeowner chooses to resell their former council house within the first 10 years of purchasing it through Right to Buy, they may have to pay back a percentage of the initial discount they received of the full market value at the time of purchase. 

This is because they will likely be selling at full current market rates. Per regulations, if selling within the first five years, 100% of the discount must be repaid, then after five years the repayment percentage gradually declines on an annual basis down to zero by year 10. 

This sliding scale system aims to recapture some of the publicly-funded discounts if owners sell too quickly with the aim of making profits from rising housing values, disincentivising fast resales while still helping facilitate affordable home ownership long-term through the discounted buy scheme.

How can I sell my council home?

If you have the right to sell your council house, and are looking for the most effective way to sell it,, you have several options with their own advantages.

Estate agents

One common route is selling via an estate agent. They will manage advertising, viewings, negotiations and sales paperwork. Typical fees are 1-3%. Agents can help increase market exposure and act as a middleman between yourself and the buyer. However, selling with an estate agent can take up to six months in some cases, especially if demand for homes in your area is low. 


Alternatively, some sellers elect for a quick council house sale through auction. This eliminates the need for an estate agent, with the house going to the highest bidder. Yet, auctions aren’t always guaranteed to sell, and if it does sell, the price you’ll get is not predictable.

Property Rescue

Property Rescue offers a swift and stress-free way to sell your council home for a predictable price. We will buy any council house in any part of England or Wales, even if it’s in poor condition. 

Our expertise ensures a smooth transaction, free from the usual delays and uncertainties of the open market. Not only that, but we cover your legal fees and other expenses so your council house can be sold without you needing to pay for anything.

Our service costs you nothing, so go ahead and get a free, no-obligation cash offer from Property Rescue on your council house today.

Danny Nieberg

I have deep knowledge and experience in the property sector having worked in the industry for many years. I oversee several brands within our group. My experience encompasses high volume property trading, management of residential and commercial property portfolios, and property development.

Receive a free, no-obligation cash offer by completing our 30 second form

Invalid postcode

or just get in touch with our friendly team

Call us free on