Preserved Right to Buy (RTB)

If you are a tenant who transferred from East Staffordshire Borough Council in March 2001, then you may have the Preserved Right to Buy.

What is the difference between the “Right to Buy” & the “Preserved Right to Buy”?

An assured tenant of a registered provider does not have the Right to Buy. The Right to Buy is only for tenants who rent from a local authority (for example South Derbyshire Council).

However, if a tenant was previously a ‘secure’ tenant of a local authority and became an ‘assured’ tenant because ownership of their home was transferred to a Registered Provider of Social Housing (for example Trent & Dove) then they may have what is known as the “Preserved Right to Buy”. This only applies if they were living in their home when it was transferred.

The ‘preserved’ right only remains if they continue to rent from Trent & Dove.

Trent & Dove tenants can apply for the Preserved Right to Buy if their tenancy began on or before the 26 March 2001 when Trent & Dove took over the housing stock from East Staffordshire Borough Council. These tenants are known to us as “Transferring Tenants”.

A tenant cannot buy their home if they have one of the following orders against them:

  • Possession Order with a fixed date – including Suspended Possession Order
  • Ground Two Criminal Nuisance Order
  • Bankruptcy Order
  • Demotion Order.

Additional family members sharing the Preserved Right to Buy

Tenants may be able to exercise the right jointly with members of their family who have lived with them for the past 12 months or with their husband/wife.

Qualifying period


Tenants can get a discount of 35 per cent after three years’ tenancy. It is also 35 per cent after year four and five. For each extra year after that, they get another one per cent for each year of tenancy up to a maximum of 70 per cent.


Tenants can get a discount of 50 per cent after three years’ tenancy. It is also 50 per cent after four and five years. For each extra year after that, they get another two per cent for each year of tenancy, up to a maximum of 70 per cent.

Whatever percentage the tenants are eligible for; their discount cannot be greater than £102,400.

The qualifying period for discount can include time spent in different homes and with different landlords. This does not have to be continuous, as long as it was a public sector tenancy.

Right to Acquire (RTA)

The Right to Acquire is similar to the Preserved Right to Buy with respect to the process and an assured tenant can apply if they have been a tenant for a minimum of three years with a public sector landlord.

The Right to Acquire is available to Trent & Dove tenants who did not transfer from East Staffordshire Borough Council in March 2001 and their tenancy began after this date.


The discount is fixed at £9,000 for this area and does not increase depending on how long a person has had a tenancy for.


Properties excluded from Right to Acquire include the following:

  • Properties where the landlord has insufficient legal interest
  • Properties situated in a rural area designated by order of the Secretary of State under section 17(1)(b) (Right to Acquire: Supplementary Provisions) of the Housing Act 1996
  • Properties let in connection with employment
  • Properties designed with special features for letting to people with physical disabilities
  • Properties with special facilities let to tenants who are suffering or have suffered from a mental disorder
  • Properties which are one of a group of properties where it is the practice of the landlord to keep for occupation by persons who have special needs and require intensive housing assistance and such intensive housing assistance is provided either directly or indirectly by the landlord
  • Properties let to persons of pensionable age
  • Properties where the attributable loan debt is equal to or greater than its current market value
  • Properties which are due to be demolished within 24 months.

Some examples of local rural areas are:

Newton Solney, Yoxall, Ridware, Woodville, Willington, Rocester, Mayfield, Melbourne, Repton, Branston, Ravenstone, Church Leigh (within Leigh), Abbots Bromley, Some areas within Barton under Needwood.

A tenant cannot buy a property through the Right to Acquire if the property was built using only Trent & Dove funding (no grant).