Buy back scheme


With an ever-increasing demand for affordable housing it’s important that Aberdeen City Council looks at ways of increasing the housing stock to meet this demand. At the City Growth & Resources Committee on the 7 February 2019 the committee members agreed to extend the criteria of the existing “buy back scheme” to include any ex-council properties.

This approach will help towards providing a sustainable housing stock that meets the needs and expectations of our tenants and provides more affordable housing within the city which supports vital key workers in education, care and the health sector.

The buy back scheme sits alongside Aberdeen City Council’s, Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) for 2015-2020, which sets out the Council’s plans for new affordable housing over the next five years.

How does the scheme work?

On applying for the scheme an owner must provide the following documentation;

  1. A Home Report dated no more than 4 weeks prior to time of application.
  2. An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
  3. Title Plan & Deeds of the property you are selling
  4. Power of attorney (if appropriate)

The following surveys and safety checks are required, so access must be made available, these include;

  • Scottish Housing Quality Standards (SHQS)
  • Electrical Safety Check
  • Gas Safety Check (if applicable)

NOTE: The inclusion of a Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) assessment will ensure that expenditure on compliance issues will be fully reflected in the purchase price offered to the owner.

All documents should be sent to

Frequently Asked Questions


Yes, they buy back ex-council properties, if they meet certain criteria.

There are several reasons why the council might buy back a property, these are:

  1. An identified need for this type and size of property.
  2. The purchase of the property would demonstrate good asset management    and represent value for money for the Council.
  3. Properties in areas designated for regeneration or demolition.
  4. The owner meets the criteria within the Scottish Governments, Home Support Fund (Mortgage to Rent Scheme).  
  5. Ownership consolidation where re-acquisition returns the block to full or majority Council ownership.  
  6. Your property has been adapted for wheelchair use or designated as amenity housing.

If there are no existing Council owned properties in the tenement block, the Council would not consider repurchasing the property.

You must have a number of things in place before we can consider your application. You must provide the following documentation;

  1. A Home Report dated no more than 4 weeks from time of application.
  2. An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
  3. Power of attorney (if appropriate).
  4. Title Plan & Deeds of the property you are selling.

Yes, there are a number of surveys we require to carry out before a decision can be made. The following surveys and safety checks are required:

  1. Scottish Housing Quality Standards (SHQS).
  2. Electrical Safety Check.
  3. Gas Safety Check (if applicable).

The Council provide affordable housing and as such must work within a regulatory framework within the social housing sector. To ensure affordability and represent value for money, any items highlighted by the surveys will be costed allowing the Council to make a balanced decision.

Once all the documentation and surveys are complete, a decision will be available within 8 weeks. If any delays are incurred the owner will be contacted and made aware. Officers are responsible in managing the information and reaching a decision and will endeavour to do so, in a timely manner.

Aberdeen City Council are under no obligation to repurchase your property under the new policy arrangements. You can market your property for sale (or let) while the Council considers your application for purchase, if you wish to do so.

There is no formalised appeal process, each decision is considered carefully in the context of affordability and value for money for the Council. However, Officers will always explain the reasons for a refusal and help to answer any questions you may have.  

Contact if you have any further questions on the Council buy back policy.

The information you provide will be held in the Housing Asset Database. It will be used for the purpose of assessing and processing your application. The information will be held securely and will be used in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. The Council will use your information for the following purposes:

  • To decide whether or not the property meets the buy-back scheme criteria
  • To gather statistical information for future planning
  • Data may also be matched with information held on other Council ICT systems for the prevention and detection of fraud and to assist applicants who may benefit from services provided by Aberdeen City Council.
  • To make necessary checks in relation to debt owed to the Council, including private sector housing grants payments and Council tax arrears.
  • Note: any outstanding debt identified as being owed to Aberdeen City Council will be deducted from the sale proceeds prior to settlement.

The Council will require to you to remove all floor coverings, carpets, curtains, curtain poles, fitted blinds and white goods from the premises before the sale date. The reason for this is that the Council do not lease properties to Council tenants with these fittings in place and accordingly require to be removed by the seller prior to sale. Integrated appliances and non-slip floor coverings in kitchens and bathrooms can remain. 

The Council will retain £5,000 of the sale price. This sum will be released to the seller within 10 working days after the sale. This is to allow for a post settlement inspection to check that the condition of the property has not changed during the sale process. The Council shall be entitled to deduct all reasonable costs from the retained sum to rectify any change in condition or damage to the property identified during the post settlement inspection.

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