Tenant Incremental Purchase Scheme

Local authorities may sell a social house to the tenant living in the house.

If you are a tenant of Carlow County Council, certain properties may be purchased under the Tenant Incremental Purchase Scheme if you meet the eligibility criteria. Properties that do not qualify for the scheme are: -

  • Apartments, flats, maisonettes and duplexes
  • Houses specially designed for older people
  • Houses provided for people with disabilities to help them leave institutional care and live in the community
  • Houses that are part of a group housing scheme for Travellers
  • Caravans, mobile homes or other homes that can be moved
  • Houses in a private development transferred to Carlow County Council by the developer, for example, Part V properties.
  • Houses reserved by Carlow County Council for particular reasons.

Term & Conditions

If you are a local authority tenant living in a local authority house included in the scheme you can apply to buy the house. Applicants must have a minimum reckonable annual income of €11,000.00 and be in receipt of social housing supports for at least 10 years. In the case of joint tenancies, either you or the joint tenant must be in receipt of social housing support for at least 10 years before being eligible to apply.

You will pay the market value of the house – less a discount. The market value is determined using a panel of independent valuers. Depending on income, the discounts will vary between 40% and 60%.

Carlow County Council will calculate your gross income.  This includes income from wages, salaries, and some social welfare payments.

In addition to the State Pension (Contributory and Non-Contributory) being considered as a primary source of income, the Widow’s, Widower’s, Surviving Civil Partner’s (Contributory and Non-Contributory Pension), Blind Pension, Invalidity Pension and Disability Allowance are now also considered primary sources of income.

The only income included will be that of the tenants of your house, and the spouse, civil partners, or other partner (cohabitant) who lives in the house with you.

A charge will be placed on your house called an ‘incremental purchase charge’. This charge will be equal to the discount you get on the price of the house. The charge will remain in place for 20, 25 or 30 years (depending on the discount given). The charge will reduce by 2% annually. At the end of the 20, 25 or 30 years, the charge will be zero as long as you obey the terms and conditions of the scheme.

You must live in the house as your normal place of residence and get agreement from your local authority if you want to sell, let or sub-let the house.

You will be able to resell your house at any time if your local authority agrees. However, if you sell before the end of the 20, 25 or 30 years, you will have to pay back the value of the outstanding charge on your house to your local authority.

Like all homeowners, you will be responsible for maintaining and carrying out repairs on your house from the date you buy it. You will also have to purchase property insurance for your house as a condition of the purchase – and pay for this insurance yourself.

The local authority can refuse to sell the house in particular circumstances such as to tenants or household members involved in anti-social behaviour or with rent arrears.


The financing of the purchase of the house is a matter for the tenant.  Applicants should note that the full purchase price is payable, in full, at the time the house purchase is completed.  You will be responsible for raising the money (i.e. from savings, a mortgage loan etc). and will be subject to the normal terms and conditions for Mortgage approval with Financial Institutions, or the Local Authority Home Loan Scheme).  

Further information can be found in the Tenant Information Handbook