Open Market Purchase Scheme

The Open Market Purchase Scheme considers buying ex-council properties that were sold under the Right to Buy scheme. This helps us to increase the amount of affordable social housing in Midlothian.

What properties are we looking to buy?

The properties must meet all these conditions:

  • A former council property.
  • Currently being advertised for sale, with an up to date Home Report.
  • The owner/tenant must have made their own arrangements for re-housing. We will not purchase a property if that results in anyone becoming homeless. We do not allow previous owners/tenants to remain in purchased properties.
  • The property should not have had any major alterations e.g. a conservatory.

We will give priority to properties in the areas of Midlothian that have the greatest need for affordable housing. These are identified in our Strategic Housing Investment Plan (PDF).

We will also consider:

  • If the property brings us back into majority ownership in that block
  • If the property will be able to feature in our future housing investment programmes
  • How much it would cost to bring the property up to the Scottish Housing Quality Standard
  • If the property is needed by someone with additional needs e.g. a wheelchair user

How do we find properties?

We find properties by searching the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre (ESPC) and other estate agent websites.

All properties must be in the Midlothian Council area. We can only consider properties that are currently for sale on the open market.

What happens if a suitable property is found?

Members of staff from Midlothian Council and an independent Registered Valuer will view the property. They will ascertain its condition, and estimate the cost of returning it to council stock.

We do not make an offer on every property surveyed. Any offer made relates to the Home Report value, the Registered Valuer’s report and the estimated cost of repairs. 

We will act as "any other buyer". If the property is suitable, our Legal Department makes an offer to the seller’s estate agent. The seller is responsible for their own legal fees. All Open Market Purchases take the seller’s plans and timescales for moving into consideration.