Shared Ownership

 


Shared Ownership is a government scheme aimed to help buyers
get on to the property ladder.

You only need to afford to buy part of a property, not all of it.

 
Shared Ownership allows you to buy your home in stages, as you can afford it. This is called staircasing and you can buy more shares as and when you can afford it.
 
The scheme is suitable if you:
  • Are a first time buyer living in rented accommodation or with family
  • Have experienced a relationship breakdown
  • Cannot afford to buy on the open market
To start with, a share percentage will be offered, which will be between 25-75%. This will be the share you take a mortgage out for and it will become yours. This means that your deposit will be worked out based on the share price.
 
A Registered Provider will own the remainder that you don’t buy and you will pay a discounted rent to them for this share.

What are the benefits of Shared Ownership?
  • You can buy additional shares as time goes on and you save more money.  

  • In some cases, it can be cheaper than renting.  

  • You can sell your Shared Ownership property at any time, and will benefit from any increase in value it’s seen since you bought it.  

  • Greater independence, control and choice that you wouldn’t have when you’re renting.  

  • Long-term security, you can choose how long you live in your home; this could be for the rest of your life. 

Am I eligible for Shared Ownership?

The criteria is fairly broad and you should be eligible if:

  • Your household earns less that £80,000 per year

  • You are a first time buyer or used to own a home but cannot afford to buy one now

  • Able to obtain a mortgage and/or savings for your share (deposits are typically 5-10% although may be higher in certain circumstances)

  • Your income is sufficient to cover the mortgage (if applicable), rent and service charges
  • Savings (or access to) £2,500 to cover the fees of buying your property plus the deposit. 

  • Have access to a minimum 5% deposit

Are there any restrictions when buying a Shared Ownership property?

The property will be the buyers’ sole residence and you will not be able to rent out the property

  • Your savings will not be greater than £5,000 after purchasing the property.  However in certain circumstances this may be permitted.  Please contact us to discuss and we will review each case individually.
  • There may be a need for a local connection (e.g. works in this area, children attend school in the area).  The Housing Association will be able to advise on this for particular properties and developments.
Can I afford to buy my home?
When deciding whether to apply for Shared Ownership you will want to consider all the other costs that go hand-in-hand with becoming a homeowner.  These include:
 
  • House purchase fees - valuation fee, mortgage arrangement fee, reservation fee, legal fees, stamp duty

  • Mortgage payments

  • Service charges
  • Rent

  • Household insurance​
  • Repairs and maintenance

  • Other monthly bills such as utilities (gas/electricity/water); council tax, television licence etc.
What are service charges?

Service charges may be payable on leasehold properties, particularly flats and apartments.  However these will vary from property to property so contact the relevant Housing Association for specific details. 

These service charges will cover costs such as maintenance and upkeep of communal areas (e.g. stairwells), communal gardens and services such as cleaning the external windows in a block of flats.  These charges will also include major work such as repairs to the roof of a block of flats.

How much rent will I have to pay?
Rent on the remaining share will be set by the individual housing association.  The maximum will be 3% but typically it will be between 1-3%.
What’s the difference to Shared Ownership and Shared Ownership Re-Sales?
There is no difference in the eligibility or application process.  The only difference will be the age of the property.  Shared ownership will be new-build properties whereas shared ownership re-sales will be older properties where the current owner is selling their property.
Who will be responsible for repairs and maintenance?
As the homeowner you will be responsible for the maintenance and repairs on your home including the annual gas boiler servicing.  If you live in a flat/apartment you will be responsible for any repairs and maintenance inside the flat but your Housing Association will be responsible for communal areas – these costs will be included in your service charges.
Can I buy additional shares at a later date?
In most cases, yes.  This is known as “staircasing”.  There is no obligation to staircase and you can stay forever as a shared owner if you like.  As you buy more shares you will pay less rent and usually you can eventually own 100% of the property. 

There are some exceptions and on certain development or in certain areas there will be a limit which means you will not be able to own 100%.  Please check with the Housing Association for individual properties and restrictions.
I'm a pensioner and need a more suitable property than my current home. Can I apply for Shared Ownership?
Yes – the standard application procedure will apply.  There are some shared ownership homes and developments that are built for people over the age of 55 who may want to downsize or find a home that is more suitable to their needs. 

The share you can buy will range from 25% to 75%.  The maximum share you can own will be 75%.  At this level you will pay no rent on the remaining 25% though you may still be liable for service charges.  This scheme is sometimes referred to as Older Persons Shared Ownership.
Is Shared Ownership available for people with long-term disabilities?

Yes – Home Ownership for People with Long-term Disabilities (HOLD) can provide an opportunity to buy a home or to find a more suitable home that meets your needs.  It is not a separate housing product so you will apply for Shared Ownership through the normal route and meet the standard eligibility criteria. 

If a property that meets the applicant’s needs is available they will be expected to accept the offered property. If no suitable properties are available purchase of a property on the open market may be considered.  This is fully dependent on a participating housing association who is willing to financially support the purchase.  The applicant will need to fund a minimum share of 50% and will require a letter of support from their local authority.  In these cases if a provider is known your Help to Buy agent will be able to refer you to this specialist Registered Provider who may be able to assist you further.

If HOLD is not available in your area your Local Authority will be able to discuss the other housing options available to you to meet your needs, this may not be linked to home ownership but may be via alternative options such as local authority rental schemes.

Important additional information

HOLD is a voluntary scheme. The provision of HOLD funding is dependent on variety of factors. A specialist RP offering HOLD assistance within a particular area is required; the RP must have an existing HOLD allocation or be taking part in the HCA’s wider funded programmes.

Applicants need to be able to sustain the cost of home ownership. This will require applicants to either have a lump sum sufficient to cover the initial purchase without the need for a mortgage, or an on-going source of income sufficient to secure mortgage finance. Applicants must be able to raise a minimum 50% share for the majority of HOLD sales on the open market.  Where mortgages are not available savings are required to bridge this gap. 

PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE CURRENTLY LIMITED LENDERS PROVIDING INTEREST ONLY MORTGAGES FOR APPLICANTS INTENDING TO COVER THEIR MORTGAGE REPAYMENTS SOLELY THROUGH THE SUPPORT FOR MORTGAGE INTEREST (SMI) BENEFIT.  Applicants wishing to explore the mortgage options can visit www.mysafehome.info 

Applicants are strongly advised to get independent financial advice on what assistance may be available to them, and their ability to afford shared ownership.

What happens when I want to sell my Shared Ownership property?

Your Housing Association can give you advice about selling your shared ownership home.  They will market your property for a specific period of time – this will be specified in your lease.  The property will be sold at the current market value.  The Housing Association will usually charge a fee, typically 1% of the value of the property. 

Once this time has elapsed and if your property has not sold then you may be able to sell on the open market through an estate agent.  Costs will include: Valuation fee, legal fees, Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and Housing Association and/or Estate Agency fees.

I already own a shared ownership home. Can I move and purchase a new build home through Shared Ownership?

Yes. You will need to meet the general eligibility criteria of your household income being less than £80,000 and be unable to afford to purchase unassisted. You will have to sell your existing home when you purchase your new property.




Mortgages

As you will be required to take out a mortgage you will need to get some financial advice first. You can do this by speaking with a mortgage lender directly or you may wish to use an Independent Financial Advisor.

We work closely with a number of advisors who know the scheme well and the paperwork that is involved in the process. If you wish to speak with any of these companies please find our downloadable list of advisors.

Financial Advisers

 



Solicitors/Conveyancers

Like with any house purchase you will require a solicitor/conveyancer to deal with your sale. Whilst you can use whichever firm you choose we do suggest using a firm that knows the Shared Ownership scheme well as there are other processes involved in this type of sale.

We work closely with a number of firms who know the scheme well and the paperwork that is involved in the process. If you wish to speak with any of these companies please find our downloadable list of solicitors/conveyancers.

Solicitors

 




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