Shared ownership

Shared ownership helps you to buy a home if you cannot afford all of the deposit and mortgage payments for a home that meets your needs.

This information is about shared ownership in England. There are different rules on:

Who can apply

You can buy a home through shared ownership if both of the following apply:

  • your household income is £80,000 a year or less (£90,000 a year or less in London)
  • you cannot afford all of the deposit and mortgage payments for a home that meets your needs

One of the following must also be true:

  • you’re a first-time buyer
  • you used to own a home, but cannot afford to buy one now
  • you own a home and want to move but cannot afford a new home suitable for your needs
  • you’re forming a new household - for example, after a relationship breakdown
  • you’re an existing shared owner and want to move
Please note: Whilst this is the initial criteria for Shared Ownership, each Registered Provider is entitled to enforce their own criteria within this and therefore are entitled to decline applications at their own discretion.

  • If you own a home

  • Older people

  • Disabled people

  • Priority for military personnel

  • Connection to local area

How it works

You pay for a percentage share between 10% and 75% of the home’s full market value. You enter into a lease agreement with the landlord, and agree to pay rent to the landlord on the remaining share.

Most shared ownership homes require an initial share purchase between 25% and 75%. When homes are available for sale under the new model for shared ownership, shares will be available from 10%. A limited number of these homes will be available in 2021. More will become available from 2022 onwards.

When you find a home you want to buy, you’ll be referred to a mortgage adviser. They will assess your income and outgoings. They will tell you the share purchase you can afford based on your personal circumstances.

You can buy more shares in your home. This is known as ‘staircasing’. If you buy more shares, the rent you pay goes down in proportion to the landlord’s remaining share.

Homes you can buy through shared ownership

You can buy:

  • a new-build home
  • an existing home for sale through a registered provider’s shared ownership resale scheme
  • a home that meets your specific needs, if you have a long-term disability

All shared ownership homes (houses and flats) are sold as leasehold. This is because the landlord has an interest in the remaining share.

If you reach 100% ownership, where possible, for most houses the freehold will transfer to you, and the shared ownership lease falls away. For most flats, the lease will remain in place but the shared ownership obligations will fall away.

The provider selling the home will tell you how this works.

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