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Buying A Shared Ownership Home: What’s Involved? 04 March 2021

Buying a shared ownership home or shared equity home can be a good option for individuals struggling to get on the property ladder and buy their own home.

The process involves buying a share of your house and paying rent on the remaining share, making it easier to afford and to obtain a mortgage.

What Is Shared Ownership?

Usually run by housing associations or registered social landlords, buying a shared ownership home involves purchasing a share of between 25% and 75% of the home's value and paying an annual rent on the outstanding share.

However, there are currently proposals in a Government White Paper to change the law so as to reduce the minimum share which can be purchased to 10%, and to give 10 year protection against certain structural repairs for shared ownership Leaseholders. Further details are awaited.

There are currently a variety of shared ownership schemes but their core is the same - the buyer pays for a reduced percentage share of the property and pays rent on the remaining percentage which is kept by the housing association or registered social landlord. Most schemes have terms enabling the buyer to pay for further percentage shares in the future, with the overall aim being to buy the whole property in time.

Are You Eligible For Shared Ownership Homes?

Not everyone is able to buy a shared ownership home.

To be eligible, you must meet certain criteria, including:

  • Your household earns £60,000 a year or less or £71,000 a year or less in London for a 1- or 2-bedroom property, or £85,000 a year or less in London for a 3+ bedroom property
  • You are a first-time buyer
  • You previously owned a home but can no longer afford it
  • You are renting a council or housing association property
  • If you are aged 55 or over, you may be eligible for the Older People's Shared Ownership scheme, that works in the same way as the main scheme but you can only buy up to 75% of the home - when you own 75% you no longer have to pay rent on the outstanding share
  • If you have a disability, you may be eligible for the Home Ownership for People with Long-term Disabilities scheme

Helping You With Shared Ownership

Shared ownership can be good for many people, providing the opportunity to buy their home for a reduced cost when otherwise they would be priced out of the market. However, all shared ownership schemes have complicated terms and conditions, and there are limited mortgage providers willing to lend for these schemes - so it's important to seek advice from a legal professional before purchasing through this scheme.

Our residential conveyancing solicitors have extensive experience of handling a range of shared ownership schemes together with a thorough understanding of the property market. After an initial consultation to help understand your personal situation, we can advise you on the details of each scheme to ensure you choose the one that's right for you.

Furthermore, we will support and guide you through the process to make buying a shared ownership home as straightforward and rewarding as possible.

To speak to one of our specialist solicitors about your potential shared ownership home purchase, please contact us at our Chorlton office on 0161 860 7123 or email chorlton@hlfberry.com or at our Failsworth office on 0161 681 4005 or email failsworth@hlfberry.com