March 11, 2024

Am I eligible for shared ownership?

Specialist shared ownership lawyer, Chloe Hawkes, offers some advice to those asking ‘am I eligible for shared ownership?’.

When purchasing a Shared Ownership property through the conventional route i.e. not buying through a housing association’s own scheme, there are certain criteria that must be met.

Homes England, who oversee the government’s affordable housing schemes, including Shared Ownership, have specific requirements that a potential tenant must meet in order to purchase a property using the scheme.

Shared ownership eligibility

The first set of criteria that must be met is in relation to salary:

  • The household’s income cannot be above £80,000 per annum, or £90,000 per annum in London.

Additionally, one of the following would be also need to be met:

  • The purchaser will be unable to afford the usual deposit required under the purchase contract, which under the Standard Conditions of Sale would be 10%.
  • The purchaser will be unable to afford the mortgage payments for a home that is suitable for your needs.

In addition to the financial criteria set out above, the purchaser must also meet one of the following additional requirements:

  • The purchaser is a first-time buyer meaning they have never owned any property anywhere in the world before;
  • The purchaser used to own a home but can no longer afford to purchase a new one without the aid of the government scheme;
  • The purchaser is forming a new household. For example, a relationship breakdown but this could also include moving out of their parents’ home whilst saving for a new property;
  • The purchaser already owns a shared ownership property, but wants to move;
  • The purchaser already owns a property and want to move, however, is not able to afford a home that meets all of their needs without assistance from a government scheme.

It is worth noting that the shared ownership scheme does not permit a purchaser from owning more than one property at a time. In the event a home is already owned, the sale of this property must be completed before the purchase of the new home is completed.

The Government’s guidance states that they will prioritise members of the armed forces. There are sometimes instances where multiple parties will put in an offer on a property. If the purchaser has served or is serving in the armed forces, depending on their role, they will be considered a priority.

In the event the purchaser is not eligible under the criteria for Shared Ownership, there are other affordable housing schemes that may be suitable.

Discounted Market Scheme

This scheme is designed to provide low-cost home ownership. Each provider will have their own specific eligibility criteria. The purchaser will usually have to live or work within a certain borough and earn under a specified threshold to be approved under this scheme.

Older Persons Shared Ownership

Homes England offer the Older Persons Shared Ownership scheme. This is available to those 55 and over at the time of purchasing the property. Under the scheme, a maximum share of 75% can be purchased and once this level of ownership is reached, rent is no longer payable on the 25% share owned by the Housing Association.

Home Ownership for people with a Long-Term Disability (HOLD)

The Home Ownership for people with a Long-Term Disability (HOLD) scheme was created to assist purchasers with additional needs to be able to own their own property. For example, an additional need could be requiring a property being on the ground floor.

Each of these schemes will have their own affordability criteria of which can be found on their respective websites. Given these schemes are a specialist area of law, it is extremely important to instruct a conveyancer who understands the scheme and paperwork involved in transactions of this nature. 

Holmes & Hills shared ownership solicitors deal solely with both new build and resale shared ownership properties, and additionally can help with staircasing. Having experience of many different shared ownership schemes, the specialist team can assist with your transaction.

Get specialist shared ownership advice

Call us on 01206 593933 for shared ownership advice or get a quote for shared ownership conveyancing. Or complete the form below.

Key Contact

Chloe Hawkes

Conveyancing Technician

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