Shared Ownership Eligibility

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Am I eligible for Shared Ownership?

What is the eligibility criteria for Shared Ownership?

For those looking to buy a Shared Ownership home, there are some eligibility requirements that must be met. The general eligibility criteria for Shared Ownership is as follows:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • Outside of London your annual household income must be less than £80,000.
  • In London, your annual household income must be less than £90,000.
  • You cannot own another home. Shared Ownership purchasers are often first time buyers but if you do already own another property (either in the UK or abroad), you must be in the process of selling it.
  • You should not be able to afford to buy a home suitable for your housing needs on the open market.
  • You must show you are not in mortgage or rent arrears.
  • You must be able to demonstrate that you have a good credit history (no bad debts or County Court Judgements) and can afford the regular payments and costs involved in buying a home.

Additionally, you will generally need between 5-10% of the equity share that you’re purchasing as a deposit, and should have access to at least £4,000 to cover the other costs of buying a property. This is a guideline figure and the actual amount may vary. For more information, check out the costs associated with buying a Shared Ownership home.

 

Who is prioritised for Shared Ownership homes?

While Shared Ownership aims to help first time buyers take those first steps on to the property ladder, the scheme is actually available to anyone (including second steppers, upsizers and downsizers) as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. In 2016, the government removed all priority groups where there is an under-supply of Shared Ownership homes, with homes becoming available on a first come, first served basis to applicants that met the relevant eligibility and affordability criteria.

However, military personnel will be given priority through government funded Shared Ownership schemes, and in circumstances of under-supply of Shared Ownership homes, priority would be given to serving military personnel and former members of the British Armed Forces discharged within the last two years.

Also with some developments, local authority planning permissions may require that preference is given to applicants that already live or work in the area; this will be put in place by the local council and not the housing association.

Please note: The housing association who are selling the property may also have their own eligibility criteria, so it’s always worth checking what their requirements are too.

 

If you’re interested in purchasing a part-buy part-rent home, you can find out more via our article index and Shared Ownership terms and conditions on Share to Buy. You can also start your search on our property portal, using key filters such as location, number of bedrooms and deposit amount to find your ideal home. 

I already own a home, would I be eligible for Shared Ownership?
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If you already own a property in the UK or abroad, you will not be eligible to purchase a Shared Ownership home. If you do own another property, you must be able to prove that you are in the process of selling this to be eligible for the scheme.

Existing homeowners must have sold the property, or had their name removed from the mortgage, before they can exchange contracts on a home bought through Shared Ownership.

For more information, visit our page on Shared Ownership eligibility.

I have a poor credit history, would I be eligible for Shared Ownership?
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While poor credit history doesn’t rule out the possibility of buying a home through Shared Ownership, you would need to be able to take out a mortgage on the property. If your credit history stops you from doing this, then you would not be able to proceed.

We would recommend speaking to an independent mortgage advisor who can assess your case and outline your budget to help you in your search for a home. Credit score is taken into consideration and you’ll get a better understanding of this during your assessment.

To discuss your options, you may wish to contact a specialist mortgage broker.

I'm in arrears, can I still buy a Shared Ownership home?
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When referring to rent arrears, this is the legal term for a debt that is overdue or missing.

You can still be eligible for Shared Ownership if you are renting a property, given than you meet the eligibility criteria, but not necessarily if you are behind on rental payments in your current home. If you are in arrears, we would recommend speaking with a financial advisor to discuss your options.

For more information, visit our page on Shared Ownership eligibility.

Can I run a business from my Shared Ownership home?
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You may be able to run a business from your Shared Ownership home, depending on the nature of the lease and the type of business. This will vary from provider to provider and any restrictions should be outlined in the terms of your lease.

For more information on Shared Ownership leases, please visit our page on leasehold homes.

I'm not a UK/EU citizen and don't have indefinite leave to remain, would I be eligible for Shared Ownership?
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If you are able to demonstrate that you can get a mortgage and maintain the payments, you may be able to buy through Shared Ownership. You will have to undergo a financial assessment with a financial advisor working with the housing association you buy through to assess this.

Some lenders will allow EU/EEA residents to have a minimum two years UK address history. If you are a non EU/EEA citizen, then lenders will require a full three year UK address history.

To discuss your options, you may wish to contact a specialist Shared Ownership mortgage broker.