Shared Ownership Eligibility

There are some general eligibility requirements that anyone wishing to buy a Shared Ownership home must meet. 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 should generally be a first time buyer, i.e. you don’t already own a home. If you do already own, 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

You should have savings or to be able to easily access at least £4,000 to cover the costs of buying a home. This is a guideline figure – the actual amount you need will depend on the Help to Buy option you choose

In most cases you will also need to have enough savings or be able to easily access a minimum 5-10% of the equity share you are buying, as a deposit.

Please note: You should always check the eligibility required with the housing association selling the property, as they may have specific criteria.

I am self-employed, am I eligible for Shared Ownership?
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As long as you can show at least three years of self-employed accounts, you should be able to obtain a mortgage (providing your income is sufficient, of course). You should seek independent financial advice about suitable mortgages and about managing the ongoing costs of home ownership if your income varies from year to year.

Is there a maximum income threshold for Shared Ownership eligibility?
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Yes, if you are looking to purchase a Shared Ownership property in England (with the exception of London) the maximum household income is £80,000. In London, the maximum household income is £90,000 per annum.

The maximum household income is the income of any member of the household involved in the purchase (i.e. if you are buying with a partner, the household income would include both your salaries and any other income you receive).

Is there a minimum income requirement for Shared Ownership eligibility?
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There is no set minimum income allowance for Shared Ownership. Each property will have its own valuation and the housing association will determine the minimum income required for that property to be affordable to people earning under the maximum allowance threshold. If you have a large amount of cash to put down on a property this may make the minimum income more affordable.

I am not a UK / EU citizen and I do not have indefinite leave to remain - am I 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 2 years UK address history. If you are a non EU/EEA citizen, then lenders will require a full 3 year UK address history.

I currently receive benefits - am I eligible for Shared Ownership?
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Benefits will not be included as income when assessing your affordability, therefore it is unlikely you will be accepted for a Shared Ownership property or be able to find a mortgage.

I have a poor credit history - am I eligible for Shared Ownership?
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In order to buy you will need to be able to take out a mortgage. If your credit history stops you from doing this, then you will not be able to proceed. Before renting a property to you, housing associations will run a credit check. In some cases they will not allow you to rent the property if you have bad credit, so it is worth asking them about their policy before you view the property.

I already own a home - am I eligible for Shared Ownership?
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If you already own a home, then you will not be eligible to purchase a Shared Ownership home.

If your home is currently up for sale and you wish to purchase a Shared Ownership home, you will need to show that your current property is unsuitable for you. You will need to obtain written support for your application from your Council. The housing provider you are buying through will help you obtain this support and they will keep this on your file.

Existing home owners must have sold the property, or had their name removed from the mortgage, before they can exchange contracts on a property bought through Shared Ownership, or they sign a rental agreement for an affordable rental property.

My partner and I are eligible for Shared Ownership, but we just want my name on the mortgage – is this allowed?
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The housing provider will carry out an assessment based on the household income and if your joint income is above the threshold, it is unlikely you will be accepted on to the scheme. You may be able to find a mortgage based on just one of your earnings, but in that case the lender would only accept one of your names put on the lease.

I don't have permanent rights to remain in the UK - am I eligible?
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You may be able to apply for a mortgage, but you will need to demonstrate that you have a least two years remaining on your visa and have a deposit of 25% of the share or three years remaining on your visa and a deposit of 20% of the share.  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.