Share to Buy Expert Sessions: Your questions about eligibility

Answering your questions about eligibility!

Shared Ownership Eligibility

I'm a first time buyer but my partner isn't. Will this affect our eligibility for a Shared Ownership home?

Response from L&Q – If you’re buying a home together and have no other property in either of your names, there shouldn’t be any issue for applying for a Shared Ownership home as long as you meet the relevant eligibility criteria.

Find out more about Shared Ownership and the eligibility criteria here.

Will I be eligible for a Shared Ownership home if my income is just over the maximum threshold?

Response from L&Q – It will depend on a case by case assessment. If you speak to a member of staff, we’ll be able to assess the situation and confirm whether we can proceed with the Shared Ownership home application.

Find out more about Shared Ownership eligibility including maximum income caps here.

Can I buy through Shared Ownership if I already own a property abroad?

Response from Southern Home Ownership – No. If you already own a property, abroad or in the UK, you’ll need to sell this before you exchange contracts on a Shared Ownership home.

Find out more about Shared Ownership eligibility here.

Am I eligible for Shared Ownership if I own land elsewhere in the country, but there's no property on that land?

Response from L&Q – The Shared Ownership scheme is designed for those that cannot afford to own a property by any other means – it would therefore depend on the nature of the land and its use. We would refer the situation to Homes England for advice on eligibility.

I'm over 55 - does that mean I am too old for Shared Ownership?

Eligible purchasers over the age of 55 can get help from another scheme called Older Persons Shared Ownership. It works in the same way as the general Shared Ownership scheme, but you can only buy up to 75% of your home. Once you own 75% you won’t have to pay rent on the remaining share.

Can I buy as a single person?

Yes – as long as you are eligible for the Shared Ownership scheme and can afford the property you’re looking to buy, you can purchase as a single buyer.

Can I buy a home with Shared Ownership if I am self employed?

As long as you can show at least three years of self-employed accounts, and providing your income is sufficient, you should be able to obtain a mortgage. If your income varies from year to year, you should seek independent financial advice about suitable mortgages and about managing the ongoing costs of home ownership.

I'm on a fixed term contract - will this affect my financial check?

Response from Censeo Financial – It will not affect your financial check, but may reduce the number of lenders that you can access for your mortgage. It would depend on how many contracts you have had, whether they have been renewed and what industry you are in. We would recommend you speak with a financial advisor who will be able to provide guidance on this.

Check out our mortgage panel to find the details of broker firms with experience in Shared Ownership.



Would having a County Court Judgement (CCJ) affect a mortgage application?

Response from Censeo Financial – It would not mean you were necessarily declined by all lenders, but it is likely that you’ll be required to pay a higher rate of interest.

Find more FAQs about the mortgage process on our mortgage page here.

Do I need to be a UK citizen or indefinite leave holder to be able to buy a property?

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 who is working with the housing association you’d like to buy through. Some lenders will allow EU/EEA residents to have a minimum two years UK address history, while non EU/EEA citizen will often require a full three year UK address history.


I've lived in the UK for 11 years but do not have indefinite leave to remain yet. I feel like this is a barrier when trying to buy a Shared Ownership property - is that the case?

Response from JLL – Whether or not an individual has indefinite leave shouldn’t prevent you from accessing Shared Ownership, provided that you fulfil the usual applicant requirements. If an applicant can demonstrate their ability to sustain their home ownership obligations then there is no reason they can not purchase using the scheme.

I’m on a limited time visa of five years, with four years remaining. I want to buy Shared Ownership but I’m not sure if I am going to be living in the UK in the future - does it make sense for me to buy in Shared Ownership?

Response from Clarion Housing It depends on what your plans are, you may not wish to pay rent for the remaining four years so a Shared Ownership property may work out as a good short term investment if the property goes up in value over time. You’d need to weigh up the costs associated to see if it provides you with value/benefit.

Would an existing medical condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure affect my application?

Response from L&Q – An applicant’s health and well-being is not taken into consideration when applying for a Shared Ownership home. We consider your financial status and we will find a home that is suitable for your needs.

I've seen in eligibility criteria that I need to be unable to buy a suitable home on the open market. What exactly does that mean?

Response from Southern Home Ownership – If you can afford to buy a home outright that meets your needs in the area you wish to live, rather than just a share of a home, then you won’t be eligible for Shared Ownership.

If I buy a Shared Ownership home, will I lose my first time buyer status in the future? For example, if I wanted to go on and buy a Help to Buy property?

Response from L&Q – You would no longer be considered as a first time buyer as you have purchased your first home through Shared Ownership. You would however be able to purchase a home through the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme but only if you had a written offer confirming a sale agreed on your existing property.

It’s also worth remembering the new Help to Buy rules coming in from April 2021 around the Help to Buy Equity Loan. From this time, the scheme will only be available to first time buyers so if you were to go ahead with the equity loan, you would need to have moved into your new home by April 2021.