SHARED OWNERSHIP

Who is Shared Ownership for?

If you’re a first time buyer, or don’t currently own a property, Shared Ownership could be available to you.

Each applicant is assessed individually, and some rules apply – for example you’ll need to have a saved a deposit, not have a household income of £80,000 or more a year, and there’ll be a financial assessment to check you can afford the share and monthly costs.

Also, sometimes additional criteria might apply – for example that you’ll need to have a local family or work connection to the area that the shared ownership homes have been built in.

Does it mean I have to share my home with someone else?

You’ll only share your home with your own household. It’s called ‘Shared Ownership’ because you’ll own part of the home and we’ll own the rest, until you choose to buy more shares.

If I already own a home can I apply?

In exceptional cases, sometimes existing homeowners can be considered for Shared Ownership. For example if your current home is too small for your household and you’re struggling financially to buy a larger home.  Each application is assessed on a case by case basis by us and the Help to Buy agent.

Who pays for repairs on a Shared Ownership home?

With Shared Ownership, because you live in the home as if its your own, regardless of the share you buy you are responsible for any repairs. With brand new homes there is often an initial ‘defects’ period which means the builder may be responsible for some works within a defined period. We’ll advise you at the time you reserve a home if this is the case.

Can I decorate it how I want to?

Yes, once you’ve moved into your new home you can decorate it to suit your personal style.  If you’re looking to make more significant changes though – for example anything structural – you’d need to get our permission first.

Can I ever own my home outright?

You can buy more shares in your home whenever you want to, until you own 100% of the property. This process is known as ‘Staircasing’, and you can find more info on how it works here.

What if I want to sell my share?

If you’re ready to move on – selling your share of your home is something you can do at any time.  We’ll try to find an eligible buyer for you first and have a period of time to do this in which will be set out in your lease.  To find out more about how the process works see here.

help to buy

Who is Help to Buy for?

Help to Buy is currently available for first time buyers and homeowners looking to make their next move. It is available on new homes priced up to £600,000.

From April 2021 Help to Buy will only be available for first time buyers and, in the North West, for homes priced up to £224,400.

How is it different from Shared Ownership?

With Shared Ownership you buy the share of your new home that you can afford (usually between 25%-75%) on a leasehold basis and pay a rent on the share that you don’t own.

When buying a home with the Help to Buy Equity loan scheme, you’ll legally own 100% of the home – either on a leasehold or freehold basis – but will have loan repayments to make on the 20% equity loan after 5 years.

Do I need to sell my current home first?

Yes, the home you purchase must be your only residence – any previous home in or outside of the UK must be sold before purchasing through Help to Buy.

Can I rent out my Help to Buy home?

The home that you’ve bought with Help to Buy must be your only residence, so you’re not able to sub-let it.

rent to buy

Who is Rent to Buy for?

Rent to Buy is aimed at first time buyers, or previous homeowners trying to get back onto the property ladder (for example after a relationship breakdown). It helps you save for a deposit while renting a new home at a reduced rent, and you’re able to buy that home after five years.

For more info on how it works see here

How long will the tenancy last for?

Once you’re application has been approved, we’ll grant a one year fixed tenancy and then – as long as you can show you’re on track with deposit savings and you’re keeping to your tenancy terms – each consecutive tenancy will be for two years until the five year Rent to Buy period is up.  We’ll hold a review meeting with you ahead of granting each new tenancy.

Who is responsible for repairs?

Throughout the rental period, we’ll carry out any necessary repairs and will conduct annual safety checks.

How do I buy my home after five years?

Towards the end of the Rent to Buy period we’ll get in touch to discuss your options for buying your home.

The price of your home will be based on its full market value at that time. We’ll arrange for a RICs accredited valuer to determine the price before confirming this to you and will send you a copy of the valuation report and details of any applicable charges in relation to the sale.  After you’ve received all of this information you’ll be able to confirm your intention to buy.

If Shared Ownership is an available option, we’ll let you know at that time.

What happens if I can’t afford to buy after five years?

If you’re unable to buy your home at the end of the Rent to Buy period (for example, because of a change in financial circumstances) we’ll review your options with you.  If you’re still eligible under Rent to Buy rules we may choose to agree an extension of the Rent to Buy period – if this happens a new tenancy would be granted.

If you decided not to buy your home for a different reason, in most cases we would provide reasonable notice and bring your Rent to Buy tenancy to an end. Where this happens, we can provide advice on local housing opportunities to support you in your next move.