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.
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.
For all government funded developments you must not be registered as a homeowner elsewhere and you must not have a financial interest in another property. If you are a homeowner then you will need to provide proof that you are in the process of selling your current home to be eligible as well as have a financial assessment to ensure that you qualify for affordable housing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
rent to buy
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
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.
Throughout the rental period, we’ll carry out any necessary repairs and will conduct annual safety checks.
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.
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.
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