Frequently asked questions

What is Shared Ownership?

Buying a Peabody Shared Ownership home means that you own a share of your new home and pay rent to Peabody on the remaining share.

For example, you may buy a 25% share in one of our new homes and pay subsidised rent to Peabody on the remaining 75% (plus service charge).

Is Shared Ownership only for younger buyers?

There are no age restrictions, however mortgage lenders may impose age limits.

What are the benefits of Shared Ownership?

  • You own as much of your home as you can afford and you can buy a larger share if and when you’re able to - the choice is yours. This process is called staircasing.
  • Your monthly mortgage plus rent can work out less than renting on the open market.
  • Instead of paying rent every month and having nothing to show for it, you own a part of your home.
  • You'll need less in savings as you'll be putting down a deposit on a share of the property.

How do I apply for a Shared Ownership home?

The application process is set out in this 12 Step Guide to Shared Ownership

 

Is Shared Ownership affordable?

Shared Ownership is called “affordable.”

What this means in practice is that you can buy a home with a lower deposit than is usually the case and pay rent that is lower than the market rate.

It doesn’t mean that everyone will be able to afford a home under Shared Ownership, because every development has its own income requirements.

Can I buy any of Peabody’s homes under Shared Ownership?

Shared Ownership applies only to specific properties. Search under the Shared Ownership section on this website to discover which are available.

Why buy a Shared Ownership home from Peabody?

  • We’re one of London’s oldest housing associations with a reputation for excellent customer service.
  • We pride ourselves on designing unique and practical award-winning homes and provide homes in well-connected, popular areas. 
  • We deliver homes that meet people's needs and are suitable for the changing circumstances of life.

  • Our developments are designed and built to enhance their surroundings, helping to create the strong neighbourhoods and communities that genuinely enhance your quality of life.

  • Once you’ve bought your flat, you’ll have access to our New Homes team who will provide after-sales support and information.

 

How long does it take to buy a Shared Ownership property?

This will depend on a number of factors. The speed at which the solicitors can process the sale, the length of time it takes to arrange a mortgage and whether the completion of the building work is on track can all have an effect.

We target exchange of contracts to six weeks after you receive your letter from us offering you a home, or within 5 days of receipt of your mortgage offer (whichever is sooner). 

Completion of your purchase will take place within 10 working days of exchange of contracts or "on notice" if we're awaiting handover of your home.

We'll monitor the sale's progress, liaising with your solicitor and financial advisor to make sure exchange and completion happens.

 

Who do I share my home with?

You don’t need to share your home with anyone. Shared Ownership means that the housing association who sells the property owns the remaining share of your home (in this case, Peabody). See "What is Shared Ownership?", above.

Am I eligible?

There are certain eligibility requirements you have to fulfil when buying a Shared Ownership home, dictated by the relevant local authority. Check what these are on the individual development’s web page on this website.

If you believe you may be eligible for a Shared Ownership home even though the rules appear to exclude you, get in touch with our sales team by ringing 020 7021 4842 or emailing enquiries@peabodysales.co.uk. We'll be happy to advise you.

Does having a poor credit rating rule me out?

It may rule you out of qualifying for a mortgage. If in doubt, contact a financial advisor before you book an appointment to view a home.

What costs are involved when I first buy my home?

At the outset

As with any house purchase, you’ll need to have adequate funds to cover certain costs at the outset. We recommend:

  • At least £4,000 in savings
  • Your mortgage deposit. We’ll indicate the minimum deposit you’re likely to need based on the local authority's eligibility requirements for your chosen development.

The monthly costs

  • Your monthly mortgage repayment to your lender.
  • The rent on the remaining share of your home. Peabody keeps this at as an affordable level as possible.
  • A service charge for the upkeep and maintenance of the buildings your home is situated in.
  • Your usual monthly outgoings.

Can I buy a second home with Shared Ownership?

Shared Ownership is designed for people who aren't able to afford a first home or are previous home owners who can no longer afford to buy outright.

That means that if your first home is going to be sold by the time you complete on your Shared Ownership home, buying a Shared Ownership home may be possible.

Our sales team will be able to advise.

What happens if I want to buy a bigger home?

If you need more space because of changing family circumstances, you can sell your home and apply to buy a larger home. See the section below "How do I sell my Shared Ownership home?" below.

What size of home I can buy?

There are no restrictions on the size of home you can buy, however we generally prefer to allocate larger homes to larger families.

Does my occupation matter?

Armed forces personnel have priority and others may have, depending on the criteria the local authority has specified. You'll find criteria details on the development's page on this website.

Why should I have £4,000 in savings?

We recommend you have around £4,000 in savings to cover the costs involved in buying a new home and moving into it.

These costs include:

  • £500 to reserve the property (which will be refunded if you’re unsuccessful or on completion)
  • Solicitors’ fees (our financial advisor will recommend a solicitor, or you can appoint your own)
  • Lender’s fees
  • Valuation fee
  • Removal costs
  • SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax) – your solicitor will advise if this will apply and how much it will be (no SDLT is charged if the initial share you buy is £125,000 or less)

When should I see a mortgage provider?

After you’ve had a financial assessment, which we’ll organise for you. The financial advisor will recommend a mortgage lender, or you're free to find one for yourself.

What will my solicitor do for me?

Your solicitor will:

  • Carry out searches on the property to make sure there are no issues which will affect your new home.
  • Check your lease.
  • Communicate with our solicitors and your mortgage company.
  • Ensure that all contracts and paperwork are in place so that your purchase can go without a hitch.

What will my financial advisor do for me?

The financial advisor you'll be speaking to when you book an appointment will have knowledge of mortgage lenders and the most suitable mortgages for your needs.

They'll also explain the buying process and give a guide to the costs associated with your purchase.

What will my mortgage lender do for me?

As well as lending you the money to buy your share of your home, your lender will appoint an independent valuer to find out if your home is suitable to lend money on. 

Can I use housing benefit?

You can if you're applying under the HOLD scheme (Home Ownership for people with Long-term Disabilities).

Is there a minimum share I have to buy?

There is a usually a minimum share of at least 25% that you’ll have to buy, but the actual minimum varies from home to home. You'll find details on this website, and our sales team can advise.

Is there a maximum share I have to buy?

The terms of this government-run scheme state that you should buy the maximum share you can afford. The financial advisor we appoint for you will advise what this is during your financial assessment. If you can afford more than 75% share, however, you will not be eligible to buy a Shared Ownership home.

Is Shared Ownership only available on new homes?

Shared Ownership homes come back on the market and we’re responsible for finding buyers for them – this process is called resales.

To find out which homes are for sale call the Residential Sales team on 0207 021 4496 or email us at sales.marketing@peabody.org.uk.

What is exchange of contracts?

The solicitor acting on your behalf will ask to you to sign a document that transfers ownership of the property from Peabody to you. At this stage you will pay a 10% deposit and are now legally bound to buy the property.

What is completion?

Completion happens when we receive the remaining funds from your solicitor. Congratulations - the home now belongs to you!

Can I buy a larger share of my home in future?

Yes. This is called staircasing where you can increase the share of your home in incremental steps. See our staircasing section.

What is staircasing?

Staircasing is the process whereby you buy extra shares in your home, and eventually own your home outright if you buy 100% shares. Find out how to staircase.   

Are there any other considerations you take into account when choosing who to allocate to?

A few. We need to:

  • Know that your housing needs cannot be met on the open market.
  • Make sure you can afford the monthly outgoings that the purchase of this home will entail.
  • Take your preference into account – that’s why we ask you which property you would like to own at reservation.

For more information, have a look at Eligibility and allocation.

Do I pay the council tax on my home?

Yes – all owners/occupiers over the age of 18 are liable for council tax. You may be eligible for reductions if you live alone or are a disabled owner. Contact the relevant local authority for further information.

How do I pay my rent?

On the first day of the month, you’ll pay your rent and service charge to us by direct debit. Rent is reviewed on an annual basis and you'll be able to view your rent and service charge statements by registering online on www.peabody.org.uk

Who pays for the insurance on my home?

An amount for buildings insurance is included in your monthly service charges, and it’s up to you to organise cover for your contents.

Who pays for the water, electricity etc?

You'll pay for your utilities.

If your home is in a development with a communal heating system the supplier will be Peabody or an energy services company chosen for that development.

If you're in a house, one of the first things you do when you move in is take a meter reading. We’ll advise who your utilities are with on completion day, and you can then transfer to whichever company you wish afterwards. 

 

How much will my service charge be?

You'll find an estimated monthly service charge on this website for each property (or on a price list we can send you) but the final charge you'll actually pay may differ - our sales team will advise you on this.

The service charge will be specific to the development and calculated on the number of bedrooms in your home and is reviewed on an annual basis.

What does the service charge cover?

We make sure that any services we provide are reasonable and affordable and the charge covers costs such as:

  • Maintenance of building and grounds
  • Upkeep of communal areas
  • Caretaking and cleaning
  • Maintenance of lifts, fire alarms and door entry systems
  • Buildings insurance
  • A contribution to a reserve fund to cover future redecoration or refurbishment.

The service charge is reviewed on an annual basis, and if it's to change, we'll give you at least one month's notice.

NB The service charge is separate to the ground rent you may have to pay.

What happens if I fall behind on my rent?

Contact us by emailing peabody.direct@peabody.org.uk or ringing 0800 022 4040 as soon as possible if you’re finding it difficult to cover your monthly payments, as we may start to charge interest on the overdue amount, plus administration charges.

Worst case scenario, you could lose your home.

How do I sell my Shared Ownership home?

In order to keep Shared Ownership homes available to those people our affordable housing schemes are designed to help, our Residential Sales team will help find prospective buyers on your behalf.

1) To get the ball rolling, ring us on 020 7021 4496 or email us at sales.marketing@peabody.org.uk to tell us that you'd like to sell. We'll send you a pack of documents, some of which you'll fill in and send back to us. We'll also ask you to send us pictures of your home for marketing purposes.

2) We’ll ask you to choose a surveyor from a list and whichever you pick will value your home to determine its current market value. All are RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) registered. The charge for a valuation is £180 + VAT and you'll pay the surveyor that amount directly. (You can choose your own RICS surveyor if you prefer, but an estate agent's valuation won't be valid).

3) We'll also give you a list of solicitors' details, all of which are experienced in Shared Ownership property sales. You'll need to contact one of them to deal with your sale and they'll charge you directly. Solicitors' fees vary from sale to sale.

4) We'll provide details of a number of IFAs (independent financial advisors) who are also experienced in Shared Ownership and will charge you directly. IFAs who work with us tend to be very competitively priced.

We usually have 8-12 weeks to find a buyer, and if we don’t, you can find one yourself. If the person we nominate buys your home, we'll charge you a fee of 1% or 1.5% of the sale price.

(Bear in mind that you may not be able to sell on the open market for three months after staircasing – your lease includes information on the relevant time period.)

What happens if I die?

It’s a good idea to have a will so that in the event of death the share of the home that you own passes on to the person you want it to. 

Who pays for repairs and maintenance to my property?

You will be responsible for any repairs and maintenance of your home and Peabody is reponsible for repairs and maintenance of any communal areas.

Can I decorate my Shared Ownership home?

Absolutely, you are free to decorate your home. Refer to your lease for details on which major alterations you can make to your property.

Can I sub-let my property?

Under normal circumstances, shared owners aren't able to sub-let.

However, if you feel that your circumstances are exceptional and you aren't in rent arrears, you may be allowed. (For instance, working abroad for a short fixed period of time or requiring to be absent for a period of time to care for a partner or close family member).

If this is the case, ring Peabody Direct on 0800 022 4040 (free from landlines) or 020 7021 4444 and ask for the Rents and Service Charge team.

We'll ask you to put your request in writing to the team at 45 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7JB, along with some supporting documentation which we'll detail in a letter to you. 

If sub-letting is agreed, we'll charge a fee of £150 to process the necessary paperwork.

 

 

What happens in my financial interview?

If you've been successful (you'll receive notification of this by email or letter) we'll give your contact details to a financial advisor who'll act on your behalf. We'll also give you their contact details in case you need to speak to them.

You'll be available for an appointment with the advisor within 5 days of the offer being made and the advisor will ask you to bring some documentation that your lender will ask to see:

  • Credit report
  • ID
  • Proof of address for each of the last 3 years
  • Proof of income (a payslip or P60)
  • Proof of additional income
  • Last 3 months’ bank statements
  • Proof of deposit
  • Proof of gifted deposit
  • Proof of rent for Council or Housing Association tenants (6 months rent statements)
  • Landlords details (name, address and telephone number)
  • Proof of rent for council or housing association tenants
  • Mortgage statement (your latest annual statement)

The interview will last from between two to three hours and the advisor will go into some detail about your day-to-day expenses and monthly outgoings.

This is quite a bit of detail, but the more information your advisor has, the more straightforward the process with your lender will be.