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What is Shared Ownership?

Shared Ownership is a part buy/part rent scheme that makes it possible for first time buyers to purchase a property that otherwise would not have been affordable. It is a government-backed scheme launched in 2006 for people who are unable to afford to buy a home at full market value.

Shared Ownership in London helps you get on the property ladder in an affordable way. You can usually buy an initial share of 25% to 75% of the value of a property, and you’ll need to take out a mortgage to pay for your share of the home’s purchase price.

You will then pay a subsidised rent on the share you don’t buy, and there will also be a monthly service charge to be paid on your home.

Download our complete guide to Shared Ownership

Buying a Shared Ownership home with Peabody

Shared Ownership is designed as a stepping stone to completely owning your own home, allowing you to buy further shares in your property when you can afford to, this is known as Staircasing. Buying through Shared Ownership makes you an owner-occupier, not a part tenant. You start off buying a share in your new home on a 250 year lease. Your lease is a legal document that proves you own part of your home.

Since you will own a lease you will be a “Leaseholder” and we will be what is known as the “Landlord”. You will have the same rights and responsibilities as a full owner-occupier.

If you decide to buy the remaining share of your home, you will then own your home outright. Your solicitor will arrange for the freehold to be transferred to you like any other house owner. If you own an apartment, you’ll remain a Leaseholder like any other apartment owner. This is because your home is in a block of apartments and your lease sets out responsibilities for use and maintenance of all shared areas.

If you become a full owner of an apartment you will still be responsible for the ground rent and service charge, which includes the buildings insurance.

If you become a full owner of a house you may still be required to pay an estate charge if you are living in a development with shared maintenance areas. You will also need to arrange your own buildings insurance, as this will not be covered by the service charge.

Discover our 8-step Shared ownership purchase process guide

Shared Ownership home at Valley House, SE7

Shared Ownership home at Valley House, SE7

Am I eligible for a Shared Ownership home?

Eligibility will vary depending on which development you are looking at purchasing, the property size and whether there are any criteria imposed by the local authority.

There are however, some general, over-arching criteria you will need to meet. You can use our tool below to see if you meet the over-arching criteria for Shared Ownership eligibility.

  • You must be aged 18 or older.
  • Your annual household income if buying outside of London must be less than £80,000.
  • Your annual household income if buying in London must be less than £90,000.
  • You will normally be a first time buyer or be in the process of selling your home. You must not own any other property at the time you buy your new home.
  • You should not be able to afford to buy a home on the open market which is suitable for your housing needs.
  • You must be able to show you are not in rent or mortgage arrears.
  • You must be able to demonstrate that you have a good credit history (no County Court Judgements or bad debts) and can afford the costs and regular payments involved in buying a home

Priority eligibility for Shared Ownership

In some instances priority for Shared Ownership properties can be given to applicants:

  •  That work for the Ministry of Defence.
  •  Who are council and housing association tenants.
  •  Who live or work in the borough in which the property is located over those who currently
    live or work outside
  •  On some developments, secondary priority is given to applicants who live or work in the neighbouring boroughs.

How Shared Ownership is allocated in London

At times we receive more reservations for a development than we have homes available and need to prioritise to make sure homes go to those most in need. This is the order we prioritise in: 

  • Social tenants 
  • Applicants registered on the local authority’s housing waiting list or who are in a local priority group.
  • Armed forces personnel.
  • Everyone else - we'll let you know if you've been successful and may take up to 3 weeks after viewing.
Shared Ownership home at Motion, E10

Shared Ownership home at Motion, E10

Arranging a Shared Ownership Mortgage

Once you have chosen your Shared ownership home in London or surrounding areas, you'll need to arrange a mortgage with the help of a mortgage adviser who will help you with the purchase process.

A mortgage adviser is able to look at the mortgage market and if needed, arrange a shared ownership mortgage for you. They will help you fill in the mortgage application form, submit the application and handle the processing of the application on your behalf – saving you valuable time and ensuring the right type of mortgage is obtained.

If you want to arrange your own mortgage, you should talk to banks and building societies and make sure that you advise them that you are buying a Shared Ownership property and the share you are buying.

You will need to make mortgage decisions fairly quickly as lenders take at least 21 days to issue a mortgage offer and by this stage in the process you will be expected to have a mortgage granted within four to five weeks. The maximum share you can buy will be confirmed by the mortgage adviser during the financial assessment, this is the maximum share we will allow based on your affordability.

Once you get a mortgage offer, you should also act quickly to arrange your mortgage as you are required to exchange contracts within four weeks of the contracts being issued by our solicitors (approximately six weeks from your reservation).

Find a mortgage adviser or solicitor from our panel

Selling your Shared Ownership home

What is a Shared Ownership resale property?

Resale properties are homes that a current owner bought through Shared Ownership and now wishes to sell on. The principle is the same as
buying a new build through Shared Ownership but you must purchase at least the share that the seller currently owns.

The benefits of buying a resale property

Within new build developments, Shared Ownership is usually only available to people living or working in the borough where they
are looking to buy. But that's not normally the case with resale properties, which makes moving to a new area simpler.

We often sell our new build properties ‘off-plan’, i.e. before they are finished. With resales you can view the property you are looking to
buy a share in and moving in to a development where the neighbours are already moved in and settled has its advantages.

Download our guide to Resales 

Shared Ownership Blog

Keep up to date with the latest news about all things Shared ownership

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