Shared ownership

Shared ownership helps you to buy a home if you cannot afford all of the deposit and mortgage
payments for a home that meets your needs.

This information is about shared ownership in England. There are different rules on:

Who can apply?

You can buy a home through shared ownership if both of the following apply:

  • your household income is £80,000 a year or less (£90,000 a year or less in London)
  • you cannot afford all of the deposit and mortgage payments for a home that meets your
    needs

One of the following must also be true:

  • you’re a first-time buyer
  • you used to own a home, but cannot afford to buy one now
  • you own a home and want to move but cannot afford a new home suitable for your needs
  • you’re forming a new household - for example, after a relationship breakdown
  • you’re an existing shared owner and want to move

If you own a home

When you buy a shared ownership home, you must have:

  • formally accepted an offer for the sale of your current home (called ‘sold subject to contract’ or ‘STC’)
  • a memorandum of sale

You must have completed the sale of your home on or before the date you complete your shared ownership purchase.

Older people

If you’re aged 55 or over at the time of buying the home, you can buy up to a 75% share through the older people’s shared ownership (OPSO) scheme. Once you own 75%, you will not pay rent on the rest.

Disabled people

You can apply for a scheme called home ownership for people with a long-term disability (HOLD) if there are no shared ownership homes for sale:

  • where you need to live to be close to your support network
  • that meet your needs

The HOLD scheme helps you to buy a home on the open market that is suitable for your needs. It works in the same way as the shared ownership scheme.

To apply, first register with us and then complete a shared ownership application form.

Priority for military personnel

Only serving and some former military personnel will be given priority over other groups. 

Connection to a local area

There are conditions in some areas to ensure that affordable housing remains in the ownership of local people. This means you may have to show that you live, work or have a connection to the area where you want to buy a home. Homes advertised for sale in these areas will show these conditions.

How it works

You pay for a percentage share between 10% and 75% of the home’s full market value. You enter into a lease agreement with the landlord, and agree to pay rent to the landlord on the remaining share.

Most shared ownership homes require an initial share purchase between 25% and 75%. When
homes are available for sale under the new model for shared ownership, shares will be available
from 10%. A limited number of these homes will be available in 2021. More will become available from 2022 onwards.

When you find a home you want to buy, you’ll be referred to a mortgage adviser. They will assess your income and outgoings. They will tell you the share purchase you can afford based on your personal circumstances.

You can buy more shares in your home. This is known as ‘staircasing’. If you buy more shares, the rent you pay goes down in proportion to the landlord’s remaining share.

Homes you can buy through shared ownership

You can buy:

  • a new-build home
  • an existing home for sale through a registered provider’s shared ownership resale scheme
  • a home that meets your specific needs, if you have a long-term disability

All shared ownership homes (houses and flats) are sold as leasehold. This is because the landlord has an interest in the remaining share.

If you reach 100% ownership, where possible, for most houses the freehold will transfer to you, and the shared ownership lease falls away. For most flats, the lease will remain in place but the shared ownership obligations will fall away.

The provider selling the home will tell you how this works.

More information

Applying for shared ownership
Frequently asked questions about shared ownership


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