What are the eligibility criteria for Shared Ownership?

Posted 8 April 2016 by Keith Osborne

If you want to make the most of the government-backed Shared Ownership scheme, you'll need to meet a list of criteria before finding a property with it...

In order to qualify for a Shared Ownership scheme, you must fulfil certain criteria:


1. Be a first-time buyer. You may also qualify if you have owned a home in the past but have sold it and cannot afford to buy another one on the open market. If you own a home that is unsuitable for your needs, you will have to provide written evidence from your council of its unsuitability. If you own a property abroad, you will have to sell it I order to qualify.

2. Be a UK or European citizen. You may also qualify if you have indefinite leave to remain, or can demonstrate an entitlement to access public funds.

3. Have a limited household income. If you wish to buy outside London, your household income should not exceed £80,000. If you wish to buy within London, the maximum figure rises to £90,000.

4. Have a good credit history. This is essential, as housing providers want proof that you can meet your financial obligations and pay both the mortgage and rental portions of Shared Ownership. You must not have any County  Court Judgements (CCJs) or other defaults on loans. You will be deemed ineligible if you have been declared bankrupt during the last six years, or have had a property repossessed in the last five years.

5. Be able to satisfy affordability criteria. Your lender and Help to Buy agent will look at your ability to meet payments.

6. Self-employment. If you are self-employed, you must be able to provide fully audited accounts for two years, as well as an estimate for the current year or copies of your tax returns for the last three years.

7. Priority groups. Certain groups will be prioritised for Shared Ownership. These categories are determined by local councils, but usually include members of the armed forces and tenants currently in social housing.

8. Over 55s. If you are over 55, you can apply for the Older Person's Shared Ownership scheme. Under this scheme, you can purchase up to 75% of the property, and once you reach 75% you will not be required to pay rent on the remaining 25%.

Jason Howes, Sequence Land & New Homes
29 April 2020
Industry expert Jason Howes on how the homebuying and selling process successfully continues in spite of lockdown...Read more
Advice
Guide to buying
17 May 2018
Our guide to each step of buying a new build property...Read more
Advice
What is Shared Ownership?
22 September 2017
To simplify Shared Ownership, WhatHouse? has created an infographic which covers everything you need to know about the scheme Read more
Advice
The keys to your new home
10 October 2016
Help to Buy: Equity Loan and Shared Ownership are two government schemes to help people get on the property ladder but what is the difference bet...Read more
Advice
6 April 2016
A Help to Buy agent is the registered provider of Help to Buy for the region you are buying in, an organisation to guide you through the whole pr...Read more
Advice
5 April 2016
Government-backed schemes aren't just aimed at younger homebuyers. WhatHouse? takes you through a purchase scheme specifically for people over 55...Read more
Advice
Search  
A Guide To Part Buy Part Rent
With Home Reach you buy a share of your chosen newly built home and pay a monthly rent on the part you don’t buy. Your budget will decide the size of the share you buy, rather than the size of your home. So, you might decide to buy a bigger share of a lower priced home or a smaller share of a more expensive home.

You are able to purchase your share in either cash savings or by taking out a mortgage. If you are taking out a mortgage to finance your share, you will need to allow for a minimum of 5% deposit. The larger your deposit (typically 10%) the lower your mortgage repayments are likely to be.

Click here to see your activities