How Shared Ownership Works
Shared Ownership, is a part buy, part rent Government backed scheme aimed at helping first time buyers and
other eligible buyers to purchase a home. You buy a share in a home, normally a minimum of 35%, and pay
rent for the remaining share to St Vincent’s Housing Association.
Who is it for?
It is aimed at helping people who want to become homeowners but cannot afford to buy on the open market in
their local community, as it easier to obtain a mortgage on 35% of the value of the property than the full 100%.
Am I eligible?
Potential purchasers must complete an application form. In deciding whether you are eligible, the following
factors are considered:
Are you a first time buyer?
Do you own another property?
Is your household income less than £60,000?
Are you a local authority or housing association tenant or on a waiting list?
Are your existing housing circumstances unsuitable?
Are you in the need of a new home following a relationship breakdown?
Are you able to afford the costs of a shared ownership home but unable to buy on the open market?
Each individual development has an allocation policy which means that you often have to have links to the
area that the development is located in. This normally means that you have to either currently live, work or
have close family in that area.
How much will it cost at the start?
You will need to be able to pay the cost of the reservation fee, mortgage valuation or survey, legal fees and
stamp duty. The minimum savings you need depend on the scheme you want to buy into. You may also need
to pay the cost of moving home and connection charges for gas, electricity and telephone supplies. In most
cases, buying a home involves paying a deposit.
Can I make a lower price offer for the property?
No – all of our properties are valued regularly and reflect a true market price and are not negotiable.
How long until I get the keys?
Once we have confirmed your eligibility and you have reserved the property you will need to instruct solicitors
and provide us with their details. They will receive an information pack from St Vincent’s solicitors which will
include key documents such as the lease, contract and service charge details. Your solicitors will check
through the documents and may raise queries as well as undertaking required searches. Once this process
has been dealt with they will arrange exchange of contracts and fix a completion date. The process from
reservation to completion can typically take 4-6 weeks’.
What will I be responsible for?
Your responsibilities as a shared owner are very similar to those of any homeowner.
1. You will own a share of your home normally on a 125 year shared ownership lease. The lease sets
out both yours and St Vincent’s responsibilities and is a legally binding document.
2. You will normally borrow the cost of your share from a bank or building society in the form of a
mortgage and you are responsible for the repayments.
3. You will have to pay the full costs associated with buying your share. Costs to consider include
valuation and mortgage fees, legal costs, search and Land Registry fees.
4. You will be responsible for the on-going running costs of your home which will include:
Mortgage repayments; rent (reviewed each year); service charges (where applicable); and your own
bills (gas, electricity, telephone, council tax, contents insurance etc.).You will be responsible for all the
repairs, maintenance and replacement of all aspects of your home.
Will I have to insure the building?
No. St Vincent’s provides buildings insurance which is included in your rent (or in your service charge). You
should let your mortgage company know that you have cover and we can let you have a letter confirming this
if they require it. You will need to buy your own contents insurance.
Can I buy further shares in the future?
After your initial purchase, you can buy further shares in your home and eventually own your home outright
subject to individual leases. This is called "staircasing". The extra share you buy could be 10%, 20% or 30%
The amount you pay for additional shares will be based on the value of your home at the time you staircase.
When you buy more shares your rent will reduce, and if you buy outright you will no longer be required to pay
rent. However you will still be required to pay service charges if applicable.
What if I want to sell in the future?
If you own your home outright (100% ownership) you can sell it on the open market (e.g. through an estate
agent). If you are a shared owner and want to sell the share that you own, you must first notify St Vincent’s as
we may have a waiting list of eligible people. This would need to be at the market value at that time, as
assessed by an independent valuer (whose fee you would need to pay). We would also need to approve the
valuation before you could market the property for sale. If we have no suitable buyers, you would then be
able to sell your share on the open market. The sale proceeds will be split according to the percentage shares
held between you and St Vincent’s.
Can I make Improvements or alterations to my home?
You must ask St Vincent’s for permission to make any structural changes. We ask that you write to St
Vincent’s and a surveyor will make a decision, all reasonable requests are agreed.
Can I keep pets in my home?
Yes, pets are allowed in shared ownership houses but not in flats.
This information is given as a guide only and is subject to the terms and conditions of the lease of the property
for sale. All prospective buyers are advised to take independent legal advice before going ahead with the