What is shared ownership?
When you buy a home through our shared ownership scheme, you are buying the share that you can comfortably afford while paying rent to the Council for the share that you don’t own. This means you’ll take out a mortgage or pay in cash to buy a share (between 25% -and 75% on most developments), and you will pay a subsidised rent for the share you haven’t purchased. You will also pay a charge for the maintenance of the building and communal parts, known as a service charge. You will be granted a Lease which is a document detailing your and your Landlord obligations, and other statutory information. View our simple guide to buying a shared ownership property.
What are the benefits of shared ownership?
There are many benefits to shared ownership; we have listed the most important below:
- You own as much of your home as you can afford, and you can buy a larger share after 12 months if it is affordable for you. This process is called staircasing
- Your monthly mortgage plus rent and service charge can work out less than renting an equivalent property on the open market
- Instead of paying rent every month with no return, you are a homeowner and will benefit from any increase in the price of your share if you sell
- You'll need less in savings as you'll be putting down a deposit on a share of the property, rather than the whole amount
How do I apply for a shared ownership home?
- Find a development you are interested in; our available properties will be advertised on our properties for sale page and with the Mayor of London's FIRST STEPS
- Once you have found a property you are interested in, contact us to complete an application form. This will enable us to confirm if you are eligible for shared ownership
- If the assessment of your application form is satisfactory, you will be required to have an initial financial assessment with an independent financial advisor. This is to ensure that the monthly housing costs will be affordable for you, to establish the maximum share you can afford, and to establish whether there are any credit issues which may prevent your access to lending
- Following the completion of a satisfactory financial assessment, you will be invited to a viewing at the development or to view all the information required to reserve a property off plan (floor plans, site plan, specification details etc.)
- If interest in the property you like is over-subscribed, we will prioritise your application in accordance with our criteria
- If you are prioritised for a property, you will have a full financial assessment with an independent financial advisor, complete a reservation form and be given the opportunity to reserve a property by paying a non-refundable reservation fee of £500
- You will instruct a solicitor who will work with ours to process the legal work required for you to complete your purchase. Timescales depend on a number of factors, but generally exchange of contracts is required within 28 days from our solicitor sending the initial legal papers to yours. Completion of your purchase is required within 10 days of the property being completed by the builder
- On the day your purchase completes, you will be met at the property and handed the keys, as well us a home user guide and information regarding the on-going management of your Lease
How do I buy a home for outright sale?
- Find a development you are interested in; our available properties are advertised on our properties for sale page and with Rightmove
- Once you have found a development you are interested in, you will be asked to complete an application form and supply identity documents
- You will be invited to a viewing at the development or to view all the information required to reserve a property off plan (floor plans, site plan, specification details etc.)
- If you wish to buy a property, we must then agree on an acceptable price and solicitors will be instructed to progress the sale
- On the day your purchase completes, you will be met at the property and handed the keys, as well us a home user guide and information regarding the on-going management of your Lease (unless you are buying a Freehold property)
What costs are involved?
You will need to consider mortgage arrangement and valuation fees, house removal costs and solicitor's fees. You may also need to pay stamp duty. You should have at least £4,000 in savings, in addition to the savings you have set aside for a mortgage deposit (this is a guide only). On-going costs include your monthly mortgage payment, rent, service charge and the usual monthly out-goings associated with running a home.
Is there a minimum/maximum share I have to buy?
Minimum shares of 25% are usually available, however you should check the individual property advertisements. You must buy the maximum share you can afford, and this will be determined by an independent financial advisor. 75% is the maximum share you can buy initially; If you can afford to buy more than this then you are not eligible for shared ownership.
What changes can I make to my home?
Your solicitor will provide you with a copy of your Lease which details the contractual obligations of you and your Landlord. Your solicitor can help you if you have any specific queries regarding making changes to your home, and you can contact us if you require any permissions.
Can I keep a pet?
You would need to request permission from Hackney Council; all requests will be considered but we cannot guarantee that permission will be granted.
What repairs am I responsible for?
You will have full internal repair responsibility whether you have bought your home via shared ownership or outright sale, but your Lease will outline the details of this and any exceptions.