Shared Ownership is a popular option for many people in the UK who want to get onto the property ladder. However, to be eligible for this scheme, you must meet certain criteria. Here we will discuss the eligibility requirements for Shared Ownership, who is prioritised for these homes, and other important information.
Eligibility criteria for Shared Ownership
The general eligibility criteria for Shared Ownership are as follows:
- Age: you must be at least 18 years old.
- Annual household income: outside of London, your annual household income must be less than £80,000. In London, your annual household income must be less than £90,000.
- Home ownership: you cannot own another home. Shared Ownership purchasers are often first-time buyers, but if you already own another property (either in the UK or abroad), you must be in the process of selling it.
- Affordability: you should not be able to afford to buy a home suitable for your housing needs on the open market.
- Financial standing: you must show that you are not in mortgage or rent arrears and can afford the regular payments and costs involved in buying a home.
- Deposit: you will generally need between 5-10% of the equity share that you’re purchasing as a deposit, and should have access to at least £4,000 to cover the other costs of buying a property.
Who is prioritised for Shared Ownership homes?
Shared Ownership aims to help first-time buyers take their first steps on the property ladder. However, the scheme is actually available to anyone as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. In 2016, the UK government removed all priority groups where there is an under-supply of Shared Ownership homes, with homes becoming available on a first-come, first served basis to applicants that met the relevant eligibility and affordability criteria.
Military personnel will be given priority through government-funded Shared Ownership schemes, and in circumstances of under-supply of Shared Ownership homes, priority would be given to serving military personnel and former members of the British Armed Forces discharged within the last two years.
Local authority planning permissions may require that preference is given to applicants that already live or work in the area; this will be put in place by the local council and not the housing association.
If you are considering buying a Shared Ownership home, it is essential to ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria. Additionally, keep in mind that the housing association selling the property may also have its own eligibility criteria. By doing your research and understanding the requirements, you can increase your chances of being successful in your Shared Ownership application.