Shared ownership criteria – do I qualify?

Shared ownership criteria – do I qualify?
1st August 2023

Rising property prices often make it challenging to step onto the property ladder. Fortunately, if you fit the shared ownership criteria, it provides an attractive option that makes buying a home more accessible.

It’s a Government scheme that allows you to buy a share of a property, so you won’t need to save such a big deposit. You then pay mortgage repayments on the part of the property that you are buying and subsidised rent on the part you don’t.

In this blog, we will explore the eligibility criteria for shared ownership properties in the UK, helping you to understand the opportunities available.


Shared ownership criteria - Income

To qualify for shared ownership, your annual household income plays a crucial role. Typically, there is an upper limit on the total income to ensure the scheme remains accessible to those in need.

  • The maximum annual household income threshold is £80,000 a year or less (this is increased to £90,000 per year for properties in London).
  • If you’re self-employed, you can still be considered for Shared Ownership, you just need to demonstrate 2-3 years of accounts.

Shared ownership criteria - Affordability

As shared ownership requires purchasing a share of the property and paying rent on the remaining portion, Homes England affordability assessments (HEC) are conducted by specialist mortgage brokers. This evaluation ensures that you can afford the regular payments associated with the home and the maximum share you could buy.

  • Factors such as your credit history, outstanding debts, and financial stability are typically taken into account during the assessment.
  • You must also be able to demonstrate you have enough money in order to pay legal fees – the exact amount will vary but will usually be around £4,000.

Shared ownership criteria – Eligibility

Whilst shared ownership is primarily designed to assist first-time buyers who may find it challenging to enter the property market, there are other groups that may be eligible. On some developments, there may be enhanced eligibility criteria that give priority to certain groups.

Shared ownership is suitable for:

  • First-time buyers.
  • Those who have had a significant change in circumstances, such as a relationship breakdown or relocation due to work.
  • Existing Local Authority or Housing Association tenants.
  • Serving military personnel.
  • Previous homeowners who can no longer afford to buy on the open market.

While shared ownership schemes are open to individuals of various age groups, some properties may have age restrictions in place too. For instance, some developments cater specifically to older adults, providing suitable accommodation and communal facilities during retirement.

In some instances, you may have to demonstrate that you live and/or work in, or have a strong connection to the area where you want to buy a home.



Shared ownership criteria – Additional considerations

As well as the shared ownership criteria mentioned above, you should also be aware of the following:

  • You can’t own another property at the same time. If you do (whether in the UK or abroad), a proof will be required that it’s sold or under offer.
  • You must be a British or EU/EEA citizen or have indefinite leave to remain. 

Qualifying for shared ownership

Getting onto the property ladder may seem out of reach, but shared ownership could be the answer to you buying your dream home in a more affordable way. By understanding the eligibility criteria outlined in this blog, you can evaluate your chances of qualifying for a property.

If you have any questions about Shared Ownership criteria, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us. You can also find further information on the Government's Shared Ownership page.


Shared ownership could open the door to your dream home. But is it the right move for you?

We can help you decide.

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