Shared Ownership

What is Shared Ownership and am I eligible?


Shared Ownership

What is Shared Ownership and am I eligible?


Shared Ownership is intended for people who cannot afford to buy a suitable home on the open market. Priority is usually given to existing local authority tenants, housing association tenants and serving military personnel.

Some local authorities may also stipulate that purchasers must currently live in the borough. Ask us for more details regarding the property you’re interested in.

How does Shared Ownership work?

You purchase a share of a property from either the existing shared owner, or directly from us if it is a new property. You will need to arrange a mortgage to buy the share.

The share purchased will depend on what is being offered and what you can afford. It will range from 25% to 75%; you will be expected to buy the maximum share you can afford, as determined by an independent financial advisor. Existing shared owners will be selling the share that they own, but if it is determined you can afford to buy more you will be expected to do so.

You will pay rent for the share that you do not own. If you buy further shares your rent will reduce.

Can I buy a property with someone else?

Yes, up to four people can become joint owners but all joint applicants must individually and jointly meet the eligibility criteria.

Will my finances be assessed?

Yes - before we are able to offer you a property we'll require you to have a financial assessment with an independent financial advisor. They will be able to discuss your financial circumstances (i.e. income, savings, any outstanding loans) and determine what share of a property you can afford. If we do offer you a property, you can go back to them and they will be able to act as the mortgage broker and find you a suitable mortgage.

If you are buying through Shared Ownership, you are likely to need at least a 10% or even a 15% deposit.

Mortgage deposits are based on the share price that you purchase. For example, if you are purchasing a property:

  • Property price at full market value: £200,000
  • Your 25% share: £50,000
  • A 10% deposit towards your mortgage is £5,000

This deposit towards your mortgage is additional to the £4,000 that we ask all purchases to have upfront before commencing the purchase. This £4,000 is to ensure you can afford the one-off costs of buying a property - such as legal fees and mortgage arrangements fees, for example.

What costs are involved?

You will need to give careful consideration to the cost of paying a mortgage and rent as well as the additional costs for repairs and maintenance. You will require savings to pay the costs of the purchase and furnish your new home.

What are the initial costs?

  • Legal fees – you will need a solicitor or conveyancer to undertake the legal work.
  • Deposit.
  • Mortgage/valuation fees – you may need to pay a mortgage arrangement fee. The lender will also charge you for a survey before offering you a mortgage; they can advise you on the different types and costs of survey.
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax – no stamp duty is payable on shares purchased up to a value of £125,000, or where the full market value is £250,000 or less. Ask your solicitor for further details as Stamp Duty rates vary from time to time.
  • Removal costs – if you are moving from another property.
  • Furnishing costs – if this is your first home.

What are the running costs?

  • Mortgage repayments – repayments will vary according to the lender and the current interest rates.
  • Rent – the monthly rent will be based on the share you do not own. The percentage paid will be reviewed each year.
  • Service charge - the monthly charge covering the upkeep of the communal areas within the block and the estate (a full breakdown will be provided to your solicitors).
  • Council Tax – you will have to pay council tax to the local authority.
  • Repairs – if you have purchased a house, you will be responsible for all repairs and redecoration, both internal and external. If your home is a flat, you will be responsible for all repairs and redecoration internally.
  • Insurance – Viridian will insure the structure of your home (buildings insurance), but you will need your own contents insurance.
  • Heating, lighting and water bills – you are responsible for your own bills.
  • Fittings and furniture – you are responsible for supplying your own fittings and furniture.
What if I fall behind with payments?

What happens if I fall behind with my mortgage repayments?

If you begin to have financial problems, which mean you cannot pay your mortgage, you must let your mortgage lender know as soon as possible. If you cannot agree on a solution with your mortgage lender, there is a risk that they will take possession of your property and will sell it to recover the money owed to them.

What happens if I fall behind on my rent or service charges?

Under the terms of your lease you are legally obliged to pay the rent and service charge. As soon as you realise that you have a financial problem, contact us to see how we can help.

How do I pay my reservation fee?

A reservation fee of £500 is required to be paid by cheque/BACS before we offer you a property. If you decide not to proceed with the purchase, Viridian Housing will retain this fee as a contribution towards abortive administration costs. The Sales Team will be able to provide you with our bank details when you attend a viewing.

Do I need a solicitor?

When you buy a property you need to appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf. We suggest that you use the services of one of our panel of solicitors – see list below.

Our panel of solicitors is professionally qualified and can explain the legal process to you at each important step. They are experienced in all the legal matters associated with purchasing a property - this makes a big difference to how smoothly your purchase proceeds.

Most of the dealings with your solicitor will be carried out over the phone, by post, or by e-mail; it isn’t usually necessary to visit or meet your solicitor in person unless you want to.

The solicitors on our panel are selected because they show service levels we expect to be provided to our customers. We monitor customer feedback to make sure they offer value for money and provide a good service. Please note, however, that Viridian Housing accepts no liability for the performance or actions of any of these solicitors.

Direction Law

31 Watling Street, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2UD
Tel: 01227 812 733

Norman H. Barnett & Co
397 Barking Road, East Ham, London, E6 2JT
Tel: 020 8471 2112

We suggest that you contact one of the above solicitors – tell them that you are purchasing a property through Viridian Housing.

Our panel solicitors are instructed to progress sales as quickly as possible so that you can move into your new home as soon as possible without unnecessary delays.

What if I want to sell?

You may sell your share at any time, but you must tell us that you want to move. Your lease may have clauses that allow us to nominate a prospective purchaser and you may be required to have your property valued to determine the sale price of your share.

You will benefit from any increase in the value of the shares that you own, but you must be aware that you will also be affected if the value of your share falls.

Illegal, needed, homes

What to expect in your first 12 months as a new shared owner:

The contracts are signed, you’ve got the keys and you’ve taken that first important step over the threshold into your new home. But what happens next? Don’t panic! Read our handy guide to what to expect in your first 12 months as a new shared owner.