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FAQ: Shared ownership

These are some of the most commonly asked questions about Shared Ownership. If your question isn’t answered here, please give us a call!

Q. With a shared ownership home, what will I own?

A. You will buy your home on a lease, which will normally be 99 to 125 years for new homes. Although you have not bought the property outright, you will have the normal rights and responsibilities of a full owner-occupier. If the property is a house and you later decide to buy it outright, you will normally then be given the freehold.

Q. What type of property can be purchased through shared ownership?

A. The schemes are a mixture of houses and flats, some are refurbished and some are new. The properties are usually one and two bedroom in size.

Q. Who can apply?

A. People who can afford to buy a shared ownership property but cannot afford to purchase a similar property on the open property market. These include:

  • First time buyers.
  • Existing owners will be considered if the sale of the current home is due to a relationship breakdown; moving for a job where property values are higher; moving to support a dependent relative; or existing property is now unsuitable for their needs.
  • People who have a local connection with the borough in which the property is built.
  • People registered with the Worthing Borough Council or Worthing Homes.

Q. Who has priority?


  • Local Authority nominees.
  • Existing Worthing Homes tenants.
  • Key workers.
  • Existing shared ownership owners whose current property is unsuitable for their needs.
  • All other applicants.

Q. What is a Key Worker?

A. A Key Worker is someone employed by the public sector in a frontline role delivering an essential public service in the areas of health, education and community safety where there are serious recruitment and retention problems and where the high cost of housing is affecting employers’ ability to recruit and keep staff.

Q. Am I a Key Worker?

A. A Key Worker is:

  • Clinical National Health Service (NHS) staff (with the exception of doctors and dentists).
  • Teachers and nursery nurses in schools and further education/sixth form colleges.
  • Police officers, Community Support Officers (CSO) and some civilian police staff.
  • Prison officers and some other staff.
  • Probation Service staff.
  • Social workers, nursery nurses, educational psychologists, and therapists (e.g. occupational therapists) employed by local authorities, Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) or the NHS.
  • Local Authority Planners and Environment Health Practitioners.
  • Fire-fighters and other uniformed staff below principal level in Fire and Rescue Services.
  • Connexions Personal Advisors employed by a local authority or a Connexions Partnership.
  • Ministry of Defence (certain personnel)
  • Highways Agency Traffic Officer staff in safety critical roles within the Traffic Officer Service.

(Please note that this list is updated periodically. Further information about Key Workers can be found on their website.)

Q. Can I buy a larger share of my home?

A. The Worthing Homes lease allows you, after one year, to increase the share you own of your home.

Q. Can I sell my home?

A. You may sell your home whenever you choose, just like any other homeowner. To make sure that your home can then be made available to others who cannot afford to buy outright, we will, for a short period, have the right to find a buyer for your home.

Q. What are the costs involved in buying a home?

A. There are costs associated with buying a shared-ownership home, just like there are if you buy on the open property market. We recommend that you have a minimum of £3,000 in savings before proceeding with a purchase
For a further estimated analysis break down see costs of shared ownership.

Q. How do I apply?

A. To check your eligibility, search for properties in your area and / or to apply please visit either the Help to Buy website or the Moat website.

We suggest that for any area that you choose, it may be beneficial for you to contact your local authority to apply for their housing register.

Important note:
If you have a County Court Judgement out against you, or you are in rent arrears, you are unlikely to be able to purchase a shared ownership property.

As a shared owner, your home may be at risk if you fail to keep up mortgage and rent payments.