Shared ownership FAQ

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

Costs of Shared Ownership

This page offers examples of payments and responsibilities in our shared ownership scheme.

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

The following figures should only be used as a guideline. Worthing Homes suggest that you make your own enquiries prior to making a decision on purchasing one of our properties.

Costs will vary according to the value of the property and to the amount of stamp duty paid at purchase.

Item Estimated Cost
Holding fee £500.00
Survey and / or valuation on property £500.00
Solicitor’s fee ( including VAT) £1,200.00
Local authority and land registry searches (including VAT) £360.00
Stamp duty @ 2% of a property valued at £125,000 (see notes below) £2,500.00
Total estimated purchase costs £2,680.00

Stamp Duty

It is important to discuss Stamp Duty Land Tax obligations with your conveyancer once you have found a property you think you might like to buy. There are different ways of paying SDLT when you buy a property through a shared ownership scheme.

Running costs

Once you move into your property you will be responsible for the costs of running your home and there will be council tax, gas, electricity, water and service charges. These will be in addition to your monthly mortgage and rent payments.

Warning

Your home is at risk if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other loan secured on it.

With a shared ownership home, what will I own?

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.

What type of property can be purchased through shared ownership?

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, although we do have the occasional three and four bedroom home.

Who can apply?

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.

Who has priority?

  • Serving MOD personnel, some ex-MOD personnel and bereaved partners will have priority to buy with the scheme.
  • Existing Worthing Homes tenants who are not in rent arrears or in breach of their current tenancy.
  • Those have been nominated by the Local Authority

Applicants will then be prioritised by their connection to the local authority area and/or Housing need.

This is in line with criteria for Shared Ownership, as stipulated by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). Further information can be found by visiting www.helptobuy.gov.uk.

Can I buy a larger share of my home?

As a shared owner buying more shares in your shared ownership home is called ‘staircasing’. Once you have lived in your home for a certain period of time (depending on your lease terms), you can buy further shares in your home. Additional shares can only be purchased in values ending in a zero or 5 (e.g. 20%, 35%).

The price you will pay for any additional shares is based on the market value of your home at the time you want to staircase. Depending on the market, house prices can go up and down. The valuation is set by an independent RICS Valuer. There are costs to staircasing, being the valuation and solicitor’s fees.

If you’re ready and want to purchase additional shares or staircase to 100% equity, please contact the Leasehold Services Team for further advice.

Can I sell my home?

Selling your Shared Ownership home is known as a resale. Under the terms of the lease, there is a nomination period, where Worthing Homes has 8 weeks (as determined by the lease) to find a buyer for the property.

We do this so we can help other people onto the property ladder and our Property Sales Adviser is able to offer you a professional sales service at a competitive rate, based on the terms set out in your lease.

For more information about selling your shared ownership home, please contact our Property Sales Adviser on 01903 703 137.

Can I add a person, or remove them, from my shared ownership lease?

If you want to make changes to your lease, who owns your own, Worthing Homes will need to agree to this change and the shared ownership criteria must be met.

The person ‘applicant’ you are wanting to add to your lease will need to meet the criteria for Shared Ownership. The criteria is as follows:

  • Your joint household income must be less than £80,000;
  • The applicant must have a UK or EU passport, or have indefinite leave to remain and access to public funds;
  • They must not have CCJ’s or arrears of rent or mortgage in the six months prior to this application;
  • The applicant should not be in a position to afford the cost of purchasing a comparable home outright on the open property market;
  • The applicant must not own another home.

There is an application process and administration fees payable, please click on this link to download the application form: Application to add a person to your lease

Removing a shared owner from the lease

The person being removed from the lease will need to give their consent in writing, unless you have obtained a court order stating that the home must be transferred to you.

If you want to make changes to your lease, who owns your own, Worthing Homes will need to agree to this (unless a Court order has been obtained).

We will not unreasonably withhold approval, however Worthing Homes will need to check that the person remaining and taking on the mortgage and rent on their own can afford to do this. If we approve the application you can then instruct a solicitor and mortgage lender. A solicitor will need to complete the necessary work, to legally change the ownership of the property and you will have legal costs to pay. Your mortgage lender may also charge a fee for making changes to your mortgage.

There is an application process and administration fees payable, please click on this link to download the application form: Application to assign lease / change from joint to sole / change to shared ownership.

 

How do I apply for a shared ownership home?

To apply you must be registered with Help to Buy, have a mortgage offer in principal and meet the following criteria:

  • Applicants must have UK or EU passport
  • Local Connection to the Local Authority area
  • Registered with Help To Buy – application number must be provided.
  • No CCJ’s or arrears of rent or mortgage in the six months prior to application.
  • Applicants should not be in a position to afford the cost of purchasing a comparable home outright on the open property market.
  • First Time Buyers/applicants with no interest in a property except for:
    • Those selling a home through relationship breakdown
    • Those whose current home is not suitable for their needs (eg size)
    • Those who are moving to an area where property prices are higher to take up employment/look after a family member or be looked after by a family member.
  • Must provide own credit report
  • Minimum £18k and max £80k income levels
  • No more than 1 additional bedroom than current family need

Please note priority is given to:

  • Ministry of Defence Personnel
  • Those moving from social rented homes

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.