Shared ownership schemes
Shared owners buy a share in their homes and pay rent for the rest.
You usually start by buying 10% to 25% of the property. You may be able to buy more shares over time. This is called staircasing.
Shared ownership schemes are usually run by housing associations. There are some private schemes.
Shared ownership properties are sold as leasehold. Find out more from LEASE.
How to get shared ownership
You may get shared ownership if you:
have never owned a home
earn under a certain amount
used to own a home but cannot afford one now
own a shared ownership home and want to move
Different schemes have their own rules for who can apply.
Some schemes give priority to:
people in key jobs, such as firefighters, teachers, nurses, and people in the armed forces
existing social housing tenants
people with disabilities
Find out about local schemes and how to apply on GOV.UK.
How much does shared ownership cost?
mortgage repayments for your share
rent to the housing association
You have to pay valuation and legal fees when you buy a share.
Repairs and improvements
You are usually responsible for repairs and improvements in your home.
If you live in a house, repairs include the structure, for example a roof.
If you live in a flat, you are responsible for all repairs inside your home.
The housing association must carry out repairs and maintenance of the building and communal areas. Your service charges cover the cost.
Sometimes the landlord may support you with repairs in your home for some time after you buy it.
Check your agreement for details about repairs.
Damage to a neighbour's home
Your agreement should say who must do repairs if you damage another flat, for example with a water leak. The buildings insurance could cover this.
Ask the housing association if you want to do major improvements, such as a new kitchen or knocking down a wall.
Problems paying rent and mortgage
Speak to someone as soon as you have problems.
There are ways of dealing with rent arrears to avoid losing your home.
As a last resort, the housing association may buy back some or all of your shares in your home. This is called downward staircasing.
Sometimes the housing association will tell your mortgage lender that you are in rent arrears.
Get advice as soon as possible. Find out how to deal with missed mortgage payments.
Breathing Space could stop repossession while you get debt advice.
Help to pay rent and mortgage
Eviction for arrears
Lodgers and subletting
You usually can rent out a room to a lodger.
Check if you need to:
get your housing association’s permission
inform your home insurance provider
You cannot usually rent out your whole home. You could be in breach of your mortgage contract and your landlord could try and evict you.
You may be allowed to rent out your home in exceptional circumstances. You must get permission in writing first.
How to sell your shared ownership home
You can sell your property at any time. You may need the housing association’s permission.
The housing association could:
find a buyer for your home
buy it back from you
You may have to pay back some or all of the discount you got.
Check your contract for details.
You also have to pay for valuation and legal fees.
Last updated: 27 November 2023