Shared Ownership Explained

24 January 2019

Molly Savino

The Shared Ownership scheme offers a great opportunity for many people struggling to purchase on the open market. It works by offering buyers a share of the property ownership and then pay rent on the remaining share. We have put together a helpful list of common myths and frequently asked questions surrounding this scheme.


Does Shared Ownership mean I have to live with somebody else? No. It just means that the housing association shares the ownership of the property with you. Once your purchase is complete, your house is yours and only yours!   

Who is eligible? You will be eligible if your household income is £80,000 or less. You must be unable to purchase a home suitable for your needs without assistance. To complete an application form to see if you are eligible, please refer to the Help to Buy website.

What if I am already a home owner? You are not eligible for the Shared Ownership scheme unless you have sold your home prior to purchasing. If you have previously owned a home, your application is only based on your current situation.

Can I buy additional shares in the future? Yes, this is called ‘staircasing’. In most cases, you may be able to own the property outright. Please speak to CHS for more information.

Isn’t it just cheaper to rent a property? You will need to pay some costs associated with a normal property purchase (for example, reservation fee, solicitor fees, deposit etc.) But often the monthly payments are lower than the property’s rental market value. This is subject to your personal mortgage plan. Please also note that if you ‘Staircase’ your rent will decrease accordingly.

If I’m part renting, does that mean I can’t decorate my home? A benefit of being a Shared Owner is that you have the freedom to decorate your home as you wish. However, there are certain improvements that you will need permission for. For example, fitting a new kitchen, adding and extension or fitting a satellite dish to your property.

Aren’t all Shared Ownership properties small and usually apartments? Not at all, CHS pride themselves on offering family homes to rural areas of the county as well as apartments and houses in the city. Just take a look on the Help to Buy website for all current availability or get in touch with our Customer Services department on 0300 111 3555.

Won’t it be hard to sell my property when I want to move? Not necessarily, the property market is an uncertain sector at the moment (I won’t mention the ‘B’ word!) However I would anticipate that open market properties will suffer more. The Shared Ownership scheme is still very popular as it offers an easier way for buyers to get onto the property ladder, families and single people included. When you come to put your property on the market ensure that you have all of the relevant information from CHS and our development team will be happy to assist you through the process.