Buying a shared ownership home with Beyond Housing
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
We understand the process of buying a property can sometimes feel overwhelming. With our shared ownership scheme, you can look forward to a straightforward and affordable process that lets you open the door to the perfect home.
We’ve put together a list of useful FAQs to address any queries you may have regarding our convenient home ownership scheme.
- What is shared ownership?
Shared ownership, otherwise known as part rent/part buy on new build homes, was introduced to help you affordably purchase your ideal home. The home ownership scheme offers a reasonable and affordable alternative to purchasing properties outright on the open market and is a great way to get you on the property ladder.
You purchase an initial share of between 25% and 75% of the new property from Beyond Housing and will pay rent on the share you do not own.
- Who can buy a shared ownership home?
Our shared ownership homes are intended for people that cannot viably afford to buy a suitable home in any other way. You must be in need of housing and unable to afford an outright purchase.
You will need to meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Be a first time buyer, a key worker or re-entering the housing market
- Not have your name on the deeds of another property or another mortgage
- Not be able to buy a property on the open market without assistance
- Have a household income below £80,000
- Be able to get a mortgage
- An ability to raise and service an appropriate mortgage loan
- Sufficient disposable income to meet the costs associated with home ownership
- Available savings to meet all the costs associated with a house purchase.
Applications for shared ownership homes will not be accepted from those wishing to buy to let and generally shared owners will not be allowed to sublet.
- Who is priority given to?
When it comes to buying a shared ownership home priority is given to:
- Eligible Ministry of Defence personnel
- Applicants who can afford to purchase a higher percentage share
- Applicants with a local authority nomination
- Existing tenants of housing associations in the local authority, thereby freeing up a home for social rent.
- Can more than one person apply to purchase a shared ownership home?
Applications can be considered from up to a maximum of four individuals, but each must meet the qualifying criteria when it comes to buying a shared ownership.
- How does shared ownership work?
Exceptional shared ownership properties with Beyond Housing are sold on a leasehold basis, with most leases having a term of 99 years. You are able to purchase additional shares after a qualifying period. Additional shares usually are in multiples of 10% up to 100% ownership. In the case of a shared ownership house, once 100% ownership is achieved, the freehold of the property will usually be transferred from Beyond Housing to the owner. For flats however, the property will remain leasehold as Beyond Housing will remain liable for the maintenance of common areas and services.
- What is a shared ownership lease?
The lease entitles you to live in an affordable, comfortable shared ownership home as owner/occupier for the length of the lease. It will contain a number of standard clauses covering:
- The amount of rent due on the share retained by Beyond Housing
- When it is reviewed and how rent increases are calculated
- Details of any service charges payable
- Details of any ground rent payable
- The rights and responsibilities of both the shared owner and Beyond Housing
- Details of who is responsible for repairs and maintenance
- Confirmation of the right.
- Who is responsible for the repairs and maintenance of shared ownership homes?
Although Beyond Housing retains a share of the property, we have no liability to carry out repairs and maintenance of shared ownership houses. However, in the case of a block of flats, we are responsible for repairs and maintenance to any common parts such as the roof, entrance hallway and corridors together with the grounds surrounding the block.
These costs will be recovered from the shared owners in the form of a monthly service charge. This reduced repair liability is reflected in the lower rent levels applicable to shared ownership homes.
- Can I carry out improvements and alterations to my home?
You may carry out improvements, alterations or extensions to your home, but must seek Beyond Housing’s consent before commencing any major works. The additional value to your shared ownership home these works may produce will be discounted from any open market valuation obtained in connection with an application to buy further shares.
- What are the costs of buying my home?
You need to give careful consideration to the costs involved in buying a shared ownership property and additional living expenses. Beyond Housing will carry out a financial appraisal as part of your application process to ensure you are aware of these costs and have sufficient income and savings to meet them. Your initial costs will include:
- Survey fee – your mortgage lender will carry out a valuation of the property, but for peace of mind you might wish to arrange an independent survey
- Solicitor’s fees
- Stamp duty – if applicable. Your solicitor will advise you on this
- Removal and furnishing costs.
Your running costs will include:
- Mortgage repayments
- Council tax
- Repair and maintenance costs
- Building insurance
- Contents insurance
- Heating, lighting and water charges.
- How do I buy a shared ownership home?
You can email email@example.com or call Vicky Griffiths on 07717 807055 who will guide you through the process of buying a shared ownership home with Beyond Housing. You’ll then need to complete a shared ownership checklist and application form. We will ensure any purchase will be sustainable by undertaking an affordability assessment. The assessment will be carried out on our behalf by Foster Denovo, who is a firm of independent financial advisors.
To start the assessment process, please contact Foster Denovo on 0191 217 3900, 07881 655831 or 07781 655830 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Foster Denovo also offer free independent financial and mortgage advice.
You will also need to seek shared ownership approval from the Homebuy agent. You can do this by filling in an affordable home ownership application form.
- Can I buy further shares?
The shared ownership lease contains provisions allowing shared owners to purchase additional shares up to full ownership. This process is known as staircasing. If you wish to purchase additional shares, you will need to ask Beyond Housing to arrange a current open market valuation of your home. This valuation will determine the cost of the share you wish to purchase and will be carried out by an independent chartered surveyor, whose fee you will be asked to pay.
The valuation is normally valid for three months. If you have not completed your purchase within that time, Beyond Housing reserves the right to have a further valuation carried out, which may result in the price of the share increasing. The value of any improvements you may have carried out to your home will be discounted from the valuation.
- Can I sell my shared ownership home?
You may sell your shared ownership property at any time, but must advise Beyond Housing of your intention to do so. The lease may allow for Beyond Housing to nominate a purchaser if there is anyone suitable on its waiting list. If no nominations are made, the property can then be sold on the open market. You may sell just the share you currently own, in which case any prospective purchaser must meet the original qualification criteria.
Many shared owners opt to market the whole of the property, to avoid this requirement. To do this, you must agree a purchase price with Beyond Housing for its share in the property. The purchase can then be completed simultaneously with the sale on to the new purchaser. Any increase in value of the shares you own will be yours to keep. Conversely, should the value have fallen, you will be expected to stand any loss.
- What if I have rent and service charge payment problems?
Under the terms of your lease through the partial home ownership scheme, you are legally bound to pay the rent and service charges due. If you are unable to meet this obligation you should contact us as soon as possible. We adopt a firm but fair approach to rent arrears and willingly work with you to resolve any problems. If you are unable to maintain rent payments, we may approach your mortgage lender for a payment. We also reserve the right apply to a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal for forfeiture of the lease.
- What if I have mortgage payment problems?
If financial problems arise that may result in you being unable to make mortgage payments on your shared ownership home, you must contact your lender immediately. They will try to help you remain in your home, but ultimately if you are not able to meet your obligations there is a risk that you will lose it. Should the property be repossessed, the lender will work closely with Beyond Housing to ensure a swift sale of the property.
If you’d like further information on our shared ownership scheme, email our dedicated sales team at email@example.com.