HomeOwners Alliance logo

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest property news, tips & money saving offers

  • Can I move during local lockdown? Read latest advice

Shared Ownership: What to watch out for

Shared ownership is a great way to get a stake in a property when you can’t afford or can’t borrow enough to buy outright on the open market. There are however common complaints from people in shared ownership schemes. This guide points to the pitfalls you’ll want to avoid.

Shared Ownership and what to watch out for

What is shared ownership?

Shared ownership schemes allow buyers who meet the eligibility criteria to secure a mortgage to buy a stake (usually between 25% and 75%) in a property, while paying rent on the remaining share to the housing association or private developer that own the building. The rent you pay on the remaining share is charged at a discounted rate.

The properties are usually leasehold properties and you therefore have to pay a monthly service charge as well as contribute to major maintenance works.

With shared ownership, it is possible to buy more of the home by “staircasing” i.e. increasing your share. Shares can be bought in 10% increments, which will in turn reduce your rent.

Shared ownership schemes are provided by housing associations or private developers. The details, costs and restrictions involved vary by provider so research each one on its individual merits and read the small print of your lease.

The government is currently (2020) consulting on a standard approach to shared ownership and, we imagine, some changes to the way it is administered, so watch this space.

What are the downsides to shared ownership?

1. Maintenance charges

Hopefully the monthly mortgage repayments, plus rent will still make shared ownership far cheaper than buying a property outright. But don’t forget to add on maintenance charges and be prepared for possible increases in the future. As well as a general monthly service charge for caretaking and maintenance of communal areas, ask how you will be expected to pay for more significant works e.g. for roof maintenance.

Be aware that even though you own a share of the property, say 30%, you are responsible for paying the full maintenance and repair costs.

2. No renting allowed

There are also likely to be restrictions on whether you can rent the property out. In the great majority of cases, sub-letting is not allowed.

3. Buying up increased shares in your property can be expensive

When it comes to increasing the stake in your property  – or “staircasing” – it’s not just buying the share you need to worry about. There are other costs involved:

  • Valuation fee –  your housing provider will instruct a surveyor to confirm the current market value of the property.
  • Legal expenses – staircasing will involve changes to your existing lease which will require a solicitor
  • Stamp duty – if you’re not eligible for first-time buyers relief, there are two ways to pay. The first involves one-off payment in advance based on market value of the property and the second is by paying in stages. You will need to calculate the best option for you.
  • Mortgage fees – If you are applying to change lenders to buy your additional share or to access better interest rates you will need to pay the lenders valuation fee and a mortgage arrangement fee, plus any penalty your existing lender may charge for terminating your mortgage with them.

Check with your housing provider whether there are any restrictions when it comes to buying up a greater share in your property e.g. Will you be able to staircase to 100% outright ownership or is there an upper limit? Can you start staircasing immediately? What are the maximum number of times you can staircase? What’s the minimum share you can buy at any one time? You can find out more with our guide to staircasing your shared ownership home.

4. Restrictions on what you can do

Check for restrictions within your lease. You are likely to be required to ask the housing provider’s permission in writing before you make any structural alterations to your home. In some cases the lease will require you to ask permission for redecorating as well.

5. The risk of negative equity

Buying a new build property – whether through shared ownership or on the open market – is more likely to make sense if you expect to stay put for a number of years. This is because new-build properties include an extra premium on the sale price that, like a new car, depreciates as soon as you move in. If house prices fall, you may fall into negative equity and lose money if you try to move.

To avoid the risk of feeling trapped in the event of negative equity, be honest about the properties you are looking at. Is there enough storage? Are you expecting to start a family in the next few years? Does your furniture fit in the rooms?

6. Issues around selling your share when moving home

When you are ready to sell your home, the process is not straightforward and can stall your progress on to the next rung of the property ladder. First of all, the housing provider is likely to have the right to buy back the property before it is marketed to anyone else (this is called “right of first refusal”), even in some cases if you have purchased 100% of the property through staircasing. This is so your property can be put to other people on the waiting list who are unable to buy on the open market.

After a period of time, if your housing provider fails to find a buyer you are free to market your share of the property yourself or using an estate agent. But you will need to find a buyer who fulfils the housing providers eligibility criteria for shared ownership. As not all banks provide shared ownership friendly mortgages, your pool of potential buyers may be reduced.

7. You don’t have greater protection under shared ownership

Just because this is a government backed scheme doesn’t mean you get any more protection.

  • Costs can spiral. Check you can afford increased maintenance charges
  • While rents start low, expect these to increase
  • It is your responsibility to keep up repayments on your mortgage loan
  • Be aware that as rent is paid on the part of the property not owned by you, the housing provider can take action to repossess the property for rent arrears in the County Court. We know of one case where after falling behind on her rent, one homeowner was evicted from her part-owned property and a court ruled she had no right to the £30,000 she had already paid for her share

Found a property you like? Research the housing provider on-line. See what customers say on forums. Are they satisfied? How well are they maintaining the property and at what cost?

What should I do before I apply?

  • Check the eligibility criteria of the housing provider for the property you like
  • Read and understand your lease and what restrictions it sets out
  • Price up the various costs, work out your monthly payments
  • Think about your long term plans and when you could afford to start staircasing
  • Check out our other unbiased guides on buying, selling and running your home, alongside money saving tips and join to access to our panel of housing experts ready to answer your questions, a legal advice line, fee-free mortgage advice and more

Leave a comment (83)* Required

  1. Can 25% of a shared ownership home be transferred by a limited company to a private individual?

    Comment by Keil Martin Hampshire — October 9, 2020 @ 2:16 pm

  2. Hi, I wondered if you could help.

    I purchased a 75% share in a new build flat back in February and then in May/June time the developer signed off on a mechanical unit being attached to my outside wall.

    This unit was installed to supply refrigeration
    to the shop below me.

    While I was aware the shop was going to be a possibility I wasn’t aware that they would then stick this eyesore on my flat!

    Not only is ugly, it’s noises and keeps me awake until the early ours of the morning.

    The vibrations literally resonate through the living room and into my bedroom!

    Do you have any advice on what I could do?
    I.E would I be within my rights to sell the flat back to them at the same price or would I be able to demand they remove unit?

    Or is it just a case of put up, shut up and consume enough alcohol so that I can actually sleep?

    Any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks


    Comment by Jamie — September 8, 2020 @ 11:57 pm

  3. Thankyou for educating me on Shared Ownership of property.
    For something that was designed to help people achieve a foot hold in the property market, in actual fact traps and leaves them beholding to the company’s they are leasing from. As usual these schemes are not fair to the people it is meant to help. Unless the value of the house increases significantly then the reward for hard work and paying your Bill’s is next to nothing. In short it’s a fancy and very clever scam.
    The monthly payments to the leasing company should be used to pay down the portion of the home owned by the lease holding company with eventual ownership transferred to the occupier once full house costs have been made over 20 years plus or however long it takes.
    So until then Home Ownership is definitely one to avoid.

    Comment by Art — August 22, 2020 @ 11:33 am

  4. When we bought our shared ownership flat 2 years ago, no one told us that 1% of the value of the property per year would be claimed back by the company. Why is it such a big secret. Why can they just take extra fees from our bank account because they have overbugeted.
    Who can answer these questions for us.
    Thank you.

    Comment by Isabel houghton — August 17, 2020 @ 10:24 pm

  5. Thank you for great commentary on shared ownership. I was considering SO as an option for my sons. However now I won’t touch it with a barge pole. Clearly it shouldn’t have ownership in the title as it clearly is anything but!!!

    Comment by Mike — August 17, 2020 @ 1:40 pm

  6. I have a 50% shared equity with a developer for a flat in London. It has transpired that the external cladding to the building constitutes a fire hazard thus rendering it unfit for purpose. Am In a position to cite a breach of contract on the part of the developer and recover my equity share of the property from them?

    Comment by Richard Benns — July 18, 2020 @ 11:12 pm

  7. I own a flat in a block of 5, each flat has one vote in relation the spending of maintenance pot and what to spend it on. One couple own two flats but have recently bought another one, giving them 3/5 of the votes. Is this right or can I do something to stop it?

    Comment by Simon — March 27, 2020 @ 3:29 pm

  8. I am currently selling my 50 percent share of my shared ownership of 97500. I have received a cash offer of 90000, can i accept this? Or do they need to buy the full amount?

    Comment by Emilie — March 19, 2020 @ 10:30 pm

  9. I currently own 40% share on a house with my now ex partner and I am looking to buy her out of the contract. how is this worked out so i know exactly how much she is owed? many thanks

    Comment by ryan watson — March 15, 2020 @ 6:53 pm

  10. Do you own an equity in the property? I read somewhere that you don’t unless you own the property 100%?

    The flat I am interested in has a 99 year lease hold, I want to use this as a way of getting onto the property market, would I have any problems selling the property as in 10 years time due to the leasehold?

    Any help would be good I want to know if im doing the right thing.

    Comment by Alice Louise Tucker — March 11, 2020 @ 12:06 pm

  11. Hi, I read that one has to pay rent on the part one doesnt own, usually around 2,75% per annum on the value. So basically this is the biggest rip off ever. The reason I am saying this is that one ends up paying very close to the same amount as if one could get a mortgage for the full amount, but they wont let that happen. So if one could have an interest only mortgage for the first five years, one would pay basically the same owning all of it. So the mortgage people are and developers are laughing all they way to the bank at the same time as they are pressing up house prices…. It is defenitely av very bad product – and double so on leaseholds.

    Comment by Hans Aamot — February 24, 2020 @ 4:35 pm

  12. Im just in the process of help to buy with Live West and Persimmon 5% deposit. Hope to complete 12th March. Started the process mid Jan 2020

    Comment by Zoe — February 20, 2020 @ 5:07 pm

  13. If one has already been approved by helptobuy approximately how long does an application to homes England take to be approved.

    Comment by Joy Rosario — February 8, 2020 @ 6:12 am

  14. If you are looking into shared ownership, the first step is always to check eligibility criteria with the housing provider. Very best of luck!

    Comment by HomeOwners Alliance — January 30, 2020 @ 10:00 am

  15. hi. I am 70 years old pensioner can’t get a mortgage is it possible to pay my share e g. 50% in cash. thanks

    Comment by a. cowdry — January 29, 2020 @ 5:23 am

  16. My disabled brother is in a 35% shared ownership flat and needs to move to sheltered accommodation in 2 months – if the housing association cannot sell it in the next 8weeks as per the rules is there any recourse to ask the housing association to buy back his share as extenuating circumstances? He can’t afford both rent and the payment on his current home…any advice gratefully received please.

    Comment by Faye — December 25, 2019 @ 9:41 pm

  17. I found a buyer for my 50 % share but longhurst group allow the sale dye to the purchaser being able to afford more % they will only accept him if he buys a higher share.

    I feel this basically stops me from selling after 13 years. I call this foul play

    Comment by Scott Mychajluk — December 4, 2019 @ 7:21 pm

  18. Hi Bav, so sorry to hear your flat was burgled. It’s normally the freeholder that arranges for building insurance. Check through your lease document to see if it mentions who will arrange and pay for buildings insurance. Ask for a copy of the policy to see if it covers repair and/or replacing your front door after a burglary. Best of luck.

    Comment by HomeOwners Alliance — December 2, 2019 @ 4:03 pm

  19. I had a burglury at my Ground Floor Flat and we have informed the Housing association and they are decline to repair my front door as they saying its your responsibility to repair your front property door. how i can resolve the issue as i need to change my lock and strips which needed and they saying you need to arrange the repair as its your responsibility. so as a shared ownership can i have to buy building insuance with content. I have only content insurance. we pay rent and service charge too.

    Comment by Bav — December 2, 2019 @ 12:12 pm

  20. Hello, I hope you can point me in the right direction. My problem is this: I own and have paid for 50% of my property. I first purchased my property in 1991 and have an old lease. In that lease is a clause stating that my house can only be sold onto anyone who resides in my borough council’s area, which naturally reduces the amount of buyers available. My housing association marketed the property and found a buyer who lives outside the area, but sought permission from the council to allow the buyer to purchase my share. Permission was granted, but the clause was not removed from the lease. My buyer applied to Barclays for a mortgage, initially they agreed to loan on principle until they read the clause and withdrew their offer. My buyers solicitor has advised my buyer to pull out of the sale unless the clause can be removed. I have approached my housing association to request removal, but they say it is unlikely the borough council will remove it. could you please advise me who I can seek advice from? As I see it, unless the clause is removed, I will not be able to sell my share as it is unlikely any mortgage lender will lend if the clause is left in.

    Comment by Susanna — November 1, 2019 @ 7:02 pm

  21. Dear Lynn – Really sorry to read about your issue. Please have a look at the Housing Ombudsman website and consider contacting them https://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/. I would suggest though you put in a formal complaint to the Housing Association first

    Comment by HomeOwners Alliance — October 8, 2019 @ 1:45 pm

  22. I was conned into shared ownership of a flat. It was a second buyer situation, I bought 75% of what I thought was a property but didn’t find out until after completion I owned nothing. Now I can’t sell the place and I am desperate to get rid of it. I can’t live in it due to health reasons, can’t do stairs anymore and its first floor. I would sell it at a considerable loss to anybody who would buy it but nobody want is. The housing association won’t buy it back, they prefer to leave it empty as long as they are getting their rent and charges every month. Then if I don’t pay they can just help themselves and even charge me for the privilege of them taking what should have been a small asset off me. After they make me pay for all that I end up bankrupt, where is the justice in that? I always thought Housing Associations were there to help people not to render them homeless and bankrupt when they are pensioners. The HA’s are just money grabbing scamming bullies who need to be reigned in somehow but no idea how. They just seem to get away with everything ans we can do absolutely nothing about it

    Comment by Lynn Cluer — October 7, 2019 @ 11:52 pm

  23. Hi
    I’ve been selling my half ownership property, due to complete tomorrow.
    When I started selling my property I endured 4 weeks resale with the housing association then we was free to sell ourselves. And if the selling price was more than the independent valuation we was to pay the independent valuation for their half and keep the rest.
    However, my housing association has now stated that they changed their policy (not informing me) and I have to split the final sale price with them.
    My argument is that I signed on the previous policy they had in place not the one they have now, which Only changed as they merged with another housing association.
    Any advise?


    Comment by Lorraine — September 26, 2019 @ 2:20 pm

  24. Shared ownership has been fine for myself until u ask to clarify charges that are being charged with regards maintaining areas.
    On new estates shared ownership pays more for maintenance than those who own the house out right not allowed input into estate areas and meetings as u don’t own your own house
    Then when it comes to selling the housing association not doing what is being asked of them delays due to the housing association. No one keeping them to word a sale taking over 6 months due to housing association not responding to solicitors apparently people always on holiday.
    Having high standards and now allowed things such as burners in garden in first few years of new builds but then not interested when another house been sub let.

    Comment by Jo — September 20, 2019 @ 8:55 am

  25. First and foremost, shared ownership is NOT ownership. Under the terms of the Housing Act 1988, all you are buying is an assured tenancy for the duration of the lease. If you get into arrears on either rent or service charge, the housing association will repossess the property without giving you back the money you paid for it, and certainly not the value of your share at the time it is repossessed. Buyer beware.

    Comment by Bellis — September 10, 2019 @ 4:39 pm

  26. Hi, my housing association have been in contact with all 8 properties in the complex to advise we will likely need to contribute to major fire protection works as this year it has been determined that there are exposed electrical cables in the loft, I specifically have a leak with a bucket in the corner of the loft collecting water (which I had no idea about until this year and I have lived here 3 years) and there is no loft separation between the adjoining flats meaning rapid spread of any fire. I am sure there must be legislation regarding this and the clear compromise of each tenants safety and security. Should this have been realised sooner? Is there a legal breach on behalf of the management company/housing association? The flats are only 13 years old. Any guidance you can give or legislation I should be looking at would be helpful. In addition, if works are required, why don’t the housing association have to contribute towards them when they also own half the property? I don’t think we should be paying for this as this is something in my view which should have been discovered many years ago! Many thanks.

    Comment by Mandy — September 1, 2019 @ 6:55 pm

  27. Hello,

    I bought a shared ownership flat as it was all I could afford. Having discovered the pitfalls in the scheme, is there an easy way of exiting the scheme? I know the housing association would not buy my half back as they have told me so.

    Am I able to sell my half to another housing association / council or, one of these, “Buy your house”, companies?

    Any suggestions you can make would be greatly appreciated, and thank you in advance for your assistance.

    Comment by Edward Robinson — August 17, 2019 @ 10:21 am

  28. Hello Anna, you can use whichever is the later date. The solicitors who filed the stamp duty return should be able to give you the UTRN reference.

    Comment by HomeOwners Alliance — July 31, 2019 @ 12:15 pm

  29. Regarding stamp duty payment date- is it the date of the completion or the date when solicitors transferred money to HRMC or the date of the lease signing and where do I take UTRN from?

    Comment by Anna — July 30, 2019 @ 7:47 pm

  30. One question that doesn’t seem to be addressed here is what happens if the property loses value, does the rent value decrease with it if there was a valuation done on it?

    Comment by Simon Burnage — July 30, 2019 @ 7:19 pm

  31. I bought 50% of shared ownership 5 years ago and was vulnerable and naive at the time and trusted my solicitors advise and Equity housing and the sellers words and legal position. Over the last 5 years l have been through hell, the area is high in crime, my car has been keyed, tyres slashed and the property, Damp, had to have the basement tanked, rising damp, replace kitchen and floor, replace boiler and guttering back and front, have 3 rooms re-plastered , new skirting and flooring and new internal doors and fencing around the back as well as house alarm. Oh and new bathroom suit.. This has but no value on the property at all and l will have to sell for less just to sell it. Equity Housing have been terrible with me and all the reply back with is it is a lease and maintenance is my responsibility.. l would not ever wish Shared Ownership on anyone .. My advise stay clear as you have no rights what’s so ever.. Trapped financially, mentally drained and emotionally exhausted..

    Comment by Michelle Senior — July 30, 2019 @ 12:26 pm

  32. Thanks Elliot for the information and for sharing your experience so that it may help others.

    Comment by Marianne Cole — July 17, 2019 @ 2:52 pm

  33. This article is very useful but as mentioned in one of the other comments there is a huge sticking point around the interaction between the Housing Association and the Tenant when it comes to repairs and selling.
    I have had a call open with my House Association for nearly 6 months about a leak which developed in one of the bedrooms in my flat, It took them 4 months to get back to me after I raised 3 complaints and tried to speak to them every week for an update. I was told the Head Office did not deal with Shared Ownership tenants. In short, I had no easy contact for issues with my flat.Every repair I have raised has taken at least 4 months to get resolved.

    The second point for me is around selling a shared ownership sale, the housing associations do not make it easy!
    The costs quickly mount up as I have found with a surveyor needed (£250 – 350) for a valuation and report. This report only lasts 3 months from the date they come round to the property and if the Housing Association do not sell the property within this time frame another surveyor will have to come round and generate a report, this will cost you again…

    Besides that there is the cost to the Housing Association which for a 40% resale in my flat will cost me about £2000 in what appear to be ‘admin fees’.
    I have been massively hit by costs but the need to sell the property having found out all of the cons of Shared Ownership is now greater than ever.

    I hope this is looked at in the future to give Housing Associations less power over tenants to avoid these spiralling costs.

    Comment by Elliot Barling — July 17, 2019 @ 10:23 am

  34. I invested in shared ownership in 2012 of 50%, looking back l was more focussed on providing a home for my daughter after a difficult divorce. Money was a lot less after hitting the recession ..The house was over priced when l invested something l now know l should of checked before buying and also surveyor how this was sold to me was, investment buy full property over years. , l thought Equity housing new there properties, l relies now they do not and also do not care. Trapped, physically and emotionally drained, l can only describe the last 7 years as hell.. I now know l live in the worst part of Barnsley for drugs, addiction and crime. Damages to my daughters car and tyres slashed and nearly being killed on motor way, l could go on ( no help from police) the house is extremely damp and l have spent thousands trying to fix it, l am now fixing the front guttering of the house £600 ( finished back last year) , l have been paying out every year to fix the boiler and me and my daughter were ill December after boiler went again in winter but could not afford to have it fixed, eventually 2 call outs £500.. hut had boiler replaced on credit £2600.. replaced kitchen due to damp , just paid off kitchen, new floor total for kitchen fitting around £10,000. I have had house replastered due to damp and decorated, new fencing costing £1500 and on going costs to stop damp in celier (l have been to hell and back with celier) l have replaced all internal doors replaced fire alarms and lighting fitted house Alarm and still finishing bathroom. I have no life l do not see my friends anymore and l cry a lot. Biggest regret buying this house , me and my daughter didn’t deserve this and shame on Equity housing cheadle and the last tenant for lying to me.. The properties in this area sell for £35.000 full price. I paid £30.000 shared ownership, so this is why l am trapped, l would have to sell my share for £15.00 and pay all added fees. And finish house to correct standards ( l would not sell this house with the problems , l could not lie to buyers like l was. Stay away from shared ownership from hell .

    Comment by Michelle Senior — June 27, 2019 @ 4:52 am

  35. Your article does not mention the extent of the difficulty in selling a shared ownership leasehold. You do not mention a very important point regarding length of lease and not being able to sell if below 80 years. Here are my problems concerning SO. I am a shared ownership leaseholder with Orbit housing association. I have this to say about a shared ownership lease.

    Shared ownership are difficult to sell, you can’t sublet and rents, service, maintenance and management fees keep rising.

    Permission fees are required for any alterations.

    You are responsible for all building repairs and maintenance. Boiler, plumbing, electrics, brickwork, roof, everything.

    When you come to sell you have to commission a chartered surveyor to value (£300) and then give the HA up to 3 months to sell it through their channels which they charge you for whether they sell it or not. After this, you can sell through an estate agent but only to someone that falls into the desired wage bracket.

    If you can’t sell because the valuation is too high, you can reduce the price but the HA still requires their percentage of the full valuation fees so you will have to pay the discounted remainder.

    Management companies are notoriously very difficult to deal with and more often than not will delay everything in which case the sale could fall through and your back to square one.

    There are many fees that have a time scale on them so if you cannot sell withing 6 months you have to pay for a surveyors valuation and management pack again.

    Once the lease gets to 80 years remaining you are unable to sell as no mortgage company will loan on less than 80 year leases. To be able to sell the property you need to extend the lease which will cost you anything from £10,000 to extend a 80-year lease.

    Comment by D Marshall — June 22, 2019 @ 11:47 am

  36. Hello Sam, have a chat with our partners at London and Country mortgage brokers on 0800 073 2326. They may be able to help or may be able to find you an alternative lender. Best wishes, The HOA Team.

    Comment by Sara Hind — June 18, 2019 @ 2:38 pm

  37. Hello, we are first time buyers looking to purchase a 70% share of a property. We have negotiated the price of the share down by 6k, however the mortgage lenders won’t accept the vendor’s discount on the share price. The only way the application can be submitted is with the % share matching the purchase price (in our case this comes to 68% rather than 70%). Is there any way around this? Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

    Comment by Sam — June 17, 2019 @ 6:32 pm

  38. Hello Geraldine, do speak with your housing association about this in case they have specific rules. In general, you can accept a lower offer, but you would have to pay the difference to the housing association so that the housing association receives the full value of their share. Best wishes, The HOA Team.

    Comment by Sara Hind — June 4, 2019 @ 2:36 pm

  39. As a shared owner unable to sell with my housing association and now with an estate agent, can I accept an offer on property or does it have to be the full value from the RICS surveyor valuation?

    Comment by Geraldine — May 29, 2019 @ 5:50 pm

  40. I’m experiencing a bizarre situation with a shared ownership property I have expressed an interest in. About 1.5 years ago I went to a show home for a town house in east london and shortly after put down a holding fee and the agent (L&Q) sent us a draft MOU document. Shortly after they told us they could not issue the MOU because the property would not be built until the following year. We agreed to put down a reservation fee and and wait the year. When the year was up they told us wait another 3 months, when that passed wait another 3 months. We have now queried why its taking so long and there has been no reason given only that if we think its taking too long we should look elsewhere. The property is near my workplace so I have walked passed it and the 4 town houses are fully built with one of the homes being done up as mini office for L&Q. Why won’t they hand the property over if its its already built? I have spoke to other housing providers and they said it was odd L&Q was holding onto the stock as in the sector they try to sell stock asap. We are now looking elsewhere and its a shame we had to give up the place after waiting so long. I will always wonder what the reason was for the hold up. Has anyone else experienced this or suggest why they gave us the run around?

    Comment by SheenaM — May 1, 2019 @ 3:32 pm

  41. I would willingly join if any-one could help me, at eighty one overcome the problems of my shared ownership flat being unsaleable. I am currently in touch with the Ombudsman but it seems to me a major problem that no-one is really with. My neighbour, for example died a year ago, the three-quarter ownership is still unsold on the open market and reduced from£362,000 to £265,000. I am worried about finding myself in the same position since, as I understand it, the children will have to continue to pay the community charge along with half-empty conditions. I could send you the correspondence if you wished. I cannot get the CAB to help or advise and cannot afford up to £500 per hour for a solicitor. Even if they knew anything about over fifty-five problems. Which they seem not to.

    Comment by peter durrant — April 15, 2019 @ 1:51 pm

  42. Hello Julie, we’re really sorry to hear that your struggling at the moment. We’re not the right organisation to give you advice on this, but there are places that you can get advice. You could contact The Citizen’s Advice Bureau ( https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/debt-solutions/ ). You could also try Step Change (https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/debt-solutions/ ) or National Debtline (https://www.nationaldebtline.org/).

    Comment by Sara Hind — March 26, 2019 @ 3:46 pm

  43. Hello
    I have a 50% ownership home. We are struggling finically due to my work cutting on call payments amongst other things.
    If the worst came to the worst, how would we stand with bankruptcy with a shared ownership house?
    Many thanks

    Comment by Julie h — March 25, 2019 @ 2:15 pm

  44. Hello Flora, thanks for getting in touch. It sounds as though you would benefit from having a chat with our partners at London and Country to see if there are any other lenders that might offer you a better borrowing rate. https://hoa.org.uk/services/mortgage-service-from-london-country/
    The only way currently to reduce the amount of rent you pay is to “staricase” – in other words, buy a further share of the property so that you are renting a smaller share of the property.

    Comment by Sara Hind — March 25, 2019 @ 11:08 am

  45. I have a 30% share of the property which has gone up in value. Service charges go up each year and at the end of each year there is an underpayment of £300 on average over 6 years added to my bill.

    The mortgage lender has charged in excess of 3% over the Bank of England base rate over the nearly 7 year period without ever giving me an opportunity to choose a suitable option. I cannot benefit from any of the increase in equity in my share until i sell all my share.

    At present i am wondering if there is any association safeguarding the interest of the shhared owner? and is there any way to get the government to legislate for the Housng Association to revalue properties annually and pass on the increase in equity through reduced rent and to clamp ddown on the exhorbitant mortgage rates being charged by the Shared ownership lenders so they issue refunds via the mortgage account not in cash payments.

    I feel that i have been defrauded by my mortgage lender.

    Any guidance on this?

    Comment by Flora — March 24, 2019 @ 10:03 am

  46. Hello Alex and thanks for your question. It helps if you’ve got an offer on your current property because then you know how much you can spend on your next one. There’s no harm in looking at other properties now, but you won’t be in a position to proceed with purchasing your next property until you have an offer on your current home.

    Comment by Sara Hind — March 25, 2019 @ 10:48 am

  47. Hello,

    I am hoping to purchase a larger property
    through the shared ownership scheme.

    I currently own a shared ownership property,
    I am supposed to have sold or have an offer
    for my current property before I start looking at other properties?

    Comment by A Fleming — March 22, 2019 @ 3:52 pm

  48. Hi Helena, Hope it’s not to late, but it is usually the current market value.

    Comment by Paula — May 6, 2019 @ 10:23 pm

  49. Hello Helena, we’d recommend that you contact your Housing Provider to ask them for information on this. Different providers offer different ways of selling your shared ownership property – for example, some offer a Share Sale option only whilst others will offer this and a Back to Back Staircasing and Sale option. The most common option is the Share Sale where you’re offering only your owned percentage for sale and the buyer enters into the same arrangement as you buy renting the remaining share of the property.

    Comment by Sara Hind — March 19, 2019 @ 10:22 am

  50. Hi,

    We are looking to sell our Shared Ownership home. Our share is 30%. When we sell, will we owe l&q 70% of the current market value, or do we need to pay back 70% of the property at the time of purchase? Can’t seem to find this answer anywhere. Thanks

    Comment by Helena — March 18, 2019 @ 10:25 pm

  51. Hello Alex, is your property leasehold? If so, you’ll still need to pay ground rent and service charges to the freeholder. Check the details of your lease.

    Comment by Sara Hind — January 23, 2019 @ 1:04 pm

  52. Hi,
    Why do I still have to pay service charge if I own 100% after shared ownership?

    Comment by Alex — January 20, 2019 @ 1:25 am

  53. Hi Jo, you’ll benefit from the increased value on the share of the property that you purchased. Contact your Housing Provider for information on how it will work in detail on your particular property before you make any decision.

    Comment by Sara Hind — January 2, 2019 @ 11:36 am

  54. Hello
    I own 50% share of my flat. Since owning for 5 years the value of my property has significantly increased. When I eventually sell my property, will I gain 50% of the increase of the property(as long as it sells for that price), or am I only eligible for the original 50% share that I purchased 5 yrs ago?

    thanks for your help


    Comment by Jo skinner — January 1, 2019 @ 6:29 pm

  55. I’m currently in the process staircasing to 100 % the Housing Association is willing to transfer all the remaining estate and they will no longer have any interest in the property, however, on The Transfer drafted they suggest that they are to retain an interest in the property, and references to “Common Parts & Re-Entry.
    Two of the neighbours already staircase to 100% already and both “Common Parts & Re-Entry clause was REMOVED they are refusing to do the same for me.
    No one in The Housing Association will explain to me the reason why the clause is to remain, all I’m getting is we will not change it.
    If I lived in a flat I can fully understand the clause, but I lived a house.

    1….There are no comments part- as all the roads accessways have already been adopted and used
    by pedestrians & Vehicles
    2 Reason for Re-Entry.

    Thanks, regards.


    Comment by ann-marie abdullie — December 22, 2018 @ 7:13 am

  56. Hello Dean, thanks for your question. If you were to become a member, we’d be happy to look into this for you as we can provide you with access to our Home Helpline where you can speak to someone in more detail https://hoa.org.uk/homeowners-alliance-membership/

    Comment by Chandni Sahni — December 20, 2018 @ 11:27 am

  57. I own part of a house with my mother but done to ensure her safety (she’s a vunerable adult). It was done a few years ago but now I’m ready to buy a house with my partner using shared ownership there are complications, do you have any advise on how we can still do what we want to without impacting my mother’s situation

    Comment by Dean Botham — December 15, 2018 @ 1:46 pm

  58. Hello Roger, do ask your daughter to check with the Housing Provider what the process is for staircasing to be sure as different Housing Providers may well have different procedures. But in general terms, Housing Providers ask that the shared owner pays for a RICS valuation to independently determine the value of the property at the time of staircasing. It is possible that the value of the property has fallen and the valuation should reflect this.

    Comment by Sara Hind — November 19, 2018 @ 3:41 pm

  59. My daughter is looking to purchase a shared ownership property. Please can you explain what happens if the value of the property goes down, does it make stair casing cheaper?

    Comment by Roger — November 1, 2018 @ 1:28 pm

  60. Hi

    I purchased 50% 24 years ago. I have saved the money to purchase the remaining 50%.

    However, the landlord. Not the original landlord. The house transferred twice whilst I’ve lived here. They are dragging their heals. I have had to pay for a 2nd valuation because the 1st expired. The 2nd will expire in less than a month. It’s not as if we are negotiating, they just take on average 2 weeks to respond to requests. I am still be charged rent and my conveyancing firm just seem to toddle along with it. It can’t be right that they can drag their heels and i have to keep forking out for it? I have only just received the TP1 as i am requesting the freehold. However, i have asked if they will still expect service charges after the purchase? To be fair, my conveyancing firm aren’t too sharp but its the delays in getting answers. Sorry to bore you….

    Comment by Andrew Ridley — October 9, 2018 @ 4:35 pm

  61. Hello Quincy and thanks for your question. If you were to become a member, we’d be happy to look into this for you. Alternatively, you might want to contact the Govt’s Stamp Duty Land Tax helpline on 0300 200 3510.

    Comment by Sara Hind — October 16, 2018 @ 2:52 pm

  62. Hi, I’m considering buying a shared ownership flat, but I’m a bit concerned f I’ll be able to sell my shares in a few years’ time as my situation might change. If I want to move to a bigger flat, can I purchase the flat earlier than managing to sell the shared ownership? I know if I had a regular residential home, then I’d pay 3% extra stamp duty to own the second home, and will get a stamp duty refund if I sell within 3 years. Is it the same with shared ownership?

    Comment by Quincy — October 8, 2018 @ 7:57 pm

  63. Hi Marie, sorry to hear that you’re in this situation which isn’t unusual I’m afraid. To be able to help you further we’d need to see the paperwork that your housing association has sent you. This would be a service we provide to members so please do consider taking out a membership with us and we’ll do our best to help you.

    Comment by Sara Hind — October 17, 2018 @ 2:36 pm

  64. My question is my housing association says that i can only sell with a RICS valuation. The valuer that was on their panel as valued my property at £110,000 more than three estate agents say its worth and the valuer wont reduce their valuation. Is there any way that I can resolve such a situation.I dont want to pay another valuer and find the same thing again. The valuer says they are protecting the housing association. It was bought as a private property under a DIYSO scheme so was never a housing association property. So stuck this has been going on for months

    Comment by marie mulcahy — October 4, 2018 @ 9:42 pm

  65. Thanks Miss Martinez. Being pressured to use the in-house solicitor is a big problem and we agree doesn’t get buyers the independent advice they need from the start. We do have very varied experience of shared ownership from members but a lot of your points are common, particularly around opaque service charges. Please get in touch with us at hello@hoa.org.uk and we can see if we can help.

    Comment by AKerr — October 3, 2018 @ 11:02 am

  66. Potential Shared-Ownership buyers DO NOT have access to read or view leases prior to purchasing, therefore regardless of how much background research you do, unless you already know a friend or resident already living at the development, willing to share impartial advice/information, you will never be aware of the full T’s & C’s of Lease until post-purchase.Similarly with the Service Charges costs. housing Associations often generally give prospect buyers unrealistic estimates (exactly my case)to attract and encourage them to purchase. They strongly recommend solicitors which also work jointly with them and are favoured by the Developer, as it reduces the turnaround and they know exactly which critical information NOT to disclose to secure a deal. What’s even worse is they ALL take advantage of the unprivileged socio-economic status of the buyer (who has no other possibilities of getting on the property ladder). In addition to being unrealistic “charges”, owners are quickly placed under huge financial burdens when they discover these developments are run by scrupulous Estate Management Companies who abuse not only Shared Owners positions, but also that of traditional Leaseholders as they know the whole Leasehold system is severely flawed, there is no monitoring by a Regulator, Government or even the Housing Associations involved, of the fees they impose on Residents (I.e: they include huge deficits ranging from £350K due to mismanagement of Estate Budget, discovering flaws in building designs such as the “infamous” Flammable Cladding & consequently adding “Waking Watch” costs, unjustified yearly increases in Service Charges to the point of being triple or cuadruple in amount, just to name a few). Despite Residents reporting this ongoing abuse and initially engaging in dialogue with all parties involved to: Firstly find out the why? Secondly request to see receipts justifying provision of services and provider/maintenance contracts to ascertain if we are really getting “good value for money”, NOBODY wants to listen, NOBODY wants to assume one iota of responsibility, Government DOESN’T intervene or even attempt to change/penalise the abusive behaviours and practices from “Offshore tax-avoiding Freeholders”, Estate Management Companies, Developers, Housing Associations. Families and single individuals are at their financial and emotional wits end because there is NO SOLUTION for them. They are being held hostages in their properties, which are now an unsellable and unsafe product, additionally in danger of negative equity, while still having to survive on unsavoury salaries and feed themselves (basically survive). This NEEDS to stop!!!

    Comment by Miss R Martinez — September 30, 2018 @ 4:50 pm

  67. No Tania, it will remain a leasehold property. You will own 100% of the leasehold.

    Comment by AKerr — October 3, 2018 @ 11:03 am

  68. Hi
    after purchasing the whole 100% of the shared ownership property, does this make the house freehold?

    Comment by Tania — September 28, 2018 @ 8:38 pm

  69. Shared ownership now is much better I bought an older house own half and sadly retired and all repairs are down to me. They sell their older houses or did then to sit on money while the leaseholder keeps the house up to date rather unfair

    Comment by Mary Sullivan — September 25, 2018 @ 10:26 am

  70. We are currently trying to get out if this scheme but our housing assosiation have wanted 3months before we are able to go to estate agent.
    Also we didnt hear anything from our housing assosiation which were clarion.
    I wouldnt recommend this to any of my friends its very expensive to get out and weve had to do all the work

    Comment by zalie olmos — September 24, 2018 @ 11:02 am

  71. Hi Glenn, it’s not possible for us to answer this question. It’s best posed to the Housing Association, and if you have a conveyancer, ask them to check this out for you.

    Comment by Sara Hind — September 24, 2018 @ 4:22 pm

  72. I am currently in the process of buying a 50% share in a property. I was concerned with the rent on the other half of the property. Does the housing association have the right to sell their share of the property to a third party, then increasing the rent?

    Comment by Glenn — September 18, 2018 @ 12:28 pm

  73. Hi Annette, we’d suggest you contact your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau for advice on housing benefit.

    Comment by Sara Hind — August 22, 2018 @ 2:16 pm

  74. I have a concern.
    We are in a shared ownership which we own 10% of.
    We are worried that if my husband comes out of work, will the government pay our rent as we have no savings. This has become a bit scary because of rumours at work.

    Thank you

    Comment by Annette — August 21, 2018 @ 6:13 pm

  75. hi …currently buying a 50|% shared ownership with a private housing company – currently selling a flat – sold subject to contract – heaven forbid anything goes wrong…but if the flat fell through would we if able to raise the money of the share out of desperation..be able to continue with the purchase???…house is new build and we have completed reservation etc..

    Comment by ali — April 8, 2018 @ 8:51 am

  76. I’m thinking of buying a share of the HA house I’ve lived in for the last 35 years, under the Social Homebuy scheme. I would really like to talk to a solicitor about the pros and cons of this, particularly one who is familiar with the downside of SO/SH. Knowledge of inheritance tax would be also very useful. Can you recommend anyone?

    Comment by Jane — November 23, 2017 @ 12:33 am

  77. valuable brief on shared ownership. i wish to feedback on shared ownership with no rental for 55+ groups where for economic reasons have had to sell their properties resulting in falling between the cracks as they do not fall in the poverty bracket but unable to obtain a mortgage but may be able to use the balance from the sale of the property. however some of which has been used towards rental in the meantime resulting in being forced into shared housng and in depletion of this money after a number of years. What happens at this point especially as around this vulnerable age to end of life it is difficult to manage maintenance costs and council tax which are excluded from service charges. Pensions have depreciated. can one get support as is from a rental perspective?

    Comment by m wilks — October 19, 2017 @ 8:40 pm

  78. Hi Tim, mortgage arrangement fees can vary from zero to as much as £2,000 but a typical arrangement fee now is perhaps £999.
    That would also usually include any booking fee if applicable. Eg you might have £99 or £199 upfront with the remainder on completion. Again there are lots of lenders that don’t charge a booking fee and it could even vary between products. So it’s worth speaking to the lender direct and a broker. It is sometimes the case that you can get a better deal from a lender going through a broker then going to the lender direct. Our mortgage broker partner are L&C and are fee-free, so worth giving them a ring on 0800 073 2326 – or request a call back here

    Comment by AKerr — August 2, 2017 @ 11:07 am

  79. My daughter is about to purchase a 30% share and I am interested in the difference between going through a broker for the load and and using a lender direct. Arrangement fee is £1000.00 Is this normal ?

    Comment by Tim Jones — August 1, 2017 @ 12:14 pm

  80. I have just been to view a share to buy resale with Notting hill housing association in London. The sellers of their 50% are obliged to sell their share through the housing association- to which they take 1% of the sale value for doing so. This particular seller was due payout 25000 for the commission!

    Comment by Rory Tiernan — April 6, 2017 @ 7:47 pm

  81. Interesting. I purchased my house (50%) via Shared Ownership. I have maintained the property the best I can. The crux being is that the house was not on a HA street. What exactly am I paying a service charge for? Apart from a yearly statement and correspondence informing me of increase in rental and service charge I have heard NOTHING from the HA. They obviously don’t maintain the street, nor the lighting, nor anything else for that matter. Quite apart from the service charge I am also charged a small monthly sum for buildings insurance!

    Comment by Mark Casey — March 6, 2017 @ 2:27 pm

  82. Dear

    My shared ownership property was destroyed inva fire on the 30th April 2016. Currently still not fixed.

    My Housing association expects me to pay rent in this.

    Can I be expected to pay rent for a flat that I have not been able to inhabit?

    Please please advice me?

    Kind regards,

    Mr Johann Swanepoel

    Comment by Johann Swanepoel — February 8, 2017 @ 5:29 pm

  83. Great insightful article thank you. Has given me some questions to ask the developer

    Comment by james — February 2, 2017 @ 9:39 am

close popup ×

Make the most of your home this Autumn.

Sign up to our free newsletter this October for your chance to win a £50 John Lewis voucher. With their extensive home and garden collections you'll be spoilt for choice. For the latest news, advice and exclusive money saving offers.

Prize draw to win voucher offer ends 31st October 2020.
Read our privacy policy