The share ownership eligibility requirements listed below are general and providers of the shared ownership scheme may have more specific shared ownership eligibility requirements.

The general share ownership eligibility criteria are:

  1. You must be a UK resident
  2. You must be at least 18 years of age
  3. If you live outside of London your annual household income must be less than £80,000
  4. If you live In London your annual household income must be less than £90,000
  5. You should not be able to afford to buy a house suitable for your housing needs at
  6. the time of your shared ownership application
  7. You must be a first-time buyer and will usually have to sign a first-time buyer declaration to prove this.
  8. If you do own a home then you must be in the process of selling it.
  9. You must not have any mortgage or rent arrears
  10. You must be able to afford a mortgage
  11. You must have the 5% to 10% mortgage deposit for the equity you are buying in the home.
  12. You should have savings or to be able to easily access at least £4,000 to cover the costs of buying a home. This is a guideline figure.

    You must not have bad credit

Bad credit means:

A CCJ

An IVA

A debt management plan

A default

A bankruptcy

A home reposession

Aside from the shared ownership scheme, you may also be eligible and able to use these schemes.

  • Lifetime ISA- gives you a government bonus of £1,000 if you save the maximum £4,000 a year.
  • Help to buy ISA- gives a maximum bonus us £3,000 if you save the maximum allowed of £12,000. Before you get either you should consider which is better. Lifetime ISA vs Help to buy ISA.
  • Help to buy equity loan- gives you up to 40% as a 5-year interest-free equity loan. You begin to pay interest at 1.75 % after the fifth year and 1% plus RPI for every year thereafter.
  • Armed forces help to buy- similar to the help to buy equity loan but specific for the armed forces personnel giving them an increased chance of acceptance.
  • Rent to buy- This is the right to buy scheme on which this guide is currently discussing. A different marketing name is just used. Watch out for this when shopping to avoid missing out on eligible properties due to confusion.
  • Right to buy- allows you to buy your home at a discount price.
  • Preserved right to buy- same as above.
  • Right to acquire- same as above.

You may also be able to use a host of mortgages with the help of your family.

They are a certain type of mortgage known as a family springboard mortgage, they include mortgages from lenders such as the Barclays family springboard mortgage, the lloyds lend a hand mortgage or the post office family link mortgage.

John Bate

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.