FAQs - Shared Ownership

What’s the difference between Shared Ownership and Part Rent, Part Buy?

There’s no difference between the two. Part Rent, Part Buy is another term for Shared Ownership. 

How long does it take for you to assess my application form?

If you apply using our on-line application form we will give you a response within 4 working days although in more than 90% of cases we actually send a response within 1 working day.  

 

I’ve had a letter from you saying I am headline approved for Help to Buy but nothing has happened since. What do I need to do next?

If you have found a property you are interested in and have specified the housing association that is selling that home on your application form, they will be notified that you have been approved for the scheme.  You should now contact the housing association and they will advise you of the next steps. Make sure you pass on the reference number we have given you in your approval email.

If you have not found a home you would like to buy yet, your next step is to start looking for a home.

You can also use our Property Search to look for properties available or coming soon in the areas where you want to buy. You can also contact housing associations directly to find out what homes they have available. You can find a list of providers here.

When you find a home you are interested in, you will need log on to your account again and update the name of the housing association and the property/development on your application.  This is so that we can send a notification to the housing association that you are interested in one of their properties and then they will be able to access your application on our database.

Find out more about updating your application form here.

 

Why do I apply to Help to Buy Midlands when I want to buy a shared ownership property from a different organisation?

Help to Buy Midlands is the government appointed Help to Buy agent for the whole of the Midlands region.  You apply to us so that we can check that you meet the initial eligibility criteria. 

The advantage of this is that once we’ve given you headline approval, you shouldn’t have to fill in any other application forms, even if you’re potentially looking at several properties being sold by different housing associations.

All registered housing associations in the area have electronic access to our database and will download your form directly from the database.

I’m thinking of buying a property under the Shared Ownership scheme. If I buy a share in one of these properties, who is responsible for the repairs and upkeep?

As the homeowner, you are responsible.  This will be detailed in the terms of your lease. Please speak to the housing association you are buying from for more information. 

I’ve seen a property on your website that I’m interested in but it says it is a Re-Sale property – what does this mean?

Re-sale properties are ones which were bought under shared ownership when new and the current owner is now selling.  You can also purchase the property under shared ownership if you are eligible.

I’m a homeowner but our flat is now too small for our growing family. We’d like to move to a larger property but we’re struggling to afford it. Can I apply for shared ownership?

Shared Ownership schemes are aimed at first time buyers but applications from existing home owners can also be considered.  You will need to sell your existing property although you may be able to do this simultaneously with buying a new shared ownership property.   

Please note: Your existing property must be sold subject to contract (you have formally accepted an offer for it) before you apply to us and we will require evidence of this, such as a Memorandum of Sale.

I bought a 50% share in a Shared Ownership property a while ago and I now would like to buy more shares in my home – can I do this?

You should be able to buy further shares although you will need to check the terms of your lease.  This is called Staircasing and you can find out more on our Shared Ownership page.  Some schemes, particularly in rural areas, may have restrictions on how big a share of the property you can own.

Do I have to buy the remaining shares in my shared ownership property within a certain period?

There’s no requirement with shared ownership for you to buy the remaining shares in your home if you don’t want, or can’t afford to.  So if you originally bought a 50% share, you’re not under any obligation to buy the other 50% at any point in the future.

If I buy a shared ownership home, I will be a leaseholder, not a freeholder. Why is that?

With shared ownership, you own a share in the property but not the entire property.  The rest of your home will be owned by the Housing Association you bought it from and you’ll be paying a subsidised rent to them for the share you have not purchased.  The Housing Association retains the freehold.   

What are service charges?

Service charges can cover a range or services, such as grounds maintenance or major repairs, but it will all depend on the terms of your lease.    It’s a good idea to talk to the Housing Association you’re buying from about service charges before you commit to buying the property.  This will help you to clarify what, if any, service charges apply, what they cover and how much they will be.