Shared Ownership FAQs

Who can apply?

Certain key eligibility criteria apply to Shared Ownership, these include:

  • Not owning any other property
  • Being in permanent employment
  • Having a household income of less than £80,000 per year
  • In some cases, having work and/or family connections to the area in which you want to buy. Please check the requirements for the specific site you are interested in for more details.

Who has priority?

  • Some schemes such as Shared Ownership, give priority to the following groups:
  • Serving military personnel
  • Former members of the British Armed Forces discharged in the last 2 years

What if I am an existing home owner?

If you already own a home, including overseas and existing shared owners, you may not be eligible for the Shared Ownership scheme.

However, if your existing home no longer meets your needs and you are unable to purchase a suitable home because of financial constraints then you may still be eligible – we treat every application on a case-by-case basis. In this instance, you will need to demonstrate that you are in housing need and have an agreed a sale on your current home prior to applying.

What if I previously owned a home?

If you have previously owned a home, your application will be based on your current housing situation. However, if you have any equity from the proceeds of the sale, these will be taken into account when you apply.

What size of property can I buy?

Previously, for Shared Ownership properties, you were only allowed to apply for a property with one more bedroom than your current need. However, there is no longer any restriction on the number of bedrooms you are allowed to apply for.

Can I use housing benefit?

You are unable to use housing benefit to buy a Shared Ownership property.

What if I am self-employed?

If you’re self-employed, you need to be able to demonstrate that you can afford to maintain the costs of home ownership in the long term. You will usually need to provide three years’ past accounts, and speak to a mortgage advisor for financial advice with regards to applying for a mortgage.

Can I buy additional shares?

If you buy a Shared Ownership home, you will initially purchase the share you can afford – usually between 25-75%, although on newer Shared Ownership homes this might be as low as 10%, if this is the share level that’s affordable.

You can then increase your ownership at a later stage and can usually go on to own the property outright if you wish. This is called staircasing and many people who buy affordable homes staircase to become full owners. You can find more information on our Staircasing page.

What if I want to sell my Shared Ownership home?

You can get advice on selling your Shared Ownership property from Plumlife’s Sales Services Team, who can be contacted on 0161 447 5050 and will be happy to advise you on any questions you might have. You can also visit our page on Selling your home for more information.

Can I sublet my Shared Ownership home?

No, you must live in the home that you purchased. In exceptional circumstances, for example, if you are a serving member of the armed forces away on a tour of duty, then subletting may be considered but written permission from the Plumlife Management Team would be required.

Who pays for any repairs or maintenance?

It is your responsibility to maintain the property and keep it in good condition. New-build homes are usually offered with a 10 year build warranty as well as a one year defects period with the builder, which your sales advisor will explain at the time of purchase.

On newer Shared Ownership homes there may be a 10 year ‘initial repair period’ during which you will be able to claim costs of up to £500 a year from your landlord to help with essential repairs. During this period the landlord is also responsible for the cost of essential repairs to the external fabric of the building and structural internal repairs. These are limited to repairs not covered by the building warranty, defects period or any other guarantees. The £500 allowance can also be used to claim back excess paid when claiming through the building warranty. Please check with your sales advisor whether the home you are purchasing benefits from the 10 year ‘initial repair period’.