What is Shared Ownership?
Shared Ownership can help you on to the housing ladder in a more affordable way. It allows you to buy a property in stages. You will initially buy a share of a property that we consider affordable to you. The mortgage and rent payments should be between 30% and 45% of your net monthly income and the income multiple for your mortgage should be between 2.5 and 4.5 times your annual income . These figures will also take into account any additional loans or child maintenance that you have to pay and will be subject to a financial interview with an independent financial advisor. You are encouraged to maximise your affordability and purchase a share, ranging from 25% to 75% that is affordable.
Usually a minimum of 25% of a property can be purchased and a subsidised rent is payable on the remaining share (usually calculated at 2.75% of the share you do not purchase). Further shares can usually be purchased until you own 100% of the property. Buying further shares is called staircasing and it is not compulsory. Please see our Staircasing page for further information.
Watch our short film and see our frequently asked questions below to find out more about Shared Ownership and how it works.
Frequently asked questions
Shared Ownership is available to anybody who doesn't already own their own home and earns less than £60,000 per year. For example:
- Housing association/local authority tenants
- People on a local authority housing waiting list
- Ministry of Defence personnel
- First time buyers
- Previous home owners wanting to get back on the property ladder
Priority will normally be given to Ministry of Defence personnel, existing social housing tenants or people on a local authority housing waiting list.
- You must meet our affordability criteria
- You do not have a household income of more than £60,000
- We suggest that applicants have savings to put towards a deposit, purchase expenses and moving costs
- You must be permanently employed for at least six months
- You will need to be registered with the HomeBuy Agent for the area you are interested in
- In some instances, we can only sell our properties to specific client groups, for example applicants with a local connection
- You will need to have a good credit history with no record of County Court Judgements or loan defaults registered against you
- You must be willing to attend a financial interview to confirm your current income and expenditure
Up to four people can buy a home together depending on the participating lender's criteria, but all joint applicants must together meet our affordability criteria.
We advertise our properties for sale on our available homes page. We also advertise with the HomeBuy Agent for the area, in local newspapers, magazines, general property search websites and on local radio stations. To be the first to know about our Shared Ownership developments please join our mailing list on the button to the left hand side.
Please note that all applicants will be required to register with the HomeBuy Agent in order to confirm eligibility for the Shared Ownership scheme. For some properties, conformation of your registration on the local housing waiting list will also be required.
Property offers will be subject to an affordability check, which will be determined at a financial interview, together with proof of identity and address.
- A £250 reservation fee to reserve a shared ownership property once you have been assessed and offered a home
- A deposit, based on the share you are purchasing, will be required and can be anything from 5% of the share, depending on your mortgage provider
- A subsidised rent will be payable on the remaining share, usually calculated at 2.75% of the unsold share
- Yearly buildings insurance payable to Cross Keys Homes, which is currently approximately £60
- Yearly management fee payable to Cross Keys Homes which is currently approximately £55
- Solicitors fees, which can range from £700 upwards
- A service charge may also be payable, depending on the property being purchased
- Ground rent may also be payable, depending on the property being purchased
Your lease is a legal document which explains your rights and responsibilities as a leaseholder as well as the relationship between you and the freeholder of your home. Your solicitor should explain the lease to you before you complete your purchase.
The phrase ‘leasehold’ simply refers to a long tenancy, and the right to occupy and use your property for a long period of time, ie the ‘term’ of the lease. Whether you buy a house or apartment, Cross Keys Homes will grant you a lease, usually for a minimum of 99 or 125 years. While the term of the lease will be fixed at the outset, it will decrease in length year-on-year. However, you can apply to extend the length of the lease if you wish. Your lease will entitle you to live in your own home as an owner occupier and will include guidance on buying and selling further shares. In addition the lease includes your responsibilities in respect to repairs and the payment of rent and service charges.
A plan will be attached to your lease. This shows the boundaries of your home and the building that includes it. There may also be another plan to show the areas for which you will pay a share of the scheme maintenance costs. The lease contains legally binding responsibilities both for you and the freeholder. There are also some statutory requirements that ensure you receive relevant information and are consulted on any major works we may have to undertake if you live in an apartment block.
Your responsibilities of the lease include:
- Paying the rent, ground rent, building insurance and service charge where required
- Paying other out goings on the property (eg council tax and utility charges)
- Maintaining and decorating the interior of your dwelling
- Obtaining our written permission before you carry out major alterations
- Not causing a nuisance or annoyance to your neighbours
- Not keeping pets or fitting a satellite dish to the exterior of the property if you live in an apartment
- Not sub-letting your property or taking a lodger while you are a shared owner without prior consent
- Providing us with an address where we can contact you if you do sub-let once you have received our permission
It is important that you adhere to the conditions of your lease. Failure to do so could result in the loss of your home.
Our responsibilities of the lease include:
- Keeping your building insured, we will invoice you yearly for this
- Consulting you about any contract that will last for more that 12 months and result in a service charge of more than £100 per annum
- Producing service charge accounts within six months of the end of the accounting year where applicable
- Not unreasonably refusing your permission for improvements or alterations
In the case of apartments:
- Keeping the structure and common parts of the property in good repair
- Consulting you about any repair works that will cost you more than £250
Your rent is due in advance. The easiest way to pay your rent is monthly by direct debit.
Yes, you can usually purchase further shares in your home. This is called Staircasing.
You are responsible for all day-to-day decorating, repairs and maintenance and do not need to contact Cross Keys Homes before carrying out this type of work. However, if you wish to carry out any alterations, you will need to obtain our written permission. We will require detailed plans of the works you propose to undertake to ensure that they do not harm the structure of the building or interfere with your neighbours. On this basis, permission will not be unreasonably withheld.
Under the terms of your lease, you are obliged to pay your rent and service charge in advance on a monthly basis. If, however, due to unemployment or illness, you find yourself unable to do so, then it is important to let us know as soon as possible. Together we may be able to come to an agreement for you to pay back the money you owe. Failure to contact us could lead to legal proceedings, associated costs and your lease being forfeited which, ultimately could result in the loss of your home.
The rent you pay facilitates you to own your own home.
The rent is calculated as a percentage of the unsold equity (ie the share Cross Keys Homes owns). The rent increases every April at RPI (Retail Price Index - a published inflationary indicator) plus a percentage of the existing charge. The existing charge increase will be no more than 0.5 per cent.
Your mortgage contract is between you and your mortgage lender. If you experience any financial difficulties, which mean you are unable to make your mortgage repayments, you should contact your lender immediately. Failure to contact them could lead to repossession proceedings which could result in the loss of your home.
When beginning to look for a home of your own, it is advisable to ensure that are able to obtain a mortgage for the amount you are wishing to borrow.
If you are offered a shared ownership property, the process will usually be as follows:
- Cross Keys Homes will arrange for you to attend a financial interview
- A £250 reservation fee will be required from you within five working days of the property offer being made subject to exchange within 28 days. Should you pull out or fail to meet the 28 day exchange then this money will not be deducted form the final costs
- Both parties will instruct their respective solicitors
- Our solicitors will provide proof of Cross Keys Homes’ ownership and a draft contract and lease that will describe the property being sold and the rights and obligations that go with it. Our solicitors will send out the contract and lease toy your solicitors.
- Your solicitors will carry out a local land charges search from the local authority
- You (or your lender) will instruct a surveyor or valuer to carry out a mortgage valuation and survey of your property. Providing there is nothing adverse, you should then receive your mortgage offer. A copy of this should be forwarded to Cross Keys Homes for approval
- Your solicitor will then make various enquiries about the property to our solicitor. They will then make enquiries to the local authority regarding the surroundings
- Once the contracts are exchanged and the lease have been agreed, both sides are ready to enter into a binding agreement to buy and sell the property
- Contracts are exchanged and you will usually need to pay a deposit at this stage
- If any further clarification is required your solicitor will make additional enquires to our solicitors
- Once these have been finalised, the lease can be completed (and exchanged if this hasn't already happended). Your solicitor will transfer the balance of the purchase price to our solicitor
- Your solicitor will then arrange payment of your stamp duty or advise you accordingly
- Once Cross Keys Homes or our solicitor has confirmed receipt of the purchase monies, we will contact you to make arrangements to handover the keys to your home. We can not allow keys to be released or furniture or any other item to be delivered until the full funds have been received
- Upon completion of your purchase your lease will be managed by our land and property team and you will hear from them directly with regards to the payment of service charges, management fees, buildings insurance etc. If you have any neighbourhood management enquiries please contact your local neighbourhood office.
Please note that during the purchase process and wherever possible Cross Keys Homes will try to accommodate any requests to revisit your property in order that you may take measurements etc. However, please remember that site access may be restricted due to health and safety regulations and cannot always be guaranteed. In order to arrange your viewing appointment, please telephone tus on: 01733 396415 or email: email@example.com.
For properties in Peterborough apply online. This will take you to Orbit HomeBuy Agents' website, make sure you state "Cross Keys Homes" on your application form. Orbit HomeBuy Agents will then send your application to us for assessment for the particular development you are interested in.
For properties in Lincolnshire apply online. This will take you to EM HomeBuy's website, make sure you state "Cross Keys Homes" on your application form and let EM HomeBuy know you would like your aproved application forwarding to us for assessment for the particular development you are interested in.
You can download and complete the Orbit application form for our Peterborough properties and return to: Cross Keys Homes' Intermediate Tenure Manager, Shrewsbury Avenue, Peterborough, PE2 7BZ. Make sure you have said which of our Shared Ownership schemes you are interested in.
For further information or help with completing your application call: 01733 396415 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To talk about shared ownership in more detail call us on: 01733 396415 or email: email@example.com.