When you buy a shared ownership property you become a leaseholder and CHP is your landlord.
You’ll have a lease for the property, which is a legal contract between us and you. The original lease length will usually be for 125 years.
The lease outlines your rights and responsibilities as a shared owner. You have the right to decorate your new home as you wish. You’re responsible for keeping your home in good condition and making repairs. However, if you wish to make any structural changes to the property such as removing a wall, you must get our permission. You decide when it’s time to sell or buy new shares.
As a leaseholder you’ll pay a monthly service charge to us. These cover the costs of maintaining communal areas for your building and/or block, including communal lighting, repairs, cleaning and gardening, as well as buildings insurance and management fees.
Buy more later
With most shared ownership schemes you can buy further shares when you can afford to. This is called staircasing. The minimum percentage you can staircase by is 10 percent and then in 5 percent increments i.e. 10 percent, 15 percent, 20 percent, etc. You can usually staircase up to 100 percent to eventually own your home outright. Most people will staircase two or three times before they own their home completely. However, on some schemes you may only be able to buy up to 75 or 80 percent (any restrictions to staircasing will be detailed in your lease).
You’ll need to meet the following criteria to be eligible for shared ownership:
- you must be aged 18 or over;
- your annual household income must be less than £80,000 (£90,000 in London);
- you don’t already own a property, or part of a property, at the time of completing your purchase.
You’ll need to have a good credit history and have some savings (minimum of £5,000) to cover the costs involved in buying a home. You must also be able to keep up with the monthly rent and mortgage repayments.
You can buy newly built or resale shared ownership properties.
Help to Buy
Help to Buy is a government scheme providing a range of options designed to make it more affordable for you to buy a home. To buy a shared ownership home, you need to register with the Help to Buy agent in the area where you want to live. For the South of England (including Essex) this is Help to Buy South. Here you can find lots of information about the scheme and eligibility.
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