Shared Ownership

If financial constraints mean you are struggling to get on the property ladder, Shared Ownership could be for you. The scheme allows you to buy a share in a home that you can afford and introduces you into home ownership in manageable stages.

Shared Ownership is primarily aimed at first-time buyers who can sustain home ownership but who are unable to afford a suitable property on the open market.

In the future you can simply sell your share for its value at the time or you can purchase further shares in your home.

The Shared Ownership scheme is a simple and affordable way to purchase a property. You buy a share of a property (approximately between 25% and 75%) using a deposit and a mortgage, and pay a rent to CHS on the remaining share. The combined monthly cost of mortgage and rent will normally be less than if you were purchasing the property outright or renting privately.

Existing CHS Shared Owners

As a shared owner or leaseholder you are responsible for repairs inside your home, however you are included in the Buildings Insurance cover arranged by CHS.  Although this does not cover your contents, you may be able to claim, for example, if you have accidental damage.  You can review the extent of the cover and find contact details for the Insurance Company here

Shared ownership buying imageBuying

The Shared Ownership scheme can help you into home ownership by allowing you to buy an initial share in a home that you can afford. Newly built and existing Shared Ownership homes are listed on the Help to Buy website as soon as they become available to the market.

View Shared Ownership homes

For more information on purchasing a Shared Ownership property, please see our FAQs below or download our handy guide.

Cambridge and County Developments is a subsidiary of The CHS Group which provides Open Market homes. Details on these new developments can be found here:

View Open Market homes

 

Selling

The Shared Ownership scheme is becoming increasingly popular amongst first time buyers in this region. To begin advertising, you will need to have the property valued by a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (rics.org.uk), to work out the current ‘Open Market Value’.

It’s your responsibility to pay for this valuation, however, if you would like us to organise this for you, please get in touch and we will send you payment details and more information on the selling process.

Staircasing imageStaircasing

If you would like to increase your share of ownership in your property (or ‘staircase’ as it’s referred to in your lease) your rent payments will decrease accordingly.

The first step is to have the property officially valued to determine the current market value. This valuation needs to be carried out by a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (rics.org.uk).

As with selling your property, we can organise the valuation for you if you wish, please get in touch and we will send you the payment details and more information on the staircasing process.

You should check your lease for any staircasing restrictions but for more information on staircasing, please see our FAQs below.

Get in touch

For more information on Shared Ownership housing contact us to speak to a member of our team or visit the Help To Buy website for local listings and information on how to apply.

Buying - Frequently Asked Questions

What is Shared Ownership?

Shared Ownership is a cost effective way for mainly first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder. You can purchase initial shares of a property of between 25% to 75% using a deposit and mortgage.

Where are Shared Ownership properties advertised?

Our properties are advertised on the Help to Buy website at www.helptobuyese.org.uk. There are both newly built and resale houses advertised on the site.

Who qualifies for the Shared Ownership scheme?

If outright purchase is not an option for you, this scheme offers an alternative to renting. Typically, Shared Ownership properties and purchased by first time buyers but if you have owned a property before, you may still be eligible. To find out more, complete the application process on the Help to Buy website.

What happens if I wish to buy?

We will check your eligibility criteria which any purchaser will need to satisfy which will consist of the following:

  • A Mortgage in Principle
  • Help to Buy approval number
  • Evidence of deposit funds (bank statement)
  • Photo ID and proof of address
  • Solicitor’s details
  • Proof of income
  • Completed affordability calculator
How does Shared Ownership work?

Most properties are advertised at an initial 40% or 50% share; however there may be opportunities to buy between 25% and 75%. CHS will retain the remaining percentage and you will be required to pay rent on that share. Shared Ownership properties are on a leasehold basis, usually from 99 to 250 years. The lease sets out your responsibilities regarding repairs, maintenance, rent and subletting.

Can I ever own 100%?

A process called “staircasing” allows you to purchase a greater percentage share in the future if you wish. Your lease will detail if there are any restrictions but some may be restricted to 80%. Service charges may still apply even when you own 100% of your property.

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What are the costs involved?

Reservation fees usually apply only to new build properties and will be deducted from the purchase price on completion.

Other costs involved may consist of:

  • Mortgage costs
  • Stamp duty (if applicable)
  • Furnishings and removals
  • Rent payment and service charges to CHS
  • Council tax
  • Utilities
  • Contents insurance
Who is responsible for repairs?

The structure of the building is insured through CHS but you are responsible for all of the maintenance within your home.

If you are living in a flat, the communal areas may be managed by CHS and costs covered by your service charge. These details will be told to you when purchasing.

Are there any restrictions?

Your Shared Ownership home must be your principal home and you cannot sublet it. You will need permission to keep pets which is usually prohibited in flats. All other restrictions are detailed in your lease.

What if I want to sell my home?

We have produced a document that is available to download here: Selling Your Shared Ownership Property

Selling - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the selling process of my property?

If you wish to sell your Shared Ownership property, please read through this handy guide which outlines the process.

You will then need to arrange for your property to be valued and inform CHS of your intent to sell.

If someone is interested in the Shared Ownership scheme, they will need to obtain an approval from Help to Buy before they can purchase a property. This can be done at www.helptobuyese.org.uk/apply-online.

 

How do I calculate the sale price?

The ‘Sale Price’ will be determined according to the percentage share of the property you own.

If you own a 50% share in your property and the Chartered Surveyor values the property at an ‘Open Market Value’ of £150,000, the ‘Sale Price’ of your property will be £75,000.

Do I need an EPC certificate prior to selling?

Before your property can go on the market you will need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). You may have received one when you purchased your property. If you do not have one, you will need to obtain one. You may be able to obtain this from the government online register at www.epcregister.com

How are viewings arranged?

To prepare your property for sale, we recommend that all rooms are tidied, clutter is cleared and all curtains and blinds are fully opened. This will allow for natural light, help to present your property well and also create the ideal ambiance for your photographs.

Once your property is advertised on the Help to Buy website, interested parties will register their interest with CHS. The Customer Services team will send you an email with their contact details so you can contact them directly to organise a viewing which is suitable for you both.

Once you have accepted an offer, please send an email to CHS with the purchaser name/s and the figure accepted for your share. You can then ask the purchaser to send their paperwork to CHS for approval at info@candcd.co.uk.

What happens once I have agreed a price with the buyer?

Once you have a buyer for your property, you will need to appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf. It will be your solicitor’s responsibility to liaise with both the purchaser’s solicitor and the CHS solicitor to see the sale through to completion. All enquiries must be directed from your solicitor to ours.

For your information, please find below the documentation that CHS would require from all purchasers before our solicitors can be instructed:

  • Evidence of their deposit funds (bank statement)
  • Mortgage in Principle
  • Help to Buy Approval Number
  • Their solicitor’s details (including contact name and email address)
  • Photographic ID (passport or driving licence)
  • Proof of address (utility bill in their name)
  • Completed Affordability Calculator
  • Proof of income

Once the sale has completed, please ensure you cancel all Direct Debits payable to CHS to ensure no additional funds are collected.

What if the offer I receive is different to the asking price?

If the offer you wish to accept differs from the original valuation, you will simply need to ask the surveyor to confirm in writing that the new price is fair and reasonable for both parties.

If CHS arranged this valuation for you, we can contact the surveyors directly on your behalf.

What are the fees for selling my property?

If your property is successfully sold to a new purchaser, CHS will charge a fee of 1% + VAT of the ‘Sale Price”. This covers all of our costs including our own solicitor fees and administration costs throughout the whole of the process.

These fees must be paid upon or as soon after completion or this may cause serious problems with the registration of the sale.

Can I sell my property through an estate agent?

You may wish to appoint an estate agent to act on your behalf after the property has been listed on the Help to Buy website. However, this will result in you paying two sets of fees as the CHS fees will still be applicable. You will also require consent from CHS before you can appoint an agent.

Please ensure that you provide the agents with the full details of the property, the guide to purchasing, the lease and any restrictions on the sale of the property.

If a sale is agreed through an agent, CHS will also require a copy of the memorandum of sale, plus all other documentation that would generally be required.

Staircasing - Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to confirm in writing to CHS that I wish to increase my share?

You will need to confirm in writing to CHS that you intend to staircase, with confirmation of the percentage share you wish to staircase to, as well as your solicitor’s details. Once we have this confirmation we will then instruct our solicitors who will liaise directly with your appointed solicitors throughout the staircasing process.

Will my rent change if I increase my share of ownership?

If you increase your share your rent will decrease accordingly. If you increase your share to 100% you will no longer pay rent on a share, however you may still be liable for service charges.

Will I need a solicitor?

Once you have received your valuation, you will then need to appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf throughout the process.

Once I get a current valuation, how long is it valid for?

The valuation will be valid for three months from the date on the valuation report supplied by the surveyor. The valuation will also determine the cost of the share you wish to purchase.

What if I have further questions?

Please email our Shared Ownership team directly

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