Shared Ownership

Shared ownership is a government initiative to assist people to get on the housing ladder with smaller deposits. This is such an important scheme that we, at Umbrella Homes, believe it deserves greater focus - with a committed estate agency who fully understand it.

Selling and buying a shared ownership property may be a little bit different, but here at Umbrella Homes we celebrate difference - and our friendly team are here to make home ownership as easy as possible.

How Shared Ownership Works?

Shared Ownership eligibility criteria

First-time buyers

  • Are a British or EU/EEA citizen
  • Are over 18 years old
  • Have an annual household income below £80,000
  • You have a regular income (e.g. salary, pension, disability allowance)

Existing homeowners

  • Same criteria as first-time buyers…
  • Are an existing shared owner
  • Can demonstrate that existing home is no longer suitable or sustainable. *

*Priority is given to those who are or have been serving in the British armed forces.


If you are unsure about eligibility, then please do not hesitate to get in touch and we will do all we can to help you get your desired home.

The simple steps to owning your new home…

  • Register your interest with Umbrella Homes
  • Register with your local 'Help to Buy' agent to check eligibility for Shared Ownership
  • Find your dream home
  • Complete financial affordability and sustainability assessment to obtain a mortgage in principle
  • Offer acceptance & appoint solicitor
  • Once in a position to exchange contracts, agree a completion/moving in date
  • Completion of purchase & move in!

It’s that easy.

Umbrella Homes will support and guide you throughout the shared ownership process


Shared Ownership, renting and buying comparison

What is Shared Ownership?

Shared Ownership is an alternative way to buy a home with a lesser combined household income and smaller deposits.

You purchase a share in a property and pay rent to a Housing Association on the remaining share. When you can afford to increase your share, you can (a solicitor will arrange this for you) - until you are able to buy the property outright!

It couldn’t be easier.

I’m not sure how the Shared Ownership buying process works; can you help me?

Absolutely, it would be our pleasure!

Our friendly and approachable team are here to guide and help you each step of the way, please call our offices and we would be happy to help in any way we can.

Who can apply?

Typically, first-time buyers or existing Shared Ownership homeowners - unless you can demonstrate that existing home is no longer suitable or sustainable.

You must have a combined household income of less than £80,000 per year (£90,000 in London) and priority is given to military personnel.

How much of the property can I buy?

From April 2021, you can purchase as low as 10% - up to a maximum of 75% initially (this is subject to your affordability).

How much will the rent cost?

This depends upon the value of the property.

However, as a rough guide you can use this calculation:

Take the remaining share you are not buying then multiply it by 2.75%, and then divide by 12 to get your estimated monthly rent.

Can I buy more shares?

Yes, this is called ‘Staircasing’.

When you’re in a financial position to acquire additional shares, you arrange this directly with the Housing Association through a specialist solicitor. The more shares you buy, the less you pay in rent until you own outright, we can arrange this for you, just call us!

What is a Housing Association?

Housing Associations are non-for-profit organisations that provide communities with affordable homes.

The money they make is re-invested thus funding further projects - helping more people achieve their dreams of owning their own home.

Can I re-decorate my Shared Ownership property?

Totally! This is the best part – it’s your home!!

Can I sell my Shared Ownership property?

Yes, you can.

If you wish to sell your property whilst still owning a share in your home, the Housing Association have the right to source a purchaser within 8 weeks. If they are unsuccessful you can market your property on the open market with an Estate Agent of your choosing.

If you have ‘staircased’ your share to 100%, then you can sell the property at a value advised by your Estate Agent like any other property.

I already own an open market property; can I buy a Shared Ownership home?

Often yes - if you can demonstrate that your current home is no longer affordable or sustainable.

Your property must be advertised on the open market.

Will I pay a service charge?

It is typical that service charges are applied to leasehold properties in general (including Shared Ownership properties) - particularly flats and apartments.

Service charges are applied to cover things such as communal garden maintenance, window cleaning and upkeep of communal areas etc…

Am I allowed pets?

This is often dependent on the type of property you buy – when buying a Shared Ownership house, then it is usually fine to have pets. Apartment blocks do not always allow pets.

It is reliant on the type of lease you have with the Housing Association, so make sure you ask this question before you buy.

Call Umbrella Homes