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Shared ownership

Shared ownership explained

Shared ownership is a part-buy part-rent scheme that helps people who cannot afford to buy a home outright to get onto the property ladder and reduces the need for a large deposit.

How does it work

You can buy a share in a home between 25% - 75% and pay rent on the share you don't own.  The higher the share you buy the less rent you pay.  Most people finance this by securing a mortgage on the share they want to buy although in some circumstances you may buy your share outright with cash. You then pay rent on the remaining share.  Livin will retain ownership of the share you don't buy.

Stage 1 - check you are eligible

To be eligible for a shared ownership home you must meet the following criteria :

  • Your household earns less that £80,000 per year

  • You are a first time buyer or used to own a home but cannot afford to buy one now

  • Able to obtain a mortgage and/or savings for your share (deposits are typically 5-10% although may be higher in certain circumstances)

  • Your income is sufficient to cover the mortgage (if applicable), rent and service charges

Stage 2 - apply for shared ownership

If you meet the criteria you must complete an application form and be accepted before you can reserve your new home.  All applications are done via the government Help to Buy local agent website. 

We will be notified of your application and be able to advise if you have been accepted onto the scheme.  In some circumstances the help to buy agent may contact you direct.

Arrange a viewing

You can arrange a viewing or contact our Sales team to find out more about any of our shared ownership homes at any stage of the process.

Call us on 01388 424673 or email

Stage 3 - what can you afford?

If you are eligible to progress we will then undertake a financial assessment to determine what share you can afford to purchase.  We will provide a breakdown of your rental costs and we recommend you seek independent advice to arrange your mortgage.  Your mortgage advisor will provide costs on these payments.  You will need to provide us with proof of your income, expenditure and a copy of your credit report.


All this and more information is available at Help to Buy North East 

Shared ownership FAQ

What will it cost?

For example

When purchasing a 25% share :

House Price £100,000       Cost to buy a 25% share £25,000       5% deposit (payable to mortgage provider) £1,250

When purchasing a 50% share :

House Price £100,000       Cost to buy a 50% share £50,000       5% deposit (payable to mortgage provider) £2,500


Cost per month

When purchasing a 25% share :

Mortgage payment £191 + Rent £177.88 + Building insurance £17 + Management fee £38 = £423.88 per calendar month


When purchasing a 50% share :

Mortgage payment £262 + Rent £114.58 + Building insurance £17 + Management fee £38 = £431.58 per calendar month

*mortgage payments are based on a 25 year tracker mortgage at 3.92% interest. Costs are shown for illustrative purposes only and will vary depending upon individual circumstances.

What will it cost to move?

It is estimated you may need up to £2,500 to cover your moving costs although this figure can be less dependent on your circumstances. Below are estimates of the type of costs you may incur as part of your move.

  • The Mortgage valuation fee – Usually starts from £375 although some are free
  • Mortgage arrangement fee – Usually starts from £500 although some a fee free
  • Solicitors’ fees – Starts from around £250
  • Legal disbursements – Usually starts at around £200.
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)*

There are two ways you can opt to pay stamp duty when purchasing a shared ownership home.

 Option 1. Market Value Election

If you choose this option, you will make a one off stamp duty payment based on the total value of the home you are buying rather than just the share. Once you have paid this you won’t pay anymore stamp duty on the property even if you decide to buy more shared in the future. This is often the best option if the total market value of the property is no more than the stamp duty threshold of £125,000 or if you intend to purchase the property outright in the future.

 Option 2. Pay stamp duty in stages

If you choose this option you will only pay stamp duty on the share of the property you are currently purchasing. For example if the properties total value is £140,000 and you buy a 50% at £70,000 there will be no stamp duty to pay as your share is below the stamp duty threshold of £125,000.

More information on how to pay stamp duty on shared ownership homes can be found here

  • Removal costs – usually around £60 per hour
  • Miscellaneous – you may also have other cost such as connecting new telephone lines or getting appliances fitted in your new home


Can I buy my home outright?

Yes, if your circumstances change and you can afford more you can buy more shares in your home. Shares are sold in 10% tranches and the more shares you own the less rent you will pay. If you purchase 100% of your home you will pay no rent to livin and become the outright owner. This process is known as staircasing and you can buy additional shares after you have lived in your home for 12 months.

If you have purchased a property through the 'older persons shared ownership scheme' the maximum shares you can own is restricted to 75%, however, once you reach 75% no rent is payable on the remaining 25%.

What if I want to move?

You are able to sell your shared ownership home at any point, however where owners have not staircased to 100%  you will need to inform us in writing that you intend to sell and you will need to cover the cost of selling your home.  

What happens if I default on my rent?

We will always work with you to ensure you are up to date with your payments and do not fall into arrears.  

Failure to pay your rent could result in the loss of your home.


What happens if I default on my mortgage payments?

Defaulting on your mortgage payments can incur fees, affect your credit score and ultimately can result in the loss of your home.


Who carries out the repairs on my property?

All repairs are the owner/occupiers responsibility

I am a Livin tenant - can I apply to purchase my house through shared ownership?

Yes, all eligibility criteria will apply.

I’ve got a bad credit history can I still buy a shared ownership home?

As part of your application we will require you to provide a credit report. Applicants that have not provided accurate information regarding their financial circumstances as well as this who have had a county court judgement in the last three years, been declared bankrupt in the last six years or show consistent and recent defaults (within the last year) will not be considered for shared ownership.

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