Your questions answered
Here's a handy guide answering all your frequently asked questions about a shared ownership housing scheme.
Yes, you can increase your share in a Shared Ownership home through a process known as ‘staircasing’, allowing you to own more of the property as and when you can afford to do so. However, there may be some restrictions on this.
No, Shared Ownership is only available on specific, purpose-built properties.
Some housing developments have a planning condition attached to them which means priority must be given to people who meet certain criteria or have a local area connection – this may include living or working in the area the property is located.
While you’re welcome to buy with another person, Shared Ownership does not mean you have to share the ownership of the property.
What happens when selling a Shared Ownership home will depend on what is written in your lease. You will normally have to give us a period of time to find a buyer for your share of the property. You will also have the option to buy the remaining shares and sell the property outright. The share must be sold at a value set by an independent valuer.
There is no longer a restriction on the number of bedrooms you can have when buying your Shared Ownership home.
The Shared Ownership lease sets out the rights and obligations of both the landlord (i.e. the housing association) and tenant (i.e. the shared owner).
This will depend on your financial circumstances. Note that you are expected to buy the largest share of the property you can reasonably afford. The initial share values available are usually a minimum of 25% and a maximum 75%.
When building a scheme, we will assume an average share size sold - this will impact the minimum share we are prepared to sell.
Living in your shared ownership home
While you’re able to decorate your home as you like, you will require permission to make larger alterations.
Most Shared Ownership leases do not allow you to sublet your home. However, lodgers are often allowed, as long as you get permission from your housing association.
Your solicitor will collect payment from your completion date to the end of that month, plus the following month. This means that your first direct debit payment will be collected on the 1st day of the month after this period. Once you have provided Sage with your banking information via ‘my sage home’ portal the Homeownership Services Team will approve this for you which is when you will receive a confirmation letter in the post.
Customers must make Sage aware of any pets that will be living in the property to make sure they are accepted as per the guidelines. To read Sage’s “Guidelines of Pets for Shared Owners” document click here.
Approved pets will be registered on a Pet Agreement Form which buyers will have to sign and complete before they exchange contracts.
You are free to decorate your Shared Ownership home as you see fit, however there may be restrictions on major alterations or structural changes.
This can vary so you need to check before you buy. There may be separate charges to cover the cost of communal services, buildings insurance and management of your lease. As a rule, there will be monthly service charges to pay when either buying a Shared Ownership house or flat.
This depends on the value of the home and the size of share you are buying. The annual rent on a Shared Ownership property is usually set at 2.75% of the value of the share you do not own. This will increase annually, and the terms of the increase is set out in your lease. It is normally RPI + 0.5%.
- Once you move into your new home you will receive an email from our Homeownership Services Team. Homeownership Services will be your point of contact once you have completed on your home.
- The email will introduce you to the team and includes all key information you need upon completion.
- You will also be given access to our Shared Ownership portal ‘my sage home’.
- The portal explains how to set up your direct debit, provides answers to common questions and where you can look at your charges and raise defects.
Sage will provide buildings insurance cover and will recover the cost of this from the shared owner through service charges. The shared owner is responsible for arranging their own contents insurance.
- This will depend on factors such as whether the property is a house or a flat, and if the repairs are internal or related to the structure of the property. As a rule, you will be responsible for maintaining your Shared Ownership home internally, and externally if it is a house.
- A new build home will usually come with a ten-year building guarantee as well as a defect period where the builder will rectify faults due to poor workmanship or materials. If the home is sold with white goods, these will also come with a guarantee.