Your questions answered

Here's a handy guide answering all your frequently asked questions about a shared ownership housing scheme.

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> Guide to Shared Ownership
> Guide to Staircasing



Shared ownership

Shared ownership

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.

On most homes there is no restriction on the number of bedrooms you can have, however some local authorities my impose a restriction locally and we advise you to speak to Sage Homes or the sales agent.

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.

What happens when selling a Shared Ownership home will depend on what is written in your lease. 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.

Please see our Guide to Reselling

Yes. It is usual for Landlords of leasehold properties to be notified of your mortgage lender wanting to register a charge to protect the loan they have given you. Sage will need to approve this and charge £75 (+VAT) for this process. This Notice of Charge fee is clearly set out in the Shared Ownership lease you will be asked to sign at the time of purchasing your home.

In addition your mortgage lender will ask your solicitor to get approval of your mortgage offer from Sage along with something called an Undertaking, given by Sage to the Lender, and the charge for this approval and Undertaking is £50 (+VAT). Your solicitor acting for you in your purchase will set these out in your completion statement as they will be payable on the day you complete your purchase. If you are buying your share without a mortgage then naturally neither of these charges will apply.

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 per our policy. Plrease read our Pets Policy here.

Approved pets will be registered on a Pet Agreement Form which buyers will have to sign and complete before they exchange contracts. You can find this form on My Sage Home.

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.

For every person you recommend who legally completes on a Sage Homes property, you and your friend or family member could receive a £500 Love2shop voucher! Download this voucher and start browsing our sales pages to see the homes we have available with Shared Ownership.

Let's find a home

You can find a wide range of brand-new shared ownership homes, located in places that you will love.