Shared Ownership FAQs
We have produced a number of FAQs to help answer any questions you may have about Shared Onership and the buying process.
Who is eligible?
You can buy a home through shared ownership if:
- Your household income is £80,000 a year or less
- You cannot afford all of the deposit and mortgage payments for a home that meets your needs on the open market
- You will need to sell any existing property owned before buying through Shared Ownership
What schemes are available?
To view current shared ownership opportunities in the district, please click here.
Here you will find a list of council schemes, as well as opportunites with RPs (Registered Providers).
How do I register interest in a shared ownership?
You can complete our Register of Interest form. This form notifies us that you are looking for shared ownership in the district.
If a council scheme that meets your needs and/or interests, we may contact you. However we recommend keeping an eye on our Home Ownership Opportunities page, for regular updates.
How do I register interest in a Winchester City Council Scheme?
There are a couple of ways to register interest in a shared ownership scheme through the council:
- You can visit the schemes website (which can be found here). On the website you will find an option to register your interest in the scheme. This will be sent to us and when a property becomes available, we will contact you.
- You can email email@example.com Providing your name, contact details and the scheme(s) you are interested in. We will contact you when a property becomes available.
Once you have registered interest in a scheme and/or property and the sales team has made contact, you will need to complete a financial assessment.
Your affordability assessment is completely free of charge and does not affect your credit rating. They will ask questions relating to your income, employment and deposit. Once you have completed your affordability assessment verbally over the phone you are required to provide proof:
- 3 months pay slips (proof of income)
- 3 months bank statements
- Proof of deposit
- Proof of ID
The advisor will send your completed affordability assessment to the council.
A member of the Sales team will contact you to advise you of the outcome of your assessment and whether you are able to progress to the next stage.
How to view the scheme?
Once we have been informed that your financial assessment is affordable, we may be able to offer you a viewing on the plot(s) that are available.
Please note this will depend on the safety of the site.
How to reserve a plot?
Once you have chosen a plot, we will send you an offer pack. You also have 5 working days to provide a £500.00 holding fee to reserve your chosen plot. This is refundable and will be offset against the property value.
If we cannot offer you a viewing at this stage and you are keen to proceed you can reserve a house off plan.
What is the process?
Once you have appointed a solicitor, we will be able to instruct our solicitors on your purchase by sending out the memorandum of sale to you and your solicitors. At this time, you will also begin applying for mortgages.
How to arrange additional viewings of our plot?
We understand that before you move into your new home you may want to have another look, measure for furniture, and plan your move.
If you would like to arrange additional viewings during the purchase of your home, please contact the sales team and we will arrange a suitable date and time.
Please note this is only available on weekdays.
What happens on completion?
A completion date will be agreed between yourself and the council, this is done via the solicitors.
On the day once we have confirmation of completion from our solicitors, we will contact you to arrange a suitable time to meet at your new home.
At the property we will have over your keys and go through any questions you have about your home. We will also take meter readings and provide these to the utility companies, ready for you to sign up with your chosen provider.
Who do I contact if I have any questions?
If you have any questions about and during the process of purchasing your home, please contact the sales team on 01962 848 075 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a defect?
Defects are faults that occur due to poor materials, design and workmanship including electrical and plumbing faults.
Accidental damage, vandalism or minor shrinkage and cracking within the drying our period are not classed as defects.
What is the “defect period”?
Any defects that occur in your home in the first 12 months following their completion are covered by the builder. As this is typically before you move in, we will advise on the defect period end date.
How do I report defects during this time?
During the 12 month defect period you can report defects by contacting the sales team. Please note they are only available during working hours.
If the defect is an emergency and is out of ours, please contact the out of hours number provided at your completion/handover.
What happens after the years defect period?
Although your home was fully inspected before you moved in, defects can still happen. Shortly before the end of the defects liability period your home will be inspected to identify any defects that may have arisen. You will need to allow access (by appointment) for this inspection.
When the end of defects inspection has been carried out and any works identified have been rectified, the builders will no longer be responsible for any repairs to your home.
Can I carry out works to my home?
We understand that you will want to make your house feel like a home and this may include some small or large changes to the property.
Before carrying out any works, you may need to get written permission from the council, so we recommend sending an email to email@example.com who will be able to advise the next steps.
For small changes such as decorating etc. you are free to do this
With most changes, we advise waiting until the end of the 12 month defect period.
What is the Home User Guide (HUG)?
Each property will have a Home User Guide, which the developers have provided in each property. This guide contains useful information about your home and looking after it. It will also contain information on defects and how to report them in the first year, certificates and instruction manuals for the appliances in your home.
If you have misplaced your Home User Guide, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can provide you with an electronic copy.
I’m interested in staircasing by shared ownership property
As a shared owner with Winchester City Council, you are allowed to purchase further shares in your home at any time, usually in 10% increments until you own 100% of your property outright. This is called ‘staircasing’. As your ownership increases, your rent payments to us reduce in turn.
How it works
Step 1 – Contact the Sales Team and let us know that you wish to staircase
Step 2 – Arrange for a valuation. This must be carried out by a RICS (Royal Institute of Charted Surveyros) qualified surveyor.
Step 3 – Speak to an independent financial advisor (IFA) to discuss your options
Step 4 – Appoint a solicitor
For more information, please see the shared owners guide to owning more, on the right of the page. You can also contact the sales team.
I’m interested in reselling my shared ownership property.
The first step is to have your property valued by a RICS chartered surveyor and both parties need to agree on this figure. An estate agent’s valuation is not sufficient to satisfy the lease as normally these are market appraisals and are not carried out by a RICS chartered surveyor.
The process once we have the valuation is as follows:
- If you are selling, you must clear any rent and service charge arrears before or on completion
- If you decide to sell your property, you must confirm your intention in writing using the attached Notice of Intention form.
- An EPC is required. (We have an EPC from when you bought so no need to get a replacement of this)
After three months any valuation is no longer valid. If you decide to continue, a new valuation will be necessary and you will have to pay a further valuation fee.
The nomination period of 8 weeks starts when we receive your Notice of Intention. In the nomination period we send information about your home to the applicable Home Buy Agent for your area and obtain a nomination list from them of potential purchasers. Potential purchasers will be assessed by an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) to ensure the property is affordable for them and that they will be able to obtain a mortgage. If Winchester City Council find a buyer for your home, you may have to pay a nomination fee to us of 1% of the share price. Please check your lease for details.
1. Where Winchester City Council is unable to find a buyer for your home within the nomination period, you will then be free to find your own purchaser on the open market possibly through an estate agent. Winchester City Council will require potential purchasers to have registered with the Home Buy Agent for the area.
2. Once a buyer has been found and approved by the IFA, Winchester City Council will instruct their solicitors to liaise with your solicitor directly with regards to completing the sale of the property. It is important that you have a legal representative, as the documentation involved is complex. It will also help if the chosen Solicitor/Conveyancer has had experience of shared ownership in the past.
3. You are responsible for paying rent and service charges until you leave your home. If you need to claim any money back, you should speak with your solicitor who will claim from your buyer.
Please note, as per your lease, you will be required to pay our solicitor’s fees associated with supplying and drawing up the legal documents required. There are also administrative charges associated with obtaining replies to enquiries.
You may wish to consider taking independent advice from your own Solicitors or Conveyancer at this stage so that they are forewarned that a transaction may be forthcoming and they will also be able to answer any queries you have about your Lease.