Shared Ownership mortgage guide
We explain what it is, how it works, and whether Shared Ownership is suitable for your circumstances.
Co-Ownership (Northern Ireland)
What is the Co-Ownership scheme?
Co-Ownership is a scheme available in Northern Ireland for those who can’t afford to buy a house without financial help.
It can help first time buyers, as well as those who have owned a home before, to purchase a property bit-by-bit.
There is the possibility of not needing a deposit, and co-owning rates could be more affordable than buying outright.
Similarly to Shared Ownership scheme, you buy a share of the house and pay rent for the remaining share to Co-Ownership.
How does the Co-Ownership scheme work?
With co-ownership, you can buy a home up to the value of £165,000, and you buy a share of between 50% and 90%, depending on how much you can afford.
Whatever share is left of the property will be owned by the housing association Co-Ownership, and you’ll pay rent on the share that they own.
So, if you buy a 60% share of the property, you pay the mortgage on that percentage and pay rent to Co-Ownership on the remaining 40%.
If and when you’re able to, you can choose to increase your share of the property gradually in 5% amounts.
Who is eligible for a Co-Ownership scheme?
Most people who use the Co-Ownership scheme tend to be first time buyers, but the scheme can also be used by those who have been homeowners before.
In order to be eligible for Co-Ownership, you should:
Be over 18 and live in the UK
Not be the existing owner of property and/or land in Northern Ireland or anywhere else (there’s an exception for Co-Ownership Portability cases)
Have the right to live in Northern Ireland
Aim to be living in the property as your only residence and not use it for business purposes
Not have had any Payday Loans or Home Credit in the last 12 months
Have completed any Debt Relief Orders, bankruptcies or Individual Voluntary Arrangements at least 6 years prior to applying for Co-Ownership
Have no outstanding adverse credit when making an application for Co-Ownership. I.e. CCJ’s or Defaults
Be willing to have Co-Ownership assess your credit history using Experian
You’ll also need to show that you’ll be able to afford to make the necessary payments involved in the home buying process and that you don’t have any other unassisted way to own a property.
How do you apply for the Co-Ownership scheme?
Applications for Co-Ownership are done online, and a non-refundable £100 assessment fee is payable in order to progress with the application.
Before you apply to Co-Own, you should ensure that you have all the necessary information and documentation. Details of the documentation you need to provide are on the Co-Ownership website.
They also recommend that you check your own credit score before starting an application.
After you receive and Approval in Principle, you’ll be asked to upload the property you intend to buy. At this point you’ll be asked to pay a £450 property fee.
Paying for a Co-Ownership mortgage
The cost of your rent will depend on how much of the home you own (your share) and the value of the property.
Rent costs and any annual increases are set by the Department for Communities (DfC).
You’ll buy and pay a mortgage on as much of the property as you can afford (between 50% and 90%). You’ll be responsible for this side of things, and will arrange the mortgage and lender yourself.
Your lender may ask you for a deposit, but Co-Ownership won’t.
Costs such as insurance, ground rent, maintenance and repairs will be your responsibility as owner occupier of the property.
For more details, see the Co-Ownership website.
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