Shared ownership mortgage guide
We explain what it is, how it works, and whether shared ownership is suitable for your circumstances.
In this guide:
Co-ownership (Northern Ireland)
What is the co-ownership scheme?
Co-ownership is a scheme in Northern Ireland for people who cannot 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 buy a property in stages.
You may not need a deposit, and co-owning rates could be more affordable than buying outright.
Like the shared ownership scheme, you buy a share of the house and pay rent on the rest 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. You can then buy a share of between 50% and 90%, depending on how much you can afford.
The housing association, Co-Ownership will own whatever share of the property is left. 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. You then pay rent to Co-Ownership on the remaining 40%.
If you’re able to, you can choose to increase your share of the property over time 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.
You can also use the scheme if you've owned a home before.
To be eligible for co-ownership, you must:
be over 18 and live in the UK
not already own the property 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 home 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 before you apply for co-ownership
have no outstanding adverse credit when making an application for co-ownership. For example, 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 pay the costs of buying a home. As well as show that you do not have any other way to own a property without help.
How do you apply for the co-ownership scheme?
You can apply for co-ownership online. You'll need to pay a non-refundable £100 assessment fee to continue with your application.
Before you apply, make sure that you have all the information and documentation you need.
Details of the documentation you need to give are on the Co-Ownership website.
They also recommend that you check your own credit score before you start an application.
After you get an Approval in Principle, they'll ask you to upload the property you plan to buy. After this they'll ask you to pay a £450 property fee.
Paying for a co-ownership mortgage
The cost of your rent depends on how much of the home you own 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 and will arrange the mortgage and lender yourself.
Your lender may ask you for a deposit, but Co-Ownership will not.
It's your responsibility to pay costs such as insurance, ground rent, maintenance and repairs.
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