Who can apply?
Help to Buy Shared Ownership & Rental Schemes
If you are trying to get onto the housing ladder but can't afford to buy or rent a suitable property on the open market, we may be able to help. Please note that you must complete a full application and be assessed as eligible by Help to Buy South before you can proceed with the purchase or rental of a property through one of our schemes. Please also visit our Steps to Help to Buy Shared Ownership & Rental Schemes page which explains how the process of registering/applying works. Applicants must meet some basic eligibility criteria as follows:
- You have a maximum household income of less than £60,000 per annum
- We recommend you have a household income of greater than £18,000 per annum (if you earn less than this but have substantial savings/equity then there may be other schemes to help)
- If purchasing, have savings of at least £2,500 to cover legal and other costs, and have a good credit history
We also recommend that you read the following guidelines:
- If renting, you will usually need one month's rent and a deposit at the tenancy start date and you should save the discount on your rent towards a deposit to purchase a property later
- Most schemes require sufficient savings for a deposit of 10% towards a mortgage, for example a 10% deposit on a 40% share of a property valued at £160,000 equates to £6,400
- You must sell your existing property if you own one
- Applicants in mortgage or rent arrears at the time of their application or who have been in arrears within the past year are not eligible for the scheme
- You must be able to obtain a mortgage with a 'high street' or other reputable lender
- Homes are offered only on the basis of a maximum of one bedroom more than is needed
- When purchasing/renting a flat (as on the open market) pets are not allowed to be kept on the premises without the prior written consent of the Landlord and is still at the Landlord's discretion
- You are a British or EU/EEA citizen, or you have indefinite leave to remain. If you do not have indefinite leave to remain you can apply for renting/purchasing but you may not be able to get a mortgage in which case you will not be able to proceed with your purchase
- You must be employed, self employed or be able to demonstrate you can afford to maintain the costs of home ownership. Student loans, bursaries and other similar forms of funding are not acceptable methods of income
Where properties are in high demand for Help to Buy Shared Ownership / Rental schemes, priority will be given in the following order to:
- Social tenants (housing association and local authority tenants) and serving military personnel
- Those with local priorities (a local connection may help you be a priority. This may be living and/or working in the area in which the property you are interested in is located, and different local authorities have different priorities of their own)
- Other applicants (most applicants will be first time buyers, but the schemes can help some buyers who have owned a home before, for example in the case of a relationship breakdown)
Applicants are not prioritised whilst on the Help to Buy South database. Once you have put your name forward for a specific property the housing association/developer will prioritise eligible applicants in order of current housing situation and occupancy levels.
You must be able to afford the costs of purchase and demonstrate you are able to sustain the housing and living costs.
Ministry of Defence Personnel
MoD personnel will be prioritised for Help to Buy Shared Ownership / Rental schemes where they have completed their basic (phase 1) training and they are one of the following
- Regular service personnel (including Military Provost Guard Service, in the Navy, Army and Air Force)
- Clinical staff (with the exception of doctors and dentists)
- MOD Police Officers
- Uniformed staff in the Defence Fire Service
- Ex-Regular service personnel who have served in the Armed Forces for a minimum of six years, and can produce a Discharge Certificate (or similar documentation) as proof, where they apply within 12 months of the date of discharge from service
- The surviving partners of regular service personnel who have died in service, where they apply within 12 months of the date of being bereaved
For more information about Ministry of Defence Personnel and priority groups, contact Help to Buy South on 0845 604 11 22 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help to Buy Equity Loan
For the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme you do not need to complete a full Help to Buy South application. Please click here for further details on how to apply.