Guidelines for Applicants
Thank you for your interest in buying a shared ownership home provided by Rural Housing Trust Ltd. Shared owners sell their homes through a local estate agent, who should be your contact throughout the buying process.
The property is an Affordable Shared Ownership Home subject to Government criteria for eligibility to buy. These can be found on the website https://www.gov.uk/affordable-home-ownership-schemes/shared-ownership-scheme.
You can buy a home through shared ownership if your household earns £80,000 a year or less (or £90,000 a year or less in London) and any of the following apply:
- you’re a first-time buyer
- you used to own a home, but cannot afford to buy one now
- you’re an existing shared owner
These homes were built as affordable housing and have restrictions on sale imposed by the Council when planning permission was granted. Applicants must not be able to afford to buy a home on the open market and must have sufficient income to repay any mortgage and pay the rent charged for the share of equity retained by Rural Housing Trust Limited. There may also be a requirement for the owner to have a connection to the local area (see below for further information).
If you need a mortgage to buy your home we advise you to seek advice from an independent mortgage advisor. Unfortunately, not all mortgage providers will fund the purchase of a rural shared ownership home. Most of our developments have a planning condition that does not allow you to buy 100% of the property (that does not apply to every property so if in doubt please ask us or the estate agent). The mortgage advisor should also note that Rural Housing Trust Limited is not a housing association or a Registered Provider.
Please note that Rural Housing Trust Limited requires purchasers to have at least a 5% deposit from savings and/or financial assistance gifted for the deposit.
Please be aware that many of our shared ownership homes have been built in partnership with District and Parish Councils for the specific purpose of helping people who wish to live in a parish where they have a close connection but cannot afford to buy a home on the open market. The Local Planning Authority placed restrictions on the property through a legal agreement when planning permission was granted for the development.
The restrictions on sale are for a period of three months from the date an estate agent begins to market the property. Although planning agreements can vary, the term Close Connection usually means one or more of the following:
- currently living in the parish (sometimes for a period of years)
- previous residence in the parish (sometimes for a period of years)
- close relatives currently live in the parish
- current permanent employment based in the parish
- about to take up permanent employment in the parish
- Any of the above criteria for another parish listed in the planning agreement, which are normally the adjacent parishes.
The estate agent will advise you and make an initial assessment of your eligibility to buy the property.
When the estate agent acting for the shared owner has agreed your offer to buy the shared ownership home and you have a mortgage agreed in principle or other funds to buy the home, you should complete an application form. This may be downloaded from a link on this website and sent to us direct as an attachment to an email, or by post; or the estate agent may send it by email on your behalf.
Please ensure that you include the following documents to support your application:
- Copy of summary bank statement(s) with an account balance to provide evidence that you have money for the deposit.
- Copy of a Mortgage Promise or a Decision in Principle if you will need a mortgage.
- If you are buying with financial assistance for the deposit we require a letter to confirm the amount and that it is a gift without any repayment or interest.
- Copy of the latest payslip for each applicant to confirm employment and income
ASSESSMENT OF APPLICATION
We will assess your application to confirm:
- You are eligible to buy the shared ownership home in accordance with the conditions of the Planning Permission for the original development
- You cannot afford to buy a home in the area on the normal open market
- You have savings and or financial assistance to fund the deposit required by the mortgage provider, which must be at least 5% of the purchase price
- You have enough income to pay the rent and mortgage
- You have enough funds in place through a mortgage and/or savings to buy the home and pay the cost of legal fees, survey etc.
We use an affordability calculator recommended by Homes England to assess if you have enough income for the proposed mortgage and rent. We will not be able to approve your application if your financial proposal fails this test. A copy of the affordability assessment can be sent on request.
We will normally let you know the decision on your application within 10 working days. We will also advise the estate agent and if the application is successful they will issue a Memorandum of Sale to all parties. You will instruct a solicitor to act for you to buy the home.