Guidelines for Applicants

Thank you for your interest in buying a shared ownership home provided by Rural Housing Trust Ltd. Shared owners normally sell their homes through a local estate agent, who should be your contact throughout the buying process.

Please be aware that these homes have been built in partnership with District and Parish Councils for the specific purpose of helping people who have a close connection with the Parish who are unable to meet their housing needs by buying on the open market. The local council 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 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.

There may be more specific local connection requirements detailed in the relevant Planning Agreement.

 It may also help if you are registered for shared ownership housing on the Council’s affordable housing application register.

The estate agent will advise you and make an initial assessment of your eligibility to buy the property.

The only restrictions after the initial three month marketing period is that 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 RHTL.


When the shared owner has agreed your offer to buy their home and you have a mortgage offer agreed in principle or other funds to buy the home, you will be asked to complete an application form. The agent will send this to RHTL with confirmation that you have funds to buy the property. RHTL will assess your application to confirm:

  1. That you are eligible to buy the shared ownership home in accordance with the conditions of the Planning Agreement
  2. That you cannot afford to buy a home in the area on the normal open market
  3. That you have sufficient income to pay the rent and mortgage
  4. That you have sufficient funds in place through a mortgage or savings to buy the home

RHTL will advise the agent and if your application is confirmed will issue a Memorandum of Sale. You will instruct a solicitor to act for you to buy the home.


  1. Our housing developments are intended to meet the needs of local people.
  2. We aim to ensure that prospective purchasers are treated fairly.
  3. We will advertise the sale of a shared ownership home through the Parish Council so that all potential applicants have an opportunity to apply.
  4. It is not appropriate for us to keep a waiting list after the initial sales because vacancies occur infrequently.
  5. All applicants are considered fairly irrespective of their age, gender, nationality, religious or ethnic background.
  6. Single people and childless couples are encouraged to apply.

If any applicant is unhappy with our procedures, or with the way their application has been dealt with, they may put their complaint in writing to the Property Manager of Rural Housing Trust Ltd in the first instance, by email to .

If dissatisfied with the response, the applicant may then write to the Chairman at 54 Weymouth St, London W1G 6NU.