Can I buy a Shared Ownership property with a friend?

Why buy with a friend?

Buying with a friend is a practical way to get your first foot on the property ladder.

  • You may be able to get a larger mortgage by combining two incomes.
  • Splitting the deposit and purchase costs in two makes them more affordable.
  • You’ll be able to afford a bigger place or larger share than you could afford on your own.
  • You’ll save on utility bills, maintenance and repair costs, and even groceries!

To find out more, take a look at our  ‘Step by step guide to Shared Ownership’ page.

 

Are you eligible?

Shared Ownership isn’t just for people who work in key jobs. And it’s not just for families.

Shared Ownership is for anyone who doesn’t currently own a home. If you want to get on the property ladder, but can’t afford to buy outright on the open market, then Shared Ownership could be for you.

It doesn’t matter what your job is, but you and your friend must have a combined household income of less than £90,000 within London and £80,000 outside of London.

From April 2016 previous rules around priority eligibility and borough restrictions have been changed. Moving forward you will no longer be required to live or work in the area where you intend to buy, and the maximum combined household income has increased to £90,000 within London and £80,000 outside of London.

There may be a few exceptions to these rules where historic agreements have been made with local authorities about particular properties. You can find out who’s eligible to live in each development by checking the property listing for the one you are interested in. We will post the eligibility criteria for our properties as soon as we can, but sometimes this is unavailable until closer to the launch.

Priority will still be given to members of the military.

 

Your costs

Together with your friend, you’ll need to be able to pay a deposit of between 5% and 10% of the value of your desired share (minimum usually set at 25%) of the property. You’ll also need approximately £5000 to cover the costs of purchasing your home. We’ll need to perform some financial checks to ensure you can afford these costs, and the monthly payments.

If you’d like to buy a home with us, please check whether you are eligible for Shared Ownership. You can start the process by completing the online registration form.

You could buy a 35% share in an L&Q home with a deposit of just £3,500 each2.

Paying stamp duty, fees and legal costs will cost you approximately £2,500 each.

How we made our house a home

Katie and Lydia met at university. As they’ve always got on well living together, the two friends decided to embark on the Shared Ownership journey together. Here’s a video of how they got on.

How to make it work

Buying with a friend isn’t quite as simple as buying with a spouse because you aren’t in the same legal situation as married couples are. Here are a few tips to make sure you stay friends!

  • Make plans – what happens if one of you wants to sell up before the other? It’s sensible to discuss every eventuality in advance and get some agreements in writing.
  • Each of you should get separate, independent legal advice and draw up a legal agreement called a declaration of trust. This establishes when and how the property can be sold or what would happen if someone lost their job and wasn’t able to make the monthly payments.
  • You may wish to consider opening a joint bank account and agree how much each person will pay into it each month. It’s also sensible to get this in writing.
  • Keep records of all the payments made towards your home and any other documents relating to the property and any agreements made between the parties.
  • Expect arguments. You’re only human, so you ARE going to disagree sometimes. Don’t be afraid to discuss areas of potential conflict in advance and come up with a plan for what to do when they occur.

Advice from the expert

Psychologist Rebecca Spelman gives tips and guidance on how to buy and live together without putting your friendship at risk.

Are you ready to buy a Shared Ownership home together?

Take our quiz with a friend to find out if you’d be compatible as co-owners.

What next?

Start your home buying journey by registering for Shared Ownership.

To find out more, take a look at our step-by-step guide to Shared Ownership.

(1) Priorities as defined by the Greater London Authority
(2) Figures based upon two people purchasing an apartment worth £400,000 with a 5% deposit.