The shared ownership buying process in detail

Step 1 – Apply for shared ownership

Before you can view or buy an L&Q home, you’ll first need to make sure you’re eligible for shared ownership.

The application process will differ depending on where you’re buying your home. We’ll make these requirements clear on each property listing.

1. Apply for L&Q Shared Ownership

Our application form takes about 20 minutes to complete. It includes questions about your household income and savings, financial commitments, and your current living arrangements. Your eligibility will be confirmed 3 to 5 working days after you’ve completed the form.

You will receive an L&Q Shared Ownership application number (e.g. LQSO987654) after completing your application. Once your eligibility has been confirmed, you can use this number to book a viewing or reserve a property.

2. Apply with your local Help to Buy agent (for homes outside London)

If you’re buying a home outside of London, you’ll also need to register with your local Help to Buy agent.

A few days after completing your registration, the Help to Buy agent will email you to confirm if you are eligible. Both L&Q and the Help to Buy agent must confirm your eligibility before you can begin the home buying process.

You’ll need to quote both your LQSO and Help to Buy registration number when contacting the sales team or booking a viewing.

Step 2 – Register your interest and book a viewing

Once you’ve found a property you’re interested in, you should register your interest by completing the short form on the property listing. If the property is already available, we will email you to explain how to book a viewing. If the development hasn’t launched yet, we’ll make sure to update you when it does.
If you’ve applied for shared ownership and been approved as eligible, you can then use your application number(s) to book an appointment to view one of our show homes.

In some cases, we may ask that you confirm some of the information you gave us when applying for L&Q Shared Ownership. This is to confirm that you’re still eligible to buy a shared ownership home within the development.

Step 3 – Reserve your home

Once you’ve chosen a home, a payment of £500 will reserve it for you. The reservation fee will be returned to you if;

  • You decide that you don’t want to go ahead with your purchase
  • We are unable to offer you the property of your choice
  • You buy the property with us (it will be deducted from the fees due at completion).

Because shared ownership isn’t based on a first-come, first-served basis, in some instances more than one person will reserve the same property. If this happens, we will allocate according to the eligibility criteria for the development.

We will not return your reservation fee if (after we make you an offer):

  • You decide not to go ahead, for whatever reason, including if you change your mind
  • We withdraw our offer of a home because you have given false or misleading information on your application form
  • You have failed to progress the purchase within the set deadlines.

Remember, you’ll need to have completed your application(s) and been approved as eligible before you can view or reserve any property.

Step 4 – The offer stage

  • At this point we’re required to carry out an identity check to verify your identity in accordance with UK money laundering regulations.
  • Once your identity is verified, we’ll then make you an offer to purchase the home.
  • If you choose to accept this offer you will be invited to a financial interview with an independent mortgage advisor (IMA). The IMA can also provide advice about arranging your mortgage for a Shared Ownership home.

Step 5 – The interview

At the interview your independent mortgage advisor will:

  • Check the information on your application to ensure it is correct and that you can afford to make the purchase.
  • Agree the percentage share you will purchase. This is based on income, savings and any outstanding credit commitments.
  • Provide you with information about choosing your solicitor and choosing the right mortgage for you.

Step 6 – Appoint a solicitor

The next step is to appoint your solicitor; everyone who buys a home needs a solicitor to work on their behalf during the conveyancing process.

Your solicitor will:

  • Make sure you have everything necessary to help you buy your home quickly.
  • Check the lease and speak to your mortgage lender and our solicitors.
  • Carry out what are known as searches, checking that we actually own the home we’re selling you and making sure there are no planned developments (such as new roads) that will affect your home.
  • Check that all the paperwork and your mortgage are in place to allow you to purchase your new home.

Step 7 – After the interview

  • After your interview L&Q will issue a Memorandum of Sale (MOS) to all solicitors. This summarises the details of your proposed house purchase.
  • The MOS will give a date by which we want you to exchange contracts. This makes your intention to buy a home through L&Q a legally binding agreement. You will usually exchange contracts within four weeks of the memorandum of sale being issued.
  • Once you have received your mortgage offer, your deposit has been paid and the exchange of contracts has taken place, we will give you a completion date.

Step 8 – Completion day arrives!

  • Completion day is when the money is exchanged via solicitors. Once this is done, we will give you the keys to your new home so you can move in.
  • Our Quality Team will make arrangements to meet you at your new home to demonstrate how to operate your appliances and heating and talk you through any special features. All of this will be detailed in your personal homeowners manual.
  • On completion day you will also receive:
    • More information about being a home owner
    • All the instructions for your central heating and other appliances
    • Meter readings for you to pass on to your utility suppliers
    • NHBC handbook (or equivalent)
    • L&Q home warranty booklet

Apply now to check your eligibility

Before you can view or buy an L&Q home, you’ll first need to make sure you’re eligible for L&Q Shared Ownership.