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Frequently asked questions

Get a better understanding of Shared Ownership and what it means for you.


What is Shared Ownership?

Shared Ownership is a scheme designed to assist those with a lower income, or who are struggling to save a deposit for a home on the open market. You buy a share of the property, usually between 10% and 75%, and pay a low-cost rent to Abri on the remaining share. Usually, you’ll only need a 5% deposit of the share you’re buying, so you could step onto the housing ladder with a deposit of as little as £5,000.

The scheme is open to first-time buyers, and those looking to move up the property ladder. As with all house-buying schemes, affordability and eligibility criteria apply. 

Am I eligible for the scheme?

Much like other government schemes, Shared Ownership has a list of affordability and eligibility criteria which you’ll need to meet. You could purchase a home through the Shared Ownership scheme if:

  • you're aged 18 or over
  • you're a first-time buyer
  • you've owned a home before, or are in the process of selling one
  • your household income is less than £80,000 per annum (£90,000 if you’re in London).

Some Shared Ownership homes require you to have a local connection. So, you may either need to live, work or have a family connection to the local area.

Find out more

Can I buy more shares later on?

With Shared Ownership, you have the option to buy more shares in your home if you want to. This is called staircasing.

The more the shares you own, the less rent you will pay to Abri. Usually, you can staircase to buy all of your home, so you won’t have to pay any more rent.

The amount of shares you can buy in a single purchase depends on whether your home was funded by the Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme 2016 to 2021 or the new Affordable Homes Programme 2021 to 2026. When you find a property for sale that you like, we'll be able to let you know which applies to your home. 

For homes funded by the Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme 2016 to 2021, you can buy shares of 5% or more at any time.

For homes funded by the Affordable Homes Programme 2021 to 2026, you:

  • can buy shares of 5% or more at any time
  • can buy a 1% share each year for the first 15 years
  • can't buy shares of 2%, 3% or 4%.

For homes funded by earlier affordable homes programmes you can buy shares from:

  • 10% or more
  • 25% or more. 

If you do choose to staircase with us, there is a £180 administration fee.

Want to find out more about staircasing? Use the button below..

Staircasing FAQs

How do I sell my Shared Ownership home?

When you decide that you want to sell your home, you’ll just need to let us know. We’ll exclusively market your property for a number of weeks, this is called a ‘nominations period’ and is outlined in your lease. During this time, we’ll arrange the survey and viewings for you.

Our marketing will include advertising on property websites such as and getting photos taken of your home. For this, you'll need to pay a resales fee of £1,500 (or £1,200 if you've already paid your £300 administration fee). Check out our selling your home guide for more information about this.

Sellers guide

Sale type Cost
Abri £1,200
Estate agent £400
Open market £750

If after the nominations period we’re unable to sell your home, you have the option to market it with an estate agent or property portal. And we’ll still continue to market your home to increase the chances of a quick sale. Once your home is sold, completion dates will be set, and you’ll be able to focus on making your move as smooth as possible.

If you have a 100% share, you’re free to sell the home yourself on the open market.

Can I buy with someone else?

Yes! Up to four people can buy a Shared Ownership home together, but each individual needs to meet the eligibility criteria. 

What are the buying costs?

Your buying costs will include:

  • a reservation fee
  • a home valuation
  • your deposit
  • any mortgage fees
  • your solicitors' fees
  • Stamp Duty (where applicable).

When you register interest in a home, we'll be able to go through these costs with you. 

Can I decorate my Shared Ownership home?

Yes! We know that you're going to want to make your house a home, and put your own stamp on it. You can paint, decorate and refurbish your home just like any other homeowner. For newbuild homes it's better not to decorate for the first year, as this gives the plaster and timber time to dry out and settle.

It’s important to ask us before making any home improvements, as it may impact the value of your home. Here's some guidance on what we class as a home improvement:

  • new double glazing 
  • new kitchen
  • new bathroom or plumbing 
  • installing or replacing central heating 
  • new conservatory 
  • extension.

How do I make changes to my mortgage?

We know that sometimes there are changes in your life which may impact your home or mortgage. Always let us know as soon as you can if this happens, as we’ll be able to support you. We have handy guides on all of these processes, so head over to our Help and Advice page for more information.

Help & Advice

Transaction type Cost
Transfer of equity £80
Remortgaging £70
Further borrowing £90
Deed of variation £50
Notice of charge of assignment £70
Administration fee £35

Making multiple payments

Good news! If you’re completing a few transactions with us at the same time – e.g. staircasing and transfer of equity, we’ll halve the cost of the lowest transaction.

What happens if I lose one of my documents?

We all lose things from time to time. If you need a replacement of your lease, Equity Loan deed or staircasing documents, we can help! There’s just a £35 fee for this.

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