First time Buyer's with L&Q

Am I eligible for Shared Ownership?

To be eligible for Shared Ownership, you should:

  • have a combined annual household income under £80,000, or £90,000 in London;
  • not own a property, or part of a property, at the time of completing on your purchase;
  • have a good credit history;
  • have a minimum of £5,000 to cover the costs of buying a home;
  • be over 18 years of age and be able to obtain a mortgage.

Shared Ownership isn’t just for key workers. 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.

Whether or not you qualify for a Shared Ownership home – often called your ‘eligibility’ – is dependent on three separate factors. It’s important to understand the difference between them.


General Eligibility

This is defined by the government. You need to meet the general eligibility criteria to be accepted for any Shared Ownership scheme. Complete our Shared Ownership application form to confirm your eligibility


Property Eligibility

Local Authorities sometimes set their own rules in terms of allocating homes, prioritising people who, for example, already live or work in the area. This can affect whether or not we’re able to offer you a home.



Affordability is different for everyone, and depends on your income, financial commitments and the value of the home you want to buy. In most cases, the housing costs of mortgage, rent and service charge should be no more than 40% of your net take home pay.


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.

Once your eligibility has been confirmed you will be assigned an LQSO number, which you will need to book a viewing or reserve a property.

If you do not qualify for shared ownership, you may want to consider London Living Rent (LLR) – another route to home ownership. To find out more, visit our LLR homes page.

Apply now and confirm your eligibility

What is the minimum income for Shared Ownership?

There will be a guide minimum income for each of our homes for sale but often you can still proceed if you are below this minimum income if you have a higher deposit.


In general, you will need approximately £5,000 to cover the costs of purchasing a home. These costs cover things like; the reservation fee, mortgage valuation fee, mortgage arrangement fees, solicitors’ fees, removal costs and utility connection charges.


Local authorities sometimes set minimum and maximum incomes for certain developments. Whichever home you choose you’ll need to earn enough to qualify for a mortgage and afford your monthly rent and service charges. So you’ll almost certainly need a salary or other form of regular income, for example, from established self-employment or pension payments. You need to have a good credit history with no outstanding mortgage or rental payments, and no defaults or County Court Judgments.


We recommend speaking to one of our mortgage advisors before you fall in love with one of our homes. They can help advise you on a suitable budget.

Who gets priority for Shared Ownership?

 Priority is given to members of the military. However, shared ownership is open to anyone who meets the eligibility criteria.

All applicants are prioritised by a scoring system, where points are awarded for different criteria. These evaluations look at a variety of factors to assess your suitability, including whether you are:

  • already living or working in the same borough as the property;
  • a first time buyer;
  • an existing Local Authority or Housing Association tenant;
  • going to be living in the property with children;
  • MOD personnel.


Shared Ownership Eligibility FAQs 


Can I make a joint application?

Yes, two of you can apply jointly for Shared Ownership using our online form, as long as you have a good credit history with no outstanding mortgage or rental payments, and no defaults or County Court Judgments. 

Is Shared Ownership just for first-time buyers?

Shared Ownership is not just for first-time buyers. While the scheme is mainly associated with helping people get on the property ladder, it is not limited to this group. Shared Ownership is available to anyone who meets the relevant eligibility and affordability criteria, including upsizers, downsizers and second steppers. Individuals who have owned a property before may qualify for Shared Ownership if they are in the process of selling their current property.

I get a bonus. Do you count that as income? 

Depending on the mortgage lender’s criteria, if you receive a bonus, commission or overtime, we’ll include 50% of that figure in your annual household income. For example, if you earn £45,000 a year and £10,000 a year in commission, your total annual income will be recorded as £50,000.

Can I pay for my share in cash, with no mortgage? 

In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible to purchase your share in cash if you are unable to obtain a mortgage. Adverse credit is not accepted as a reason for doing so. Our Sales Associates can provide more information upon request.

I receive benefits. Does that rule me out?

Not necessarily. It depends what sort of benefits, how long you’ll be receiving them and whether you’ll need to borrow money to pay for your share of the house. If you’re eligible for Shared Ownership and certain benefits, you may be able to get support with your rent payments.

Can I buy a second home with Shared Ownership?

You will not be able to buy a second home with Shared Ownership if you already own one – unless you are in the process of selling it. As part of the eligibility criteria, Shared Ownership homes are not available to anyone who currently owns another property, either in the UK, or abroad. If you are currently a shared owner and would like to buy another Shared Ownership home, you will need to prove that you are selling your current home before buying again. The normal eligibility criteria will also apply. As an existing shared owner, you can sell your Shared Ownership home at any time – just contact our Homeownership Team. For those new to Shared Ownership, why not speak to our friendly sales team to find out more?