Concept for - Right to Shared Ownership

The Right to Shared Ownership Scheme has been introduced to offer an alternative path into home ownership for tenants in rented social housing. It allows qualifying tenants in England to purchase shares in their rented home on shared ownership terms.


The Right to Shared Ownership applies to a property built with grant funding from the Government’s Affordable Homes Programme 2021-2026 and let as a Social Rent or Affordable Rent dwelling.

There are exemptions, including where the landlord is a Local Authority, Co-operative Housing Association or Community Land Trust or where the property is specifically for older, disabled or vulnerable people; is in a remote rural area or is an almshouse.

For a tenant to exercise the Right to Shared Ownership, they must have been in social housing for at least three years and have resided in the specific property to which the application relates for over a year. There are other criteria, similar to a Right to Acquire, where the tenant must not have rent arrears, be facing legal action from the landlord etc. The guidance also suggests a landlord may be able to block exercise of the right where the current market valuation is below the total amount spent on the building or acquiring it (i.e. a breach of the cost floor) or where it would cause practical problems (e.g. where a provider does not have enough legal interest to grant a long sub-lease where the landlord leases the property; the sale would interfere with regeneration plans or it requires substantial repairs or remediation which distort the value of the property). Further guidance on this is awaited from the Government or Homes England.

If the property and tenant qualify, a landlord has no choice but to opt out of the scheme as it is a condition of the 2021-2026 funding programme. However, it does not appear that the regime is currently enshrined in legislation like the Right to Buy and Right to Acquire, suggesting this is not yet a statutory right for tenants and they would need to rely on Homes England to take action against landlords who do not comply or to appeal blocking of their application. Neither the Government or Homes England have yet publicised guidance on the appeals process.

Landlords should notify tenants if a Right to Shared Ownership applies to their property. However, a tenant can also contact their landlord to confirm if they are unsure.

Purchasing Shares

A qualifying tenant can purchase a share in their property of between 10% to 75% of the full equity. Additional shares can then be purchased through staircasing, where up to 100% equity can be obtained and where it is a house, the freehold acquired. The share price is based on the proportion of the open market value and no discount will be available to the tenant. The purchase can be with the assistance of a mortgage if required.

The tenant will then be required to pay rent on the remaining percentage of equity retained by the landlord and to comply with the terms of the shared ownership lease regulating their ownership. It is important for tenants to note that they may hold more maintenance responsibilities than they previously had under their old tenancy. They may also have to pay a monthly service charge for maintenance of communal areas.


If you need support with anything discussed in this article, please contact the Social Housing Team or email