Low cost home ownership (Golden Share)

What is Golden Share?

Properties are sold at 80% of Open Market Value, making them affordable to people in housing need who could not afford to buy a similarly sized home in the local area. The sales process is similar to a standard house sale, and the purchaser owns 100% of the property. However:

  • Purchasers must provide evidence that they are eligible to apply to the scheme.
  • The property must remain the sole and primary residence of the owner. It may not be let or sub-let.
  • The property price is capped at 80% of the open market value for all future sales. This information in included in the title deeds (against the land register) and remains there for perpetuity. A solicitor will check and ensure this is adhered to each time the property is sold.

Who can buy a Golden Share home?

Potential purchasers must provide evidence of:

  • a local connection to Midlothian
  • a need for a property of this size
  • being unable to finance the purchase at full market value of the property.

Midlothian Council will assess applications on the evidence provided.

Applicants must provide the following evidence with their application:

  • Valid photo ID
  • Proof of address
  • Most recent 3 months bank statements
  • Most recent 3 months’ payslips
  • A current mortgage offer or mortgage offer in principle (AIP). To confirm you would not be able to purchase the property at full market value.
  • If you are receiving a ‘cash gift’ from a family member, evidence of the transfer, or written confirmation from them confirming the amount(s) and date of proposed transfer.
  • A supporting statement providing details of the following:
    • Your connection to the Midlothian area, either through employment, family or cultural networks.
    • If the deposit or cash sum being used to purchase the property is more then £65,000, evidence of why you would not be able to purchase a property at market value elsewhere in the area, or how other housing does not meet your needs.
  • You must also include details of the deposit, including the amount and sources used to fund this.
  • The amount of savings you will have after completing the purchase and furnishing the property. The maximum residual savings after purchasing and furnishing the property should not exceed £16,000.
  • If purchasing a three-bedroom property confirmation that your household has an immediate need for a property of this size. Couples are expected to share a bedroom.

What happens if I sell the property in the future?

If you wish to sell the property in the future, you will be required to obtain a Home Report (or equivalent house survey report). The report will be completed by an independent surveyor. They will value the home as if it had no price cap to establish 100% of the market value. The property will be revalued each time the property is sold.

The sellers’ solicitor must send a copy of the Home Report to Midlothian Council.

The Golden Share resale price will be fixed at 80% of the market value established in the Home Report. The property can then be marketed and must be advertised to the majority of the market. The property cannot be sold for more than the Golden Share resale price.

The new purchaser will need to provide confirmation of their eligibility for the scheme to Midlothian Council. This is straightforward and confidential.

Who owns the 20%?

The 20% is a restricted price cap on the open market price whenever the property is sold, this is restricted through the title deeds. The purchaser owns 100% of the property.

Before applying to the scheme, applicants should be aware of the following:

  • Only one application per Golden Share will be considered at a time. Applications are assessed in the order they are received, with all documentation provided.
  • Applications may be refused if all documentation is not provided within 10 days of request, or if inaccurate, false, or misleading information is provided.
  • Applicants are responsible for all costs/fees associated with the sale or variations of legal documentation.
  • Before applying to the scheme applicants should ensure they are aware of any other costs relating to the property, including Council Tax, factoring and other related fees.
  • Midlothian Council cannot assist with enquires about individual mortgage or finance arrangements, and cannot influence finance providers or their decisions. Discuss matters of personal finance with a bank/lender or independent mortgage advisor.
  • Applicants should be aware that a deposits of 20% or more of the full market value may be required by some lenders. This can vary depending on individual circumstances and should be discussed with a bank/lender or independent mortgage advisor.

Midlothian Council does not provide mortgage or financial advice. The value of your home can decrease and increase over time. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

For more information on the scheme contact affordable.housing@midlothian.gov.uk.