The four-stage FairShare buying process
There are 4 stages in the FairShare application process.
Stage 1: Application
You must see an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) to gain confirmation of your financial status.
You must ensure you have funds to pay:
- a reservation fee if required
- other fees on completion (e.g. stamp duty, legal fees)
You complete the FairShare Application Form (online). You must complete this with details of your proposed purchase, your proposed main mortgage, and your household income. The FairShare Application Form also confirms your agreement to the funds due from your FairShare partner being paid directly to the house builder or home owner.
If you are purchasing a new-build home, you must also reserve the home. You will usually be expected to pay a reservation fee to the house builder.
When you submit the completed FairShare Application Form online you will be asked to confirm that all the information supplied is true and correct. You will able to print off a summary of the information submitted for your own records.
You will also be required to forward a signed copy of the declaration that the FairShare home will be your only residence along with a copy of the builder’s signed reservation form to FairShare Team, 6 Cromac Place. The Gasworks, Belfast BT7 2JB
Stage 2: Authority to Proceed
The FairShare Team checks that the application form has been fully completed and that you have signed the declaration that the FairShare home will be your only residence. This is to protect your FairShare partner’s equity investment in the property.
The FairShare Team will forward the information to your designated FairShare Partner Housing Association within 10 working days of you submitting your FULLY COMPLETED FairShare Application Form and builder’s signed reservation form. The FairShare Team will confirm the name and contact details of your FairShare Partner, who will then process your application. All future contact will be with your FairShare Partner and their solicitor
You instruct a solicitor to act for you and tell your IFA so that a full mortgage application can be submitted.
An ‘Authority to Proceed’ will be accompanied by instructions to you and your solicitor/conveyancer. This pack will include legal documents that will be explained to you by your solicitor/conveyancer.
Stage 3: Mortgage offer and exchange of contracts
Your solicitor/conveyancer will advise you and ensure you sign the sale contract and the FairShare Lease Agreement.
Your solicitor/conveyancer will explain the legal implications of your FairShare partner’s equity investment, that the FairShare home must be your only residence and the consequences of a fraudulent application (see below).
Your solicitor/conveyancer checks that your mortgage offer, property price and available funds are consistent with the Authority to Proceed, and requests permission to exchange contracts from the FairShare Team.
Your FairShare Partner issues approval to your solicitor/conveyancer and contracts are exchanged.
You will have paid a deposit if required and are now legally contracted to complete the purchase by an agreed date.
Stage 4: Completing the purchase
At completion, your lender provides its funds and your FairShare Partner will make its funds available to you via the ‘seller’. Once completion has taken place you own the property and can move in.
Your solicitor returns confirmation of the sale to your FairShare Partner and the FairShare Team.
A second charge is registered on your home by your solicitor in favour of your FairShare Partner, entitling it to a share of the future sale proceeds. The charge will be equivalent to the percentage contribution made towards the purchase price. You must repay the percentage contribution when you sell your home or after 25 years (whichever is earlier).
How long does the process take?
Once you find a property you want to buy, you need to reserve it and submit a fully completed ‘FairShare Application Form’ to the FairShare Access Team.
The FairShare Team will seek to carry out an affordability assessment (from a fully completed FairShare Application Form) within four working days and will issue an Authority to Proceed.
Any ‘Authority to Proceed’ is valid for three months – the time limit for exchange of contracts. Typically, most house builders will be seeking buyers to exchange contracts within one month of making a reservation.
You are responsible for securing your mortgage and appointing your solicitor/conveyancer.
Approved builders will make it clear in their advertising whether FairShare homes are available on their development sites.
Home buyers are welcome to submit an application to FairShare for the purchase of any new-build home so long as they meet the standards and criteria for investment by the FairShare Partners.
Home buyers should check back regularly for news of additional developments being added to our pre-approved list.
The property purchased must be your only residence. FairShare is not available to assist buy-to-let investors or those who will own any property other than their FairShare property after completing their purchase.
You cannot rent out your existing home and buy a second home through FairShare.
Applicants who make fraudulent claims for FairShare assistance will be liable to criminal prosecution.
Fraudulent claims will always require immediate repayment of the FairShare equity investment.
Only builders licensed by FairShare can offer their homes for sale through the FairShare scheme.