Criteria as at 1st April 2023
Before you apply it’s important that you check out our criteria and make sure that you meet it. Once you apply, the first stage of your application fee, £100, will be charged and is non-refundable.
|Age||All applicants must be 55 or over to apply.|
|Residency status||You must be resident in NI at time of application. You may be asked to provide evidence that you have adequate right to reside in Northern Ireland. You must live in the property as your only residence.|
|Homeowner||You do not need to be a homeowner now or have been one in the past to be eligible for Co-Own for Over 55s.|
You can apply for Over 55s if you own the home which you currently reside in (which must be in Northern Ireland) and you intend to sell this at the same time as completing the purchase of your home through the Over 55s product.
If you plan to submit a joint application and both applicants have a property to sell, one property should be sold before your application is submitted. We can only accept one existing property per application.
You can’t apply for Over 55s if you currently own additional property which includes owning property or land, including commercial, or being named on any property, in Northern Ireland or elsewhere.
We may consider you if you have been or are a co-owner if you meet our qualifying criteria. We may take into account how your Co-Own property was or is managed and maintained, whether you kept or are keeping to (i) the terms of the equity sharing lease (including the payment of rent) and (ii) any other arrangements you had or have with Co-Ownership.
|Who should apply||Joint applicants – if you are married, civil partners, or couples living together or intending to live together in your new home, then you must apply together.|
Single applicant – if you are applying on your own, we would expect that you don’t have joint accounts or joint finances with anyone else.
|Occupiers||Please let us know the names of anyone who will be living in your new home with you, the applicant(s).|
|Income affordability||We take a decision after looking at all the evidence and assessing whether you can afford the purchase in the long term, based on your disposable income.|
We cannot support applications from people who can afford to buy the property without our help.
|Your contribution||Your contribution to the purchase of a property through Co-Own for Over 55s can be funded by savings and /or the proceeds of the sale of your current home or other assets. You may also use money that has been gifted to you to make up your equity. You must be able to fund at least 50% of the property you wish to purchase.|
|Savings||You can keep up to £25,000 in savings or housing equity. Anything above this must be put towards your contribution for the Co-Own for Over 55s home. Savings would include:|
If you are selling your current home, you may allow £5,000 from the sale proceeds for sale expenses.
|Outstanding property debt||You must not have any debt to any third party which was secured on a previous home. This does not include any mortgage finance which you may have on your current home.|
|Outgoings||You must give full details of any monthly outgoings you have. These could include loans, credit/store cards, mail order, childcare maintenance, and other outgoings.|
|Previous relationships||You must have concluded any settlement arrangements from all previous relationships prior to submitting an application.|
|Credit Assessment||When you apply to Co-Own for Over 55s we will perform a full credit assessment to determine your affordability. Part of this assessment is to look at your credit file, not your score, using the Experian credit reference agency. We will look at your credit history which will include things like, if you have any credit cards or loans, the amounts of these, your repayments of these, and if you have any missed or late payments.|
Your credit history shows how you have managed your credit up to now and is taken into account as part of our decision. We recommend you get a copy of your credit report before applying and check it. If you have a query about an entry on your credit report this must be shown as resolved before you apply.
Things that will affect your credit assessment include, but are not limited to:
|Future borrowing||You will not be able to use your Co-Own for Over 55s home now or in the future as security for any mortgage or loan.|
|Debt management||Before making an application to Co-Own for Over 55s, any of the following arrangements must have been settled (and be shown as settled on your credit file) for the stated period:|
The following arrangements also need to have been settled and will affect your credit score:
If you have had a minor default/debt management plan within the last 12 months we will take this into account in your credit assessment. If however the default(s)/debt management plan involved a higher balance or there were multiple defaults/debt management plans you must wait for 12 months after the last of these has been noted as settled on your credit file before making an application.
If you have had a missed or late payment within the last 12 months we will take this into account in your credit assessment. If however you have regular missed and/or late payments you must have 12 months clear payment history on the account.
|Managing your bank account||We will review 3 months bank statements as part of the application. If these show any unauthorised overdrafts, returned Direct Debits, or bank charges for unauthorised usage, you will not be eligible for Co-Own for Over 55s.|
If you are heavily reliant on credit or an overdraft to pay your household costs and other outgoings, you may not be eligible for Over 55s.
|Employment||It’s not necessary to have a job to be eligible for Co-Own for Over 55s. If you do have a job for it to be taken into account, in terms of affordability, the following types of employment are acceptable and lengths of employment are acceptable:|
You must not be under notice of termination of employment or redundancy. If your position has changed from e.g. fixed term or temporary to permanent we may take this into account.
Sorry but we do not accept Housing Benefit as other income.
|Lifestyle, spending decisions||All applicants must prove they have been able to afford their current lifestyle. They must also prove they will be able to afford the commitment of owning their home through Co-Own for Over 55s from their current disposable income.|
|Applicant information||All application information must be correct and true. Any fraudulent, false or misleading information, statements or omissions in respect of an application may be sufficient grounds for the application being cancelled. For further information see the Co-Own for Over 55s Terms & Conditions (Declarations) on our website.|
|Previous applications||Previously declined applicants can’t apply until 3 months have passed from the date they were told of an unsuccessful application. However, any fraudulent, false or misleading information or omissions in respect of an application or a vexatious application will mean that an applicant will not be able to make another application for any of Co-Ownership’s products for 12 months from the date of cancellation of the application.|
Please remember that you will be charged for a new assessment when you apply again, so be sure to check that you meet all the criteria before submitting a new application.
|Change in circumstances||If your circumstances change at any stage during an application you must let us know about this. We will review your circumstances. This may result in your application being revised or withdrawn.|
|Retirement||We understand many of our Co-Own for Over 55s customers will already be retired. However, if you are not retired when you submit your application but are planning to retire or take voluntary redundancy within 12 months of the date of application you must let us know. We will review your circumstances and anticipated changes to income or capital to assess your suitability.|