I want to open a Lifetime ISA in order to buy a house in the future.

I'm a UK citizen and have never owned property.

My wife is a foreign citizen with UK residency, and owns property abroad that was given as a gift from family. She has never owned property in the UK.

We'll buy the house jointly. Does her property ownership mean that we would be ineligible to use my Lifetime ISA when purchasing a UK home?

1 Answer 1


Reading the eligibility rules here carefully, you can use your LISA towards the home purchase if it's your first home. If you're buying jointly with someone else, then they must also be a first time buyer.

That page doesn't define what a first time buyer actually is, but from previous similar Government schemes, owning residential property abroad disqualifies you from being such (see eg my answer here which links to the definition of first time buyer from a different Government scheme).

  • That page says "If the person you’re buying with has a Lifetime ISA, you can both use your savings and government bonus...you must both be first-time buyers". It's not clear to me whether the OP can use their LISA only in this case. (But maybe I missed something else in the rules) Commented Mar 11 at 18:09
  • And looking at the info you dug up in this old answer of yours about Help To Buy makes me think the eligibility rules might be similar. But we'd need to find chapter and verse to be sure. Commented Mar 11 at 18:35
  • 3
    lifetimeisa.campaign.gov.uk/#withdrawing_for_your_first_home says it explicitly: "If you’re buying a home with someone who has owned a property before they don’t count as a first-time buyer. But you can still put your own bonus towards the price of the home you’re buying together." Commented Mar 11 at 22:07

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