6

this is a follow on from my previous question:

What is the definition of a “first time buyer” with relation to the UK “help to buy isa”?


So the Help to buy ISA has arrived. Having had a read though the documents though I'm still unclear on whether my girlfriend is eligible for a help to buy ISA (for use with a joint purchase), even if I'm not:

Taken together I think that means that your girlfriend can get one of these ISAs and use it towards a jointly-purchased house. But you'd be wise to check that with the ISA provider.

Reading though (for example) the terms for the Virgin money option

It states:

Accounts are limited to one per person rather than one per home so those buying together can each claim a bonus.

So does this mean she can open and use a help to buy ISA even if I can't?

9

From the FAQ I think it is fairly clear that it is OK:

Can I open a Help to Buy: ISA with someone else? No. Help to Buy: ISAs are only available to individuals. But, you can put more than one government bonus towards the home you are buying. So, if you are buying a home with someone else who is also a first time buyer, they can open and save money into their own account and receive a government bonus.

Inference: if you are buying a home with someone else who is NOT also a first time buyer, they can't get their own account and get the bonus (but there's no problem with you doing so).

Alternatively - open the Help To Buy ISA, you'll still get the normal interest rate on it, and then argue the case with the conveyancer / solicitor once you actually buy the property and claim the Government bonus.

In fact, here is the declaration you (well, specifically, your girlfriend) would have to sign at the point you jointly make the purchase. Nothing in there that forbids it being a joint purchase with a non-first-time-buyer either.

  • Part of the issue is that we already have ISAs. So any money we put into the limited HTB ISA will lower the amount accruing interest in the "normal" ISA. So if we put money into the HTB one and we can't claim it then we lose out. The declaration is a big help, thanks! – Liam Dec 2 '15 at 9:53
  • You don't lose out totally because the HTB ISA still pays normal interest too. – Vicky Dec 3 '15 at 11:05
  • BTW, my (now)wife did get a help to buy ISA and we cashed it in for the deposit of our house no problem. My previous ownership of houses wasn't even asked about. – Liam Jan 28 at 12:09

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