With property prices rising and banks tightening up on lending criteria, shared ownership offers an alternative way for people to get on the property ladder. Our lawyers have a wealth of experience in dealing with shared ownership transactions and can offer you practical advice and guide you through what can be a complex process.
What is Shared Ownership?
Shared ownership is an affordable housing scheme aimed at first time buyers run by a housing association. If your household income is £80,000 or less (in London this figure rises to £90,000) you may be eligible for the scheme. The other usual eligibility criteria that:
- you’re a first-time buyer, or
- you used to own a home, but can’t afford to buy one now, or
- you’re an existing shared owner
In a nutshell, shared ownership allows you to purchase between 25-75% of a shared ownership property and you only need a deposit and a mortgage for the share you are investing in. You then pay rent to the Housing Association on the remaining share of the property.
Can I purchase more of the property of my circumstances change?
Absolutely. This is known as ‘staircasing’. To purchase greater equity you need to have the house re-valued and then apply for a mortgage to purchase the additional share.
Am I limited as to what renovations I can do to the property?
You can make basic changes such as putting up shelves and re-painting as you wish, however, you may need to consult your housing provider before making any major structural changes.
If you purchase a shared ownership property you are fully responsible for any internal repairs.
What happens if I wish to sell the property?
If you wish to sell your shared ownership property, you must first notify your housing provider. They then have eight weeks to sell your home and if they are successful, they will charge you an administrative fee. Make sure you are clear about how much this fee is before they begin the process of finding a buyer to avoid receiving any nasty surprises.
If your housing provider cannot find a buyer for the property within eight weeks, you will have the option to sell the property privately or through an estate agent.
If you are looking to buy or sell a shared ownership property contact our friendly team today to discuss the next steps you need to take. You can also phone us on 01444 235 232.