Shared ownership is an excellent way to get on the property ladder. It involves purchasing a percentage of the equity in the property, while the freehold remains in the ownership of a landlord, a local authority or a housing association.
Whether you are purchasing a leasehold or freehold property, we are able to help, assisting you with considerations such as stamp duty land tax, landlord approval, mortgage lender awareness, and paying rent to the landlord on the percentage they retain. We can also help you with final staircasing, where you purchase further shares in the property up to 100% of the property. Read our frequently asked questions below for more information on shared ownership.
There are a number of things to consider when buying a shared ownership property:
- You will need to be approved by the landlord - if you contact us as soon as you are approved we can advise you on the next steps
- Your Mortgage lender needs to be aware of the initial percentage and rent that you are paying. Be aware that if the upper percentage is limited (to 80% for example) some lenders will not lend on these schemes. Most shared ownership leases are on a Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) standard form. This includes a mortgagee protection clause which allows the lender to purchase the balance of the lease in the event that you surrender the lease.
- The Mortgage offer needs to be formally approved by the landlord. This is something that we arrange as part of the work to be undertaken on your behalf.
- At completion you will often be required to pay a proportion of the specified rent paid on the landlord’s share of the property for the remainder of the month of completion and a further month in advance. There is also likely to be notice fees (either notice of transfer and/or notice of charge) payable to the landlord.
- Be aware that there may be restrictions on future re-sales as any buyer will need to meet the landlord's requirements / be approved; the buyer will need to go through the same application process as you do!
Most new developments have affordable housing schemes sold under shared ownership leases
On a newbuild property there is likely to be a document fee (this can be up to £200) payable to the landlord's solicitors for the production of the lease documents.
Existing shared ownership properties
Where there is an existing lease, we will need to ensure that the current lease meets the requirements of the current HCA standard.
Landlords will have particular requirements where an existing lease is transferred. It may require additional licence to assign granted by the landlord. It may be possible to have a staircasing of a further share at the same time.
If the property is a leasehold flat or freehold on an estate where there is a management fee payable be aware that you may also be required to pay a service charge or management fee in addition to the specified rent.
Get in touch
Contact us as soon as you are approved by the landlord, and we can advise on the next steps.